Thursday, June 23, 2011

The God I Never Knew Book Review

This may very well be one of my longest reviews, but for good reason. What an experience I had and awakening I received as I began reading The God I Never Knew - How Real Friendship with the Holy Spirit Can Change Your Life by Robert Morris. I had this picture in my mind of what the Holy Spirit was, not so much who the Holy Spirit was. In all actuality, the Holy Spirit is a person. He's living in us all when we receive the gift of salvation. This is where the main issue I took with this book came up. Morris expressed a need for a "third baptism." As he went on into an explanation that third baptism was us opening ourselves up and asking the Holy Spirit to fill us. I'm not sure where this teaching came from, and all the explanations he gave in the book using scripture really only pointed to the time surrounding Pentecost. This brought me into a deep study of the Bible that came up with very unclear answers. I believe the God always make what we are to do very clear. While researching, I came across this article that shares the scripture that correlates directly with what I found relating to receiving the Holy Spirit. My conclusion, and what I've always been taught, is that you receive the Holy Spirit when you accept Christ. The only other baptism you should otherwise receive is a water baptism as an outward showing of what has happened inwardly.

What Morris shares about the Holy Spirit and his character is great and so informative.We are given the Holy Spirit as helper for us in the world. Most of us don't allow him to work in us or have been misinformed by his job. Isn't that Satan's plan?
"Doesn't it make sense that the enemy would want to keep us from experiencing that help? After all, one aspect of the Holy Spirit's work is to convince us that Satan has been judged and stripped of his authority. So is it really a stretch to think Satan wants to keep us from receiving that conviction and acting on it?"
The Holy Spirit was sent to be our helper, to convict us (giving us clean hearts), as a comforter, as a counselor, to share gifts, to share fellowship, to produce fruit in us and the list goes on. I'll admit, I was totally unaware of all the aspects of my life the Holy Spirit has a part in. What were given to me as gift from the spirit, I never recognized. There are snippets of my life, where I have been grace with gifts that only the Holy Spirit could have given me, that were only of God. So, why was I so shocked when I read the chapter The Discerning Gifts? Morris shared a story about crossing paths with a stranger and being given information about this stranger that he couldn't possible have known otherwise. The conversation shared between Morris and this former Mr. America spread shock and amazement across my face and my husband's, as I just had to share.

As I continued through the book, I was faced with the issue of the gift of tongues. This has always been a roadblock for me. From a personal standpoint, I don't believe that tongues are meant for today. I feel like they were meant for a different time. Is that the truth? I don't know, and I hope that if I'm wrong the Holy Spirit will convict me and show me otherwise. But, as I read the chapter and all of his scripture referencing, I couldn't find any fault in his teaching.

Would I recommend this book to friends, family or even strangers? I think I could say I would, but I think I would also give a disclaimer that I don't particularly believe in the same fashion that Morris does. I believe that Morris is a thorough teacher, but at times felt like he was stretching some scripture to get to where he was trying to reach. But the big selling point for me was his full description of the Holy Spirit, his character and the gifts that the Spirit gives us.

If you would like to read an excerpt of this book
The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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