Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Review: God's Pursuit of Man

God's Pursuit of Man. A.W. Tozer. 1950/2007. Wingspread. 140 pages.

The unconditioned priority of God in His universe is a truth celebrated both in the Old Testament and in the New. 

This is the first A.W. Tozer book that I've hesitated to say I love. I think my expectations were a bit off which influenced my reading of it.  I expected this to be a book either about election or predestination OR a book about God's sovereignty, a book highlighting how God chooses, calls, draws, elects, predestines, whatever you want to call it. But that really wasn't what this book was about, not really. Some of you may be relieved to learn that! What is this one about? Well, I think this book is truly about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Which does relate to regeneration, being born again, being justified, being sanctified, being saved, whatever you want to call the all-encompassing act that brings us into a forever-relationship with God. But even this description doesn't truly describe what this one is about. Yes, it's about the Holy Spirit. Yes, it's about how the Spirit is necessary for the Christian life. Yes, it's about how the Holy Spirit is God, has the nature/substance of God. Yes, it's about how Christians can be intimidated, scared, or neglectful of the Holy Spirit. Yes, it's about how the church is weakened because people calling themselves believers lack the power of the Spirit. Yes, it's about the necessity of being filled with the Spirit, of dwelling in the Spirit, of how the Spirit of God dwells and abides in believers securing and empowering them. But this book doesn't flow as well as some of Tozer's other books. It reads more like a collection of essays or sermons about the Holy Spirit. Which is not a bad thing at all. There are some GREAT, GREAT gems to be found in Tozer's book.

Favorite quotes:

We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as always being there, and there first. (3)

The man who would know God must give time to Him. He must count no time wasted which is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance. (5)

We who experience God in this day may rejoice that we have in Him all that Abraham or David or Paul could have; indeed the very angels before the throne can have no more than we, for they can have no more God and can want nothing apart from Him. And all that He is and all that He has done is for us and for all who share the common salvation. With full consciousness of our own demerit we may yet take our place in the love of God, and the poorest and weakest of us may without offense claim for ourselves all the riches of the Godhead in mercy given. I have every right to claim all for myself, knowing that an infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others. (13)

The true Christian ideal is not to be happy but to be holy. The holy heart alone can be the habitation of the Holy Ghost. (103)

The difficulty we modern Christians face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but persuading our untamed hearts to accept its plain instructions. Our problem is to get the consent of our world-loving minds to make Jesus Lord in fact as well as in word. (120)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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