Book Review: Forgotten God

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit” by Francis Chan

This is the second book published by the author of “Crazy Love” (which is one of the greatest books published in the last few years). Those familiar with Chan’s previous work will undoubtedly love this one. In it, he explores the theology of the Holy Spirit. His premise is that the Holy Spirit is the “forgotten” person of the Holy Trinity — not in the sense that he is actually forgotten or left out completely, but that our understanding of the Spirit lags behind our understanding of the roles that the Father and Son play in the Godhead. We have neglected the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, choosing in most churches to either over- or under-emphasize the Spirit’s power in the lives of believers.

“Forgotten God” is light reading, but offers questions that require deep reflection. Chan does not offer an exhaustive study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Rather, his purpose in this book is to stimulate conversation and thought about the Holy Spirit, which will lead in turn to more Christians taking up further study of the Spirit from God’s Word. He does this primarily through sharing testimonies of believers who exemplified spirit-filled lives (such as Joni Eareckson Tada and Francis Schaeffer), and by gently confronting pre-conceived notions about the work and purpose of the Spirit through asking tough questions (“I think most of us would…choose a physical Jesus over an invisible Spirit. But what do we do with the fact that Jesus says it is better for His followers to have the Holy Spirit?”) and pointing out uncomfortable truths (“Let’s be honest: If you combine a charismatic speaker, a talented worship band, and some hip, creative events, people will attend your church. Yet this does not mean that the Holy Spirit of God is actively working and moving in the lives of the people who are coming.”).

Highly recommended reading for any Christian. Buy it here.

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