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 **