David C Cook – Publisher

January 2011

I am currently reading another book by Francis Chan. This one is entitled “Forgotten God.” While the first one of his I read, “Crazy Love,” was very a good read, I feel strongly moved to actually share some of my thoughts with my friends as I read through this book.

To begin the process, I will mainly simply provide quotes from his book. My aim is to peak your interest enough that you may actually go buy the book or check it out at the library. (If the library has it.)

  • “From my perspective, the Holy Spirit is tragically neglected and, for all practical purposes, forgotten.” – Pg 15
  • “The “entertainment” model of church was largely adopted in the 1980s and 90s, and while it alleviated some of our boredom for a couple of hours a week, it filled our churches with self-focused consumers rather than self-sacrificing servants attuned to the Holy Spirit.” – Pg 16
  • “If I were Satan and my ultimate goal was to thwart God’s kingdom and purposes, one of my main strategies would be to get churchgoers to ignore the Holy Spirit.” – Pg 16

In the paragraph above he goes on to comment about how most of us feel something is missing in “church.” I have heard this comment from literally dozens if not hundreds of believers over the past three decades. It seems many of us know something is missing but we don’t seem to make a very strong effort to figure it out. – dhw

  • “I believe that this missing something is actually a missing Somone – namely, the Holy Spirit. Without Him, people operate in their own strength and only accomplish human-size results. The world is not moved by love or actions that are of human creation. And the church is not empowered to live differently from any other gathering of people without the Holy Spirit. But when believers live in the power of the Spirit, the evidence in in their lives is supernatural. The church cannot help but be different, and the world cannot help but notice.” – Pg 17
  • “…if the Holy Spirit moves, nothing can stop Him. If He doesn’t move, we will not produce genuine fruit – no matter how much effort or money we expend. The church become irrelevant when it becomes purely a human creation. We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God.” – Pg 18

I grew up being taught that Holy Spirit gave us the written word and then it was up to us to figure it out on our own. In my religious tradition, there was the habit of adding to the word of God by always adding a phrase to anything that said Holy Spirit dwells or lives in us, i.e. “lives in you in the written word.” Many of my FB friends that grew up in this same tradition will likely recognize that phrase. To them I ask “Is that a biblical phrase?” What about not adding to or taking away from…. I believe by inserting that phrase “through the bible” they are both adding to and taking away from the written word of God.

  • “Reading this book probably won’t be easy. No matter what religious tradition you come from, you likely carry baggage and harbor stereotypes when it comes to the Holy Spirit. It’s going to require laying aside your baggage and stereotypes so you can be open to what God wants to teach you. Are you willing to do that?” – pg 19

A few years ago I led a small group of Christians through reading “The Purpose Driven Life,” by Rick Warren. We met each week to discuss the previous week’s readings and share our thoughts with one another. We were in an environment where we felt “safe” to express our thoughts and ideas without fear of ridicule because of the nature of the small group. I would like to try that idea again but with a slight change. I would like to do this within Facebook utilizing the “Group Page” feature where we can all share our thoughts but in a semi-private way. By that I mean, I would allow only those who seemed to me, by their words and “attitudes” to be truly interested in reading this book with an open mind and comparing what the author says with what we read in scripture.

Each of the members of the group could post to the “wall” and each member could read and respond to the comments shared therein. And, not everyone would have to agree in all points. However, if someone becomes disagreeable, the group could ask them to leave. If they do not leave and persist in their causing of strife and division, they would be removed.

Non-believers, that is to say, atheists and agnostics, would not be allowed in the group. This forum would be only for those who believe in Jesus as The Messiah and are trying to come to a deeper understanding of what or who Holy Spirit is or was and how He performs His work today, if He is at work today.

Let me know if you are interested. You could always “join” and then if you find it to be of no interest to you, you could always remove yourself and you don’t even have to tell me you have done so.

In His loving grip of Grace,

Dennis

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