Jesus Continued: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You (2014), JD Greear tackles an important issue: the neglect of the Holy Spirit in the modern, presumably American, church. Although we are often sincere, we weary because we rely not upon the promised Spirit, but upon our own efforts.
Early in the book, Greear draws out an important distinction between the two extremes (p. 22) that Christians tend to gravitate towards. On the one hand, there are Christians who seem to regard experiences of the Spirit, apart from the Word of God as the normal Christian life. On the other hand, there are those who operate as though there is no current involvement of the Holy Spirit (i.e., hard cessationism). Greear argues that neither extreme represents biblical Christianity. As someone who probably tends toward the second extreme, I appreciated his view of the ongoing work of the Spirit. I want to hope in His continued work on a bigger scale than I do. In chapter 15, Greear quotes AW Tozer, who wrote, "if the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference." Is the Spirit still active as he was with the New Testament church? Greear says yes and I am inclined to agree with him.
Jesus Continued is divided into three sections. The first section is entitled "The Missing Spirit" and deals with our feeble pneumatology in the church today. In many regards, this book is good companion piece to Francis Chan's excellent Forgotten God, another book about the Holy Spirit. Part two is "Experiencing the Holy Spirit." Here, Greear demonstrates the different ways in which the Spirit manifests, not only through the Gospel and through his word, but through our giftings, in the church, in our circumstances, and in our Spirits. Too often, we tend to limit the movement of the Spirit. Part three is "Seeking the Holy Spirit," which deals with prayer, revival, and the Spirit's ongoing movement.
I really appreciated this book. I share Greear's concern that too many Christians have a anemic view of the Spirit. May He use this book to stir people to be sensitive to the movement of the Spirit.
I was provided a complementary copy of this book from Zondervan through the Book Look Bloggers Program. I was not required to write a positive review of this book.