Midweek Edition, VOLUME 3

Brief Review: CRAVE by Chris Tomlinson.

A Brief Review of

Crave: Wanting So Much More of God.
Chris Tomlinson.

Paperback: Harvest House Publishers, 2010.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

[ Read the first 3 chapters of this book on SCRIBD! ]

In the new book Crave: Wanting So Much More of God, Chris Tomlinson explores in really basic terms our desires, how they are formed and how they affect our lives.  Desires are fundamental to our existence as humans and yet to many of us they remain mysterious forces.  Especially in a consumerist culture in which our desires are constantly being preyed upon by corporate advertising, we need some serious theological reflection on our desires and how they are formed into (and out of) the way of Christ.  In Crave, Tomlinson offers us an engaging introductory look at our desires that is part memoir and part spiritual reflection.  Crave would be a good choice for discussion in a Sunday School class or Bible study group.

However, Tomlinson’s exploration ultimately fails to go deep enough.  First, his depiction of Christianity is overwhelming individualistic, a perspective which tends to over-accentuate the significance of desires.  Secondly, his account fails to convey adequately the complexity of our desires and our capacity for self-deception.  He, however, does end the book on a resonant and encouraging note:

As we’ve discussed my different cravings for more of God and all the silly things I’ve done in pursuit of Him, I’ve realized what was happening was no so much an addition of something that intensified my cravings for God, but rather a stripping away of the things that smothered them.  Our cravings for more of Him are already there, and when we don’t find them being satisfied, we need to ask ourselves, and more importantly God, why that is so.  As He answers our question and uncovers these longings, our focus will return to where it belongs: on God, the Creator and satisfier of our cravings, so that we will make much of God rather than much of ourselves (208-209).

On the whole, this is a book well-worth reading and discussing. Even in its shortcomings, it opens the door for conversation about our desires, how they are formed and how we discern them and submit them to the work of God in our church communities.

A review copy of this book was provided by Harvest House Publishers.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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