Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Semi-Memorable Forgotten God

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.

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