Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Review: "Forgotten God"

Title: Forgotten God
Sub-title: Reversing Our Tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit
Author: Francis Chan
Publisher: David C. Cook
Book Type: Christian Living
Page Length: 186
Chapters: Introduction, Book cover explanation, 7 chapters, Afterword, Notes About the Co-author, Chapter One from Crazy Love.
SRP: $14.99
Suggested Audience: Anybody

Strengths: It’s Chan, he’s a good communicator and he loves people so he writes that way. This is easy to read but it will challenge you. It wets the appetite for further study on the Holy Spirit without overwhelming you with theology and doctrine that is so deep that only certain people can dive right in. It’s not a long drawn out book—he says what he needs to in seven chapters without making each chapter a long run-on of repetition. I would have liked more chapters, but this is a Chan book, not a Spurgeon, Calvin, Augustine or Piper book. Chan is the best at what he does so don’t expect this book to be his attempt at writing like others—and really...would we want him to even do that? No.

Weaknesses: He quotes Tozer a lot, which is good, but Tozer’s book on the Holy Spirit is deeper and weightier. This book fails to really dive deep—it’s merely just an appetizer when it could have been an appetizer, a drink, a salad, and the pre-meal bread that every restaurant has. To be honest, I’m hungry right now, so that’s probably why I just made the food reference. Sorry.

My thoughts:
I like this book a lot. As a Presbytist/Baptiterian (I’m both PCA and SBC in denomination which makes me a mutt) the Holy Spirit is in those two cultures tends to make most people nervous. We seem to be scared to talk about Him. The Spirit is seen as the black sheep uncle in the Triune Godhead to many Baptists and Presbyterians. This book will wet the appetite of any Christian who wrongly sees the Spirit as tertiary (secondary) rather than co-equal with Jesus and the Father. It will also make many people who are really excited about the Spirit, (i.e. the Pentecostals and charismatics who tend to focus on the Spirit more than Jesus or the Father) to perhaps refocus on what He biblically is and is not. Both the far right and far left Christians in the matter of who He (Spirit) is will be challenged to actually exam Him and re-think what they have been taught. My favorite part about the entire book is the 3rd chapter called “Theology of the Holy Spirit 101.” It is so clean-cut, concise and smooth and this chapter is probably my favorite chapter in almost any book I’ve read.

Notable quotes:
“When it comes to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, I don’t want to get caught up in abstract and nebulous distinctions. I want to focus on the theological issues that shape our faith and behavior.”


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