Tag Archives: A. W. Tozer

The Knowledge of the Holy: part 2

IMG_0057In the second chapter of his book, Tozer poses the question, “What is God like?”

“When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean in the exact image.  To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all.”

Tozer goes on to say:

“Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms.  We want to get Him where we can use Him, or at least know where He is when we need him.  We want a God we can in some measure control.  We need a feeling of security that comes from knowing what God is like…”

Tozer adds that the answer to the question, what God is like, can be answered in the person of His son, Jesus Christ.

“In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love.  Faith is an organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience.  God came to us in the incarnation; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him.”

We can only begin to understand what God is like if we study what Tozer regards as God’s attributes, which he addresses in the rest of the book.  A divine attribute he says, “is something true about God.”

“A man is the sum of his parts and his character the sum of the traits that compose it.  These traits very from man to man…The doctrine of the divine unity means not only that there is but one God, it means also that God is simple, uncomplex, one with Himself.  The harmony of His being is the result not of a perfect balance of parts but the absence of parts.  Between His attributes no contradiction can exist.”

When we look at God’s attribute of love, using the above above quotation, it is not something He has, love is who he is.  Tozer goes on to discuss many other attributes such as the Trinity, His self existence, eternity, infinitude, omniscience, sovereignty and many more.

It is a great book, which I highly recommend reading.  For those of us with a casual view of God it will shake up our perception of Him.  As you progress through the book, you will be acquainted with the depths of God’s love and the height of His holiness.

Check out this song by Addison Road, “What do I know of holy”.  It certainly captures a desire to know what is God like.

 

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The Knowledge of the Holy: part 1

IMG_0057I 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…