On my birthday my beautiful wife walked in the house with a few surprises from a local bookstore, one of them was the book Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan. Chan, who just recently announced he’s leaving the church he help plant, is a radical teacher that doesn’t fit into any wooden description (such as liberal, or conservative). Chan, who is mostly known for his book “Crazy Love” has also been teaching at numerous conferences and is a refreshing voice the culture of self promotion. I believe he has been placed by God in this generation to wake the church up and invite us back to walking intimately with God.
In this book, he talks about the forgotten member of the Trinity: the Holy Spirit. He rightfully asserts that differing beliefs concerning the Holy Spirit has caused some just not to teach on Him or strive to experience His presence in their lives today. He is alive and waiting to be more apparent in our lives. In seven easy to read chapters Chan covers the following topics:
- The role of the Holy Spirit as Jesus’ promised gift.
- Fears and concerns about the Holy Spirit
- How theology about the Holy Spirit has more to do with how a person lives than what they say they believe.
- Motivations around the Holy Spirit and his power.
- What a relationship with the Holy Spirit can really be like.
- Letting go of manipulation and control by trusting the Holy Spirit.
- Living in true community with the Holy Spirit and with others.
For a book to be as hard hitting on these themes as it is, the tone Chan takes hardly comes across as a harsh reprimand. There is a pastoral gentleness and humility that flow through these chapters, possibly because the author often uses his shortcomings as examples. It is balanced with his unbridled passion for something better. It is a contagious proposition. For readers who have already embraced the message from Chan’s first book, “Crazy Love,” you will find another winner here. For those who are reading him for the first time, you have found a new, encouraging friend, and Pastor. Please pick this book up for yourself , small group, or for a friend, I highly recommend it.
Next Book Review will be next Wednesday May 19th…