Book Review: “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan

Filed under Books Get Resourced on Jun 11 12 by

Forgotten God by Francis ChanFrancis Chan is one of the most passionate authors I have ever encountered. His heart, soul, and energy are poured out on every page. As you read his words, you feel as if he is sitting beside you, with eyes full of compassion and angst pleading with you to understand and grasp the life-changing truths he is trying to communicate. In his book, Forgotten God, he eloquently challenges the church to rise up as a corporate body in “reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit.”

Chan begins his call to action by encouraging his readers to consider whether they are living out their Christianity according to the Scriptures or according to what they have come to believe through teachings they have heard their entire lives. He states, “There is still a need for those of us nestled deep within the Christian bubble to look beyond the status quo and critically assess the degree to which we are really living biblically.” This is an important question to consider as there are many misconceptions and false teachings surrounding the Holy Spirit. In order for the message of the book to be effective, the reader must open her heart to the truths presented from the Bible regarding the Holy Spirit and His work in the lives of men without the prejudice of preconceived ideas taking precedent over them.

The first area of introspection that Chan tackles is the title of the first chapter: “I’ve got Jesus. Why do I need the Spirit?” He responds to this question by referencing John 16:7. In this passage, Jesus is speaking to the disciples about His departure and says that in His place they will receive the Holy Spirit, which will actually be an advantage to them. As shocking as that sounds, the disciples later found it to be true when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. This sets the stage for the rest of the book as Chan reminds the reader repeatedly that this same power that manifested itself in miraculous ways throughout Scripture is residing within every born again believer walking the earth today.

Chan’s impassioned writing borderlines begging as he asks the reader to choose to begin engaging with the Holy Spirit and allowing His power to be revealed in their lives. Throughout the text, he sprinkles testimonies of various people whose lives glorify God through the power of the Holy Spirit in amazing ways. These testimonies of faith, such as that of Joni Eareckson Tada, Frances Schaeffer, Esther Ahn Kim, and others, challenge the reader to believe that they too can live extraordinary lives of faith, perseverance, courage, and love by abiding in and displaying the characteristics of the Spirit.

In the final chapter, “Supernatural Church,” Chan writes, “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.” Perhaps this is why this book has had such an impact on my life. It is also my desperate prayer that God do something so incredible through my life that people don’t see me at all, but rather see my God and give Him the glory He so rightly deserves. If that is also the prayer of your heart, I would encourage you to read Forgotten God. You will be convicted, challenged, and drawn closer to the Trinity because of it.

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit
Written by Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski
Published by David C Cook, 2009

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Donya Dunlap
Donya wears a number of hats, including working as an administrative assistant at her local church, freelancing through City Girl Graphics, blogging, and writing. She dreams of one day spending her time focused on communicating God’s love to women through teaching Bible studies, speaking at women’s conferences, and writing books. Her first book, Forgetting the Fairy Tale, is scheduled for publication in the Fall/Winter of 2012. Check out her blog at
  • Leigh N

    I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago, and I loved it! It truly made me seek out the guidance of the Holy Spirit daily, and helped me realize the power that is ALREADY IN ME because HE is in me.