It is no simple task to write simply about the Holy Spirit. There is, perhaps, no other theological subject that creates more difficulty, disagreement and discomfort among the followers of Jesus Christ. In Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, Francis Chan challenges readers to set aside those trappings and look carefully at what the scriptures say (not what we’ve been assuming they say) about the person of God, the Holy Spirit.
Reading this book probably won’t be easy. No matter what tradition you come from, you likely carry baggage and harbor stereotypes when it comes to the Holy Spirit. It’s going to require laying aside your baggage and stereotypes so you can be open to what God is trying to teach you. Are you willing to do that?
If you have read Chan’s first book, Crazy Love, it will be no surprise to you what happens within the covers of Forgotten God. The theological framework of the Holy Spirit, once laid bare in Chan’s honest, truthful wondering, turns to what more God in the gift of the Holy Spirit could intend for his followers and for his church. Once the outward assumptions have been challenged, Chan firmly puts his arm about the shoulder of the reader, guiding us to look inward to discern what obstacles we ourselves are putting in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work, leading, will – his transforming power leading those who believe.
What Crazy Love does to challenge Christians to rise out of comfortable and lukewarm faith, Forgotten God does to upend Christians’ agenda for keeping the Holy Spirit tame and in-check. Throughout the book’s 7 chapters, I found myself making frequent stops to, literally, do a double-take, re-reading a paragraph or point, diving for my bible or journal to dig deeper. (You can read a sample chapter here.)
Ultimately, I left Forgotten God with more desire, and more places exposed (and more excavation to do). This is not a spiritual self-help book, it is a ‘discover more about God’ book that, if approached honestly and openly, will result in a deeper understanding, a deeper relationship with God the Holy Spirit. Are you ready for that?