Posted on 11/05/2011 by Charles
This is the second post of my review on the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan (see post one here).
Why do a chapter-by-chapter review of a book? As I could count many possible reasons for doing so I'll just stick to the actual reason I chose to do so. Why? To hopefully walk a little deeper in a book that I think will be profound. So far so good, now on to chapter 2 :)
Wow, he hit the nail on the head. Coming from a largely conservative background, similar to Mr. Chan, he understands my struggles and my questions deeply about the Holy Spirit and isn't afraid to address them. Let's walk through some thoughts and questions in this amazing chapter:
- What if God doesn't come through? We feel as though we have to cover for God not coming through in our lives when we pray for something and it doesn't happen...but that's a problem. The real issue is what we're praying for; something promised by God (like giving the Holy Spirit - Luke 11:13) or the gifts God gives? James investigates this issue further. Point: pray for what God promised.
- Do I even want this? If we are honest with ourselves we will all admit that we don't like the thought of someone telling us what to do, especially if it is uncomfortable, which is usually what God does.
- Is my reputation in the way? We all have fears about what others think of us. Why is this important, because our fears sometimes drive unhealthy behaviors (e.g. ignoring investigation of the Holy Spirit for fear of others judging us).
- God Fear. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 and 20 - "Do not quench the Spirit," and "Do not treat prophecies with contempt." This has always been something I've just browsed through not paying attention to like Mr. Chan. While we fear individuals being overly zealous joy about things that 'God said to them,' we need to not ignore their words. We need to do what scripture says and "test everything" (1 Thess 5:21-22). Point: next time you hear someone tell you 'god said...' just merely test their words to scripture, do not just push their words away as 'crazy' or 'misled.'
I want to end with a verse from the beginning of Acts that calls attention to the Holy Spirit as pointed out by Mr. Chan:
"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - Acts 2:38
Mr. Chan is definitely discussing questions I have had sitting in the back of mind for some time, unlike some authors (e.g. Celebration of Discipline discussing submission ignores the elephant in the room...relational submission). Every author doesn't have the foresight, nor the amount of pages to answer all questions given on a topic, but so far I am impressed and can't wait to read chapter 3.