Reading A.W. Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy”

I’ve been re-reading A.W. Tozer’s book The Knowledge of the Holy. It consists of 23 short chapters, each on one attribute of God. Though Tozer’s writing is theologically rich, it is also accessible and devotional in tone. Each chapter opens with a prayer that reflects the theme of the chapter and concludes with words from a classic hymn that does likewise. I find it helpful to read a chapter before going to bed.

He begins the book with words that are quite well known and often quoted: “What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A few sentences later he points out that “any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.”

Tozer also applies this thinking to the church. He says that “the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech.”

Tozer always had a way of loving the church and challenging the church at the same time.

But I think he is absolutely right. We can get much wrong in our thinking as Christians. But no where is this more problematic or even dangerous than in our thinking about the nature and character of God.

That’s why Tozer’s book is very helpful. He reminds us of the nature of the God in whom we believe, and who we worship, love, and serve.

So if you are looking for a book that helpfully unpacks the biblical view of God–and does so with a pastor’s heart to speak to everyday people, then I would recommend Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy.

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