While I review many contemporary books on Christian growth, I decided to read some older ones this year. This book by Tozer came out in 1966. The essays are from various talks and writings. He pulled no punches in expressing his opinion on the state of Christianity.
He drew attention to an inadequate view of sin. He noted that the Bible might be hard to understand but that was because it was not meant for everyone. He called complacency the scandal of Christianity. He asked that we quit negotiating with evil. He called us to love God with our entire being, noting there was no place for a secondary love. He warned of self-deception. He called us to always be contrite. He shared how he evaluated new teaching.
Perhaps his most disturbing essay for me was on prayer. He was not happy with the teaching that God answered every prayer, even if sometimes with a no. God is under no obligation to honor carnal prayers, he wrote. When we pray, we must keep in mind two requirements: praying in the will of God and living a life pleasing to God.
Tozer would certainly give some Christians today a wake up call. “The effort to think well with an empty head is sure to be largely wasted. There is nothing like a good hard fact to correct our carefully constructed theories.” (Loc 1823/2218) He bemoaned the Christians of his day who did not apply themselves to learning. “To think without a proper amount of good reading is to limit our thinking to our own tiny plot of ground. The crop cannot be large.” (Loc 1832/2218)
Reading this book revealed how books on Christian living have changed over the last half decade. Tozer was not afraid to offend his readers if it meant preserving the purity of the gospel and the importance of holy living. Read it and be prodded to think again about your spiritual life and your relationship to the world.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
A W Tozer (1897-1963) was a pastor, author, and magazine editor. Saved by hearing a street preacher, he was self taught, receiving honorary doctorates. You can find out more at https://awtozer.com/.
Wingspread, 106 pages.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)