Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Francis Chan's Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

The topic of the Holy Spirit can become a litmus test. What you believe about him either puts you in one camp or another. But Francis Chan tries to emphasize what all Christians basically believe about the Holy Spirit. He shows that when Christians truly allow the Holy Spirit full control, marvelous changes can happen. He says, "I'm not going to get all charismatic." Neither does he discount what charismatics believe. He respects what theologians on both sides of the issue have written.

Some pointed questions he asks are "Why Do You Want Him?" Do you have right reasons for wanting to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Do you want to draw attention to yourself or to God? Do you want his power for selfish reasons or to edify other believers? I must be able to answer these questions satisfactorily before God can use me for His glory.

Francis tries to make doctrine practical. Churches can produce wonderful programs, attracting crowds, but if the Holy Spirit is not present and active, what good is that? (I'm paraphrasing.)

Interspersed between chapters are stories of Christians who have submitted to the Holy Spirit and are greatly used by him. Some are famous like Joni Eareckson Tada and Francis Schaeffer. But most are ordinary people whose lives are filled with supernatural power from the Holy Spirit. I appreciate the fact he includes Asians and Hispanics as well as others here. Francis's writing can appeal to any ethnicity.
Fogotten God gives food for thought. More importantly, it challenges Christians to not forget the third person of the Trinity and live lives that reflect his indwelling presence.

1 comment:

  1. I think that sometimes in the evangelical world we are so anxious to distance ourselves from what we perceive as the excesses of charismatics, that we swing too far the other way. Our de-emphasis on the Holy Spirit is a good example. I've always wondered why we don't celebrate the Day of Pentecost? The day the Holy Spirit came to live in us seems like a very significant day and should be celebrated. Great post, Carol!


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