Book Review: Forgotten God

Francis Chan is known to many Christians as a radical leader. His first book, Crazy Love, focused on the need for believers to be living in light of who they serve. He talks about who God is, what the Church should be, and how we are to respond to God’s loving kindness. This time, Chan writes on who the Holy Spirit is and what His role is in the life of the believer. It is a great sequel to Crazy Love as believers cannot live out what he wrote in there apart from the Spirit.

In his book, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, Francis Chan investigates what we have done with the Holy Spirit. It appears that we all have our ways of misunderstanding this important member of the God-head. Some worship Him at the expense of the Father and Son, others put Him last in importance, and others don’t know what to think because they have heard mixed reviews. Chan does a great job explaining the Spirit’s role and helping us find some middle ground. I would encourage you to read this book and consider some of the following implications.

The Spirit

According to Jesus and the rest of the Scriptures, the Spirit is supposed to lead the Church and individual believers into a life of godliness and sanctification. Sadly, this doesn’t occur as often as it must. In our churches this means we replace His power with “Awesomeness” as Jared Willson puts it. But in our lives, it takes on another appearance.

They’re called idols

…but we call them savings accounts, 401k’s, and security deposits. Although most disagree, these things of comfort and safety detract from the power of the Spirit in our lives because they cause us to rely on Him less. When we are told in Romans 8.26 that the Spirit helps us in our time of need, but we so often think that everything else matters so much more. This fuels the idea that you need to get your life together and stabilized before you make any big life changes (like Josh Cousineau alluded to the other day and again today). But if we trust the Spirit to help and guide us, we can leave the hard things up to Him a fully rest in His counsel.

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