Friday, June 22, 2018

Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume, by A W Tozer

Tozer was concerned that the church no longer had right thinking toward God. Modern Christians had lost a sense of the majesty of God. He wrote The Knowledge of the Holy to help Christians know the character of God and His attributes. My favorite section was on the eternity of God. “[God] has no past and no future.” (73) “For Him everything that will happen has already happened.” (74) His explanation of the immutability of God was very understandable too. He also has a good chapter on living in light of God's attributes. (Originally published in 1961.)

Tozer saw a lack in the pulpits of his day. People were hungry for God Himself and preachers were not helping people in The Pursuit of God. Tozer identifies the paradox, seeking hard after God even after being found by Him. He encourages fervently seeking God. “Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.” (225) He reminds us that this is a spiritual pursuit, not an intellectual one. God is ready to manifest Himself to us and we must have an inward habit of beholding His presence. This book is as applicable today as it was when published in 1948.

The third book in the collection, God's Pursuit of Man, is the one that impressed me the most. Tozer argues that true spirituality is essentially internal. Most Christians have settled for intellectual and emotional changes rather than a genuine encounter with God. He refers to 1 Thess. 1:5 and says some accept the word only but never experience the power. There is no internal change. He likens it to trimming a hedge but the hedge remains one of thorn bushes. (362) This section of the book helped me a great deal to understand the current state of Christianity in America. People have an intellectual and emotional change but do not experience that radical change becoming new creatures.

I highly recommend this collection of Tozer's books. Modern readers might be put off by the KJV language but the truths contained make it worth working through the text. It was enlightening to read these books from a generation ago. Tozer's encouragement to pursue an internal spiritual transformation make today's Christian books look anemic and powerless. Tozer's books clearly point out the “present state of spiritual weakness.” (376) Reading this collection will certainly encourage readers to a more intimate experience with God and a more powerful Christian life and witness. It would be a great book for pastors and church leaders to read too.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) began his lifelong pursuit of God after hearing a street preacher in Akron, Ohio, at the age of seventeen. The self-taught theologian committed his life to the ministry of God's Word as a pastor, teacher, and writer. He was a pastor in association with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, serving churches in West Virginia, Chicago, and Toronto, Canada.

Moody Publishers, 480 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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