I come from a denomination that emphasizes the power of the Holy Spirit to transform hearts. Yet I live in a South American country where many churches emphasize the Holy Spirit’s power to perform signs and wonders. It’s been a privilege to teach theology in this setting because it has forced me to take an honest look at both sides of the issue (inner or outer workings) and to come to a more balanced view. Frankly, I think most books underestimate the depth of the work God wants to do in a person’s life so I wasn’t sure what to expect with Francis Chan’s book. I was pleasantly surprised with some of his insights. His title, Forgotten God, refers to the third Person of the Trinity whose personhood is often ignored because His title makes Him seems vaporous and somehow “not-human”. Although I may not agree with Chan’s theology point for point I loved his emphasis on the absolute necessity of the Spirit-filled life.
In Chapter 7 he writes, I don’t believe God wants me or anyone to live in a way that makes sense from the world’s perspective, a way I know I can imagine. I believe He’s calling me and all of us to depend on Him for living in a way that cannot be mimicked or forged. He wants us to walk in step with His Spirit rather than depend solely on the raw talent and knowledge He’s given us.
He admits, I could pull off a fairly adequate church on my own…But who wants that? I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I’m desperate for Him to come through, that if He doesn’t come through, I’m sunk.
From Chapter 6: You don’t need the Holy Spirit if you are merely asking to live a semi-normal life and attend church regularly. You only need the Holy Spirit’s guidance and help if you truly want to follow the way of Jesus Christ.
My favorite quote of all was from Chapter 4: - As a young man much of me craved God’s power in my life because I wanted the attention. Now I want God’s power because I DON’T want the attention.
Oh, to be so filled with God that only He gets noticed!