Forgotten God by Francis Chan


It was time for some Francis Chan.  It’s been awhile since we read Crazy Love.  That book was about our relationship with God.  This book is about our relationship with the Holy Spirit.  I had high hopes going in to it- expected to get my spiritual butt kicked yet again.

Maybe I set my expectations a little too high.  I think the kind of think Francis Chan was trying to do in this book just can’t be accomplished in 100-something pages of Christian Living literature.  It’s about actually living a Christian life, not about reading about it.  And he says that, many times, in the book.  How do you write/read a book about experiencing the Spirit in your life when the only way to really get it is to live with the Spirit in your life?  You can feel Chan’s tension in that throughout the book but somehow it still left me wanting.  Maybe (probably) that means I just need more Spirit in my life.

I chose the best/worst time to read this book.  I started a new job last week and have all the new girl sense of inadequacy + missing my old job’s sense of accomplishment I could get in a day.  This requires a lot more trust in the Spirit.  Which means I am needing to hear these words even more but also feel even moreso the emptiness of just reading words on a page.

It is also hard to divorce the evaluation of the “quantity of the Spirit in your life” from the “quantity of goodness that you are doing.”  Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be, but we should have the Holy Spirit in our lives even when we are not pouring out goodness left and right and also we are not to be frankly measured by our quantity of goodness.  Chan largely has you look at the lives of others (examples in the book and those we know in our lives) who are doing great things/being great people to see the Spirit alive.  I don’t know how else to do it either, but there is just something about looking at others to figure out how to do spiritual things that has definite pitfalls.  Unless I guess we are looking to Christ.

Basically, the premise of the book is that we don’t have a very strong sense of the Holy Spirit in our lives (at least in America) and we should cultivate that much more.  I believe this is true.  Maybe I just didn’t necessarily get there by reading the book.  And I guess I thought/hoped I would learn something intellectually from reading the book that would help me spiritually- maybe some hidden scripture that would open the floodgates of the Spirit’s presence…  But I don’t think it really said anything I hadn’t heard before.

I have also spent time with many people living in the Spirit since reading Crazy Love and these are stronger than reading any book.  But I also just said that looking to examples in people can be dangerous.  the conundrum.

This may be the longest review I have ever written!  3.5/5 stars (but probably deserves more…) (post by Meghan)


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