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A follow up to the profound message of Crazy Love, Pastor Francis Chan offers a compelling invitation to understand, embrace, and follow the Holy Spirit's direction in our lives. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We pray in the name of all three, but how often do we live with an awareness of only the first two?
As Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit--the Helper--so that we could be true and living witnesses for Christ. Unfortunately, today's church has admired the gift but neglected to open it. Breakthrough author Francis Chan rips away paper and bows to get at the true source of the church's power--the Holy Spirit. Chan contends that we've ignored the Spirit for far too long, and we are reaping the disastrous results. Thorough scriptural support and compelling narrative form Chan's invitation to stop and remember the One we've forgotten, the Spirit of the living God.
- An important resource for living the real life God intends for us
Ive been a believer for 45 years. Ive rarely read a Christian book that is as challenging as The Forgotten God. This is not an apologetic for Penecostal or non Penecostal belief, but a guide to live the real life of a believer that is made possible by allowing the Holy Spirit to do his work in our lives. This book can bring you to the place where you simply must say yes or no in order to live in the fulness of life God promises us.
- it's just not that good
Positively, Francis Chan highlights the need to be Spirit-led. Perhaps that's going to be good for someone. Other than that, the book is just not that good.
He is missing a lot of dangers involved with the spirit world, given that there is a lot of demonic power at work in the charismatic church. When he talks about "surrendering all to the Holy Spirit" and such-like, this can be actually be very dangerous. I would immediately follow this book up with Jessie Penn Lewis' "War on the Saints".
It's commendable that he notes a difference between Biblical Christianity and modern church practice, but one wonders if he might ever feel led by the Holy Spirit to give up his unbiblical pastoral office (there is more biblical justification for snake handling than for the Christian pastorate.) Surely the Holy Spirit could lead His (note, not his) congregation without Francis Chan's prominence, and Francis Chan could stop attempting to exercise giftedness he does not have and repressing others who do have such giftedness from exercising it. (Read Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola if you're curious.)
There just isn't that much enlightenment jumping off the pages here. What if Pastor Chan were called to step off the stage and support some of the "laity" that actually had something Spirit-empowered to say on the topic?
- Come Holy Spirit Come! Make us more like Jesus...
Personally having read this I'm excited and longing for the Holy Spirits work in my life, today. I loved hearing Chan reading the words he'd penned, his passion for the message of this book can be heard. Thank you!
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- Read only if you're ready to start living a different life.
Awesome book! Inspiring and passionately narrated. It is life-changing content breathed by God. Listen- if you dare.
- Not a fan
This book didn't grab me. Can't say listening to Chan read helped.
- A must listen to book
Do yourself a favour and listen to this book. I bought the book and I also bought the audio so I could listen in the car. What a great read and challenge. Loved it
- Highly Recommned
Francis Chan read this book himself because it was so personal to him. I'm very glad that he did. He doesn't talk about many specific manifestations of the Holy Spirit, but rather the simple truths of who He is, how He works in our lives and how we can move with Him day in and day out or miss Him almost completely. I wish I'd of understood what God was doing in me since the age of 17, but I didn't have the teaching about the Holy Spirit to realize that it was Him working so profoundly in my life every day. Thank you, Mr. Chan for so gently revealing what is so obvious in Scripture.
Tremendous food for thought...and action. I love Chan's return to the core, the essence, of who we are and what it means to be Christian. How do we gauge this in a culture that has largely shunned, for a variety of reasons, the Holy Spirit. As someone who has done so for most of my spiritual walk in not wanting to be like "them" on TBN, this book was life-changing. Prepare to be challenged, regardless, and if you are willing to be honest before God, changed.
- Great reminders
Strikes a chord with his listeners on how tired he is of trying to DO things, and instead should rely on the Spirit in everything, that even the basic Christian walk is not possible without Him
I looked forward to this book hoping for a balanced and "meaty" look at the Holy Spirit but sadly it was disappointed. Mr. Chan spent a great deal of time on discussing the need for pure motives when it comes to flowing in the gifts of the Spirit, which is good, but then said practically nothing about the gifts themselves or the importance of them. Healing, prophecy, tongues, miracles were almost absent from the book. He had a few rebukes towards Charismatics about emotionalism which is typical of people who lean towards Cessationalism, as if getting emotional when the Spirit moves among His people is a bad thing.
I walked away not learning anything new about the Holy Spirit nor felt any closer to Him in anyway. He also discussed the fruit of the Spirit as if we could produce it ourselves through our own efforts and commitment. And he promoted social justice as if that was a gift of the Spirit or a result of having Him in our lives. As Christians we are called to feed the hungry and look after the poor but that is a different topic.
I'd recommend the late Dr. John White's "When the Spirit Comes With Power" instead or anything by Jack Deere or C. Peter Wagner.
- I've been listening to Forgotten God...
I've been listening to Forgotten God by Francis Chan recently.
What a book! I found Chan's words to be challenging, encouraging, foreboding and inspiring. Chan writes: "If I were Satan and my ultimate goal was to thwart God's kingdom and purposes, one of my main strategies would be to get church goers to ignore the Holy Spirit." I may not have thought I ignored the Holy Spirit before I started listening to this book, but at the very least I can see I have been guilty of minimizing his works and relevance. Forgotten God needs to be in the hands (or earphones) of every Christian. Most of us desperately need this reminder to listen for and follow the Spirit's leading. I appreciate Chan's honesty as he shares his own learning experiences and his conversational style make it easier to absorb some pretty heavy ideas. Most of all, I am grateful for his plea for us not to "mellow out" ourselves or others who are passionate in the Spirit's movement.
The audio book is narrated by the author. Chan has become much more convincing in his reading since Crazy Love. If you are at all hesitant to get the audio version of this book, don't be. Chan does an excellent job, and he emphasizes words and phrases like only the author could.
I downloaded Forgotten God through the christianaudio Reviewers Program http://christianaudio.com.
- In Forgotten God, Francis Chan challenges...
In Forgotten God, Francis Chan challenges believers to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit of God. Chan, a former pastor and widely-acclaimed Christian speaker, brings his trademark plain speech and passion to this, his second major book—his first being Crazy Love.
Chan argues that many believers have a basic doctrine of the Holy Spirit as part of the trinity, but the same Christians have no real experience with the Spirit of God. The author challenges Christians to stop settling for head knowledge of God’s Spirit and to pray fervently for God to allow them to experience his presence and love through his indwelling Spirit.
Chan is very open, honest, and personal in this book. There is no doubt that Francis Chan has been truly convicted about his lack of Spirit-focus in his own life. He believes that he has neglected one of the persons of the Godhead, and he recognizes this as sinful. Thus, Chan’s observations are refreshingly real—they do not make one feel as though they are being talked down to by an aloof scholar.
Perhaps it is the nature of such a writing, but Chan is unable to offer much by way of action steps for Christians who are finding themselves guilty of neglecting the Spirit of God. Chan suggests a change of mind and more prayer, but these steps are probably already things that guilty Christians know they need.
Chan’s work also walks into a more mystical level of Holy-Spirit-encounter than many non-charismatic believers may find comfortable. Unfortunately, Chan mostly has only his own experience to cite as his authority for how one’s encounters with God’s Spirit ought to look or feel. Don’t get me wrong, Chan is not neglecting Scripture in this book, but there is an element of mystical encounter in the writing that is simply personal for him. Thus Chan’s experience may be a little more—though not drastically over-the-top—than some would embrace.
Conclusion and Recommendation
I was blessed by reading Chan’s work. His sincerity was touching. His push to not settle for a bookish experience with the Holy Spirit was challenging. His call to radical living was refreshing. While I do not agree with every conclusion Chan draws, I believe most Christians would benefit from some time with this text.
** Note: For this review, I listened to the audio version of this book. I received my files from www.ChristianAudio.com **
- This review was originally posted on...
This review was originally posted on my blog at http://jacobscafe.blogspot.com/2010/01/semi-memorable-forgotten-god.html
I recently finished listening to the audiobook version of Francis Chan's Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. It was not as part of one of the reviewer programs, although I did get it free through a christianaudio coupon code.
This is sometimes billed as the sequel to Crazy Love, which I really liked. The interview with Chan preceding the book itself was very nice, and Chan said he actually was more excited about this book than Crazy Love. When I started it, I liked it a lot more, too. He starts by saying we need to challenge our beliefs constantly to make sure we are as accurate as we can be. I probably liked it because that's the foundation of this blog! :)
In the interview, Chan also acknowledges he is not a great reader, but prefers to read this book himself because he cares so much about it. Like I've said in previous reviews, I'm so happy he did because his passion really comes through. And something happened between Crazy Love and Forgotten God because he is a MUCH better reader. He was very engaging and did not sound like he was just reading.
His basic premise is that Christians often forget about the Holy Spirit, a person of God just as important as the Father and the Son. I particularly like how he asserts that we need to start calling the Spirit "he" instead of "it," which we usually do, relegating the Spirit to some odd, nonpersonal thing. Through these kinds of words, Chan does a nice job of presenting the Spirit in a new way. Like he even says in the interview, this book really does not say anything new, but says it in ways that quite powerful and engaging.
Partway through the book, I started becoming a bit bored. Forgotten God is much more cognitive than Crazy Love, which was much more passionate and heart-focused. This is not always a bad thing by any means. I tend to live in my head more, which may be why I prefer tomes that focus on the heart more because that's more of my need.
The other difficulty I had with the book is Chan presents thing in a bit of an idealistic situation. He talks about ways of living with the Spirit that are nice, but are not always practical. As one friend said, we do not always live in a state of "spiritual heroics." We are not always intoxicated by overwhelming, crazy love for God. Just as in other relationships, feelings are transient, and that is okay. However, with some of the way Chan talks, one could feel guilty for not always being on a spiritual high.
Overall, though, I recommend this book. It is an excellent treatise on the Holy Spirit and definitely made me more aware of him.
- INCREDIBLE. Seriously couldn't stop listening.... In...
INCREDIBLE. Seriously couldn't stop listening.... In fact, I am going to re-listen. This book is SO good! One of the best books I've read recently! I HIGHLY recommend!! As one reviewer already mentioned, there is nothing hugely ground breaking or profound about the book.... it's just Biblical and God-inspired and you can feel that when you listen to it. Don't get me wrong... this book is filled with AMAZING truths and promises. You WILL be inspired!
Also, small side note: Francis Chan does a much better job at reading this one. He speaks with more conviction than he did with "Crazy Love".
- Francis Chan reminds of John Wesley,...
Francis Chan reminds of John Wesley, the 18th century pioneer of Methodism. John Wesley wrote a sermon called “The Almost Christian,” yet another of his attempts to convert cozy church people into risk-taking, born again Christians who are steadily growing in holiness. Like Wesley, Chan believes that the same dynamic experience of Christian faith of the New Testament is available to the present day followers of Jesus Christ.
Like his first book, “Crazy Love,” Chan’s second book, “The Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit,” challenges readers to take some risks. Whereas “Crazy Love” might be considered a primer on the doctrine of God (with a distinctly Reformed undertone), “Forgotten God” obviously focuses on that mysterious third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Chan writes in the Introduction:
“From my perspective, the Holy Spirit is tragically neglected and, for all practical purposes, forgotten…There is a gap between what we read in Scripture about the Holy Spirit and how most believers and churches operate today. In many modern churches, you would be stunned by the apparent absence of the Spirit in any manifest way. And this, I believe, is the crux of the problem.”
Chan wants us to experience the Holy Spirit in power, not merely get some good theology about the Holy Spirit.
I couldn’t find a well-reasoned order to the chapters of this short book. Each chapter seems more like devotional reflections rather than a progressive building from chapter to chapter. Brief biographies of people who strike Chan as “Spirit-filled” end each chapter.
Nothing in “The Forgotten God” struck me as new. I did mark out a few passages that struck me as insightful reminders. Overall, I would characterize Chan’s theological pedigree as Reformed and evangelical. He doesn’t delve deep enough into issues like speaking in tongues to label him as Charismatic. Much of his work seems friendly to a Wesleyan tradition, too. I should note that I don’t attempt to label Chan theologically to “peg him” so as to dismiss him; it’s simply an exercise of awareness.
Because Chan is so frustrated by American Christianity – its ease, wealth, and comfort – his tone can be a bit of a downer. Of course we should be careful of dismissing hard to hear messages simply because they make us feel bad, but this tone stood out to me in both of Chan’s books. His favorite adverbs (“really,” “genuinely,” “honestly”) indicate a distrust with the glittery ease of American Christianity. It’s not an always positive message Chan offers, but it’s good to hear a popular evangelical leader who pastors a megachurch wrestling with the implications of his church’s wealth and power.
I should also note that I’m likely not the intended audience. Chan’s writing for popular Christian readers, not Mainline pastors like me who spent a good chunk of seminar reading the Church Fathers (including St. Basil the Great’s “The Holy Spirit”). This wouldn’t be my first recommendation to one of my parishioners if they were seeking to not only learn more about the Holy Spirit but also to experience the Holy Spirit more.
In that case, I’d recommend one of Jack Hayford’s books (an Amazon search for “Hayford” and “spirit” will pull up a number of good hits). For delving into theology of the Holy Spirit, I’d recommend the above work by St. Basil the Great. John Paul II’s encyclical on the Holy Spirit (available on the Vatican’s website) is also good, as is the Roman Catholic Catechism. I’d also recommend perusing some of John Wesley’s sermons (freely available online), as well as John Calvin’s section on the Holy Spirit in The Institutes of the Christian Religion. But if you get this far, you likely won’t find much need for “The Forgotten God.”
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