I look forward to summer for a variety of reasons. A favorite reason, I get a chance to catch up on my reading. This summer a neighbor lent me the book, “The Knowledge of the Holy,” by A. W. Tozer. Its an older book whose content is timeless.
One of the first things I noticed about the writing of A. W. Tozer is how large his vocabulary is. That being said he says he writes for the common man. The material is very rich in both ideas and content. I found myself rereading each chapter to absorb the full meaning of what is being said. That shouldn’t discourage anyone from reading this book.
The main idea Tozer is trying to convey is Christians have lost their perspective on the holiness of God.
In the opening chapter he defines idolatry:
“Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any is more hateful to God than idolatry…Idolatry substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness.”
Just in case we rush to rationalize away idolatry as described in the Bible, believing it doesn’t apply to twentieth century Christians, he writes:
“Let us beware lest we in our pride accept the erroneous notion that idolatry consists only in kneeling before visible objects of adoration, and that civilized peoples are therefore free from it.”
Tozer summarizes idolatry this way. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. Idols, then, can be fashioned not only with our hands but in our hearts as well.
The first step down the slippery slope of idolatry occurs when we surrender our high opinion of God. When we believe God can tolerant sin, that the holy scriptures lack relevance in today’s culture, we rob God of his holiness.
To be continued…