Jim’s #4: Forgotten God by Francis Chan

Forgotten God is pretty much what I expected from Francis Chan.  I really enjoyed Crazy Love when I read that and expected this to be similar, which it was but with a bit more theology to it than Crazy Love.  When I first saw that Chan was putting out this book I immediately got interested because the Holy Spirit has always been the God I know the least about.  The Celtic Christians called Him the Wild Goose and I thought that was always an interesting analogy.

Francis goes through the topic pretty systematically, beginning with why we need the Holy Spirit, moving into the theology regarding the Holy Spirit, and then discussing our lives and the pragmatic side of the Spirit.  He discusses numerous times the general feeling around the church that a day with Jesus would be better than a day with the indwelling Holy Spirit but goes on to show how the Bible (and Jesus) teaches absolutely contrary to that.  I mean, how is God being with us better than God being in us?

There were other parts of the book I really enjoyed as well, including his discussion on quenching the Spirit and point that we often settle for making life on our own accord rather than submitting to the Spirit and in so doing, achieve far less than we could as a church.  He also does a good job of avoiding ostracizing one extreme or the other as it relates to the fruits or gifts of the Spirit.  The middle ground (or right ground as far as the bible is concerned) between charismatics and conservatives is well laid out.

Finally, at the end of each chapter, Francis lays out a story of particular person that he sees as living a life filled with the Holy Spirit.  I found these stories to be the most powerful parts of the book and will come back to those in the future.  Overall, it was a good, quick read (or listen if you do it on audio), and I would suggest it to those who want to learn a little more practically how the Spirit works and moves in our lives.

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