October 29, 2009

Book Review: Forgotten God

Filed under: Book Reviews — Neil @ 6:00 pm

Not sure why, but I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting book reviews of what I’ve been reading.  I want catch up on everything I’ve read in the past 6 months?, but I’ll post reviews of the 3 books (Forgotten God, Incarnate Leadership & Have A Little Faith) I’ve read most recently.

I’m a huge Francis Chan fan.  I’ve heard him speak several times & last summer I even got to spend a couple of hours with him prior to a youth event he was speaking at.  He’s 1st book, Crazy Love, was revolutionary for me.  I say all that to say that before I ever opened Forgotten God I was expecting to really enjoy reading it.

A lparagraph in the Introduction  grabbed my mind’s attention the 1st time I read it & I’m still wrestling w/ the idea.   Chan writes:

But what if you grew up on a desert island with nothing but the Bible to read?  Imagine being rescued after twenty years and then attending a typical evangelical church.  Chances are you’d be shocked (for a whole lot of reasons, but that is another story).  Having read the Scriptures outside the context of contemporary church culture, you would be convinced that the Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive.  You would know that the Spirit led the first Christians to do unexplainable things, to live lives that didn’t make sense to the culture around them, and ultimately to spread the story of God’s grace around the world.”

That’s a dangerous thought to think about.  Forgotten God is full of challenging/thought provoking ideas about how we (typical American Christians) have ignored the Holy Spirit.  It’s a good read, but not necessarily enjoyable because of how convicting I found it in how I’ve ignored the Spirit in my own life.

Chan is able to break through the stereotypes we’ve placed on the Holy Spirit & those we characterize as focusing on the Spirit too much.  He does so be relying on Scripture to describe the Holy Spirit.  That should be the norm, but unfortunately it seems we depend on tradition more than Scripture to shape our beliefs.

At the end of each chapter he provides stories from the lives of individuals who are living a Spirit filled life.  It helped me to see how others are living out a life that is dependent on the Holy Spirit.  It’s also great to see an author/pastor to use people from his own church as examples.

A few statements that stood out to me:

  • The church becomes irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation.
  • When we are referring to God, balance is a huge mistake.  I have yet to meet anyone with too much Holy Spirit.
  • The problem is much of what we believe is often based more on comfort or our culture’s tradition than on the Bible.
  • There is much more to God and following  in the Way of Jesus than getting a bunch of talented people together to hold a church service.
  • Regardless of your background, are you willing to set it aside and just respond to biblical truth?
  • What would your church (and the worldwide church) look like if everyone was as committed as you are?
  • You only need the Holy Spirit’s guidance and help if you truly want to follow the Way of Jesus Christ.

You can purchase Forgotten God by clicking here.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi, I’ve noticed that you’ve blogged about Forgotten God, by Francis Chan. As you may know, we have just released a Forgotten God DVD Study Resource. Because of your wonderful blog post about the book, I’d like to offer you a free copy of the DVD to review. Please email me your address, and I’d be happy to send it. Thanks!

    Comment by Angela Ralston — February 17, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

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