Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Review: Tozer Pulpit, volume 1

The Tozer Pulpit*. Volume 1. A.W. Tozer. 140 pages.

This book is very different from the previous Tozer I've read. This first volume in the Tozer Pulpit series features FIFTY short entries. Each "chapter" is at most two or three pages long. The chapters do not necessarily rely on one another either--they can be read in any order. You can use this book as a topical devotional book. The good news is that it covers a wide range of subjects. The bad news? Well, the entries are so very, very short. And while each entry or each chapter is good, the book as a whole lacks the greatness of some of Tozer's other works. This book could never compare to The Knowledge of the Holy, for example. The book is worth reading particularly if you're seeking to read everything Tozer wrote, but, it's not a must-must read, in my opinion.

Here are the fifty teachings:

  1. The New Birth: A Major Miracle of God’s Grace —
  2. The Psychologist Can Never Explain the New Birth —
  3. We Ride a Sick, Fallen Planet-But God Still Calls —
  4. Extract Sin From Man, and There’s God’s Image Again —
  5. A Coming Day When God Will No Longer Love Lost Men —
  6. Rejection of God’s Light Brings the Worst Darkness —
  7. No One Rejects Christ on Philosophical Grounds —
  8. Something Wrong With a "Secret" or "Silent" Christian —
  9. It Doesn’t Take Science to Prove God and His Word —
  10. Science and Philosophy More Bigoted Than Religion —
  11. We Have Surrendered the Human Spirit to This Present World —
  12. Modern Fools Lock Up Their Hearts With Their Wealth —
  13. Your $10 Bills Won’t Come Back to You in Heaven —
  14. Nothing Can Destroy Christianity If We Live Like Christians —
  15. You Can’t Elect to Worship God on Just One Day of the Week —
  16. Where God Is Not Worshipped There Can Only Be Discord —
  17. Reverence and Boasting Cannot Be Found on the Same Platform —
  18. The Great Danger of Pride and Arrogance Among Christians —
  19. A Defeated Spirit Easily Gives in to Discouragement —
  20. God Looks for Men Through Whom He Can Do the Impossible —
  21. There Is More to the Ministry Than Being Able to Talk —
  22. The Minister Ought to Speak As a Prophet for God —
  23. Social Compassion for Mankind Does Not Make a Preacher —
  24. Christ Did All the Dying So We Romp on Our Way to Heaven —
  25. Absolute Freedom Found Only in Doing the Will of God —
  26. With God, the Kingly Idea Is Not a Bad Thing —
  27. The Bible Does Not Teach Universalism and Second Chance —
  28. Man Will Have to Account to God for His Moral Choices —
  29. The World Has an Inadequate Concept of Judgment —
  30. Jesus Christ As Judge: A Neglected Bible Doctrine —
  31. Christ Qualifies Both As Saviour and Judge of Mankind —
  32. It Is Man’s Conscience That Puts Hell in Judgment —
  33. Don’t Let the Devil Make a Joke of Conscience —
  34. Do You Give Heed to the I=er Voice of God? —
  35. The Practicing Sinner Must Be a Practical Atheist —
  36. The Crooked Foundations Will Betray Man’s Civilization —
  37. Faith in God Is More Than Sensitivity to Religion —
  38. Christians Belong to God and Each Other in a Unique Way —
  39. Jesus, the Lamb of God, Tested on Earth for Thirty-three Years —
  40. Judgment Awaits Those Who Despise the Blood of Christ —
  41. How to Keep From Having a Nervous Breakdown —
  42. Sad, But True, That Christians Can Be Careless and Carnal —
  43. People Don’t Go to Hell Because They Are Rich or Poor —
  44. Do You Need the Sensational to Keep You "Satisfied"? —
  45. There’s a Gloomy, Low Key in Too Many Churches —
  46. Solve the Problem of Sin and You Solve the Race Problem —
  47. Not a Newspaper in the World Gives Me a Word to Die By —
  48. Christians Are So Well-Fixed, Heaven No Longer Beckons —
  49. Is Your Hope of Heaven a Valid and Eternal Hope? —
  50. Only the Christian Believer Actually Dares to Die! — 

Some of the messages do seem geared to pastors, preachers, teachers, and those in leadership positions within the church, but not all of them. Many are practical, only a few are dated. Meaning that some of the messages are in response to the Cold War, threat of Communism, threat of atomic war, etc. But many of the messages are in fact timeless. Readers may not equally benefit from each of the fifty messages or chapters--chapters that read like devotional entries. But I think there is enough of worth in this one to merit it being read.

Favorite quotes:

A discouraged heart will always go astray, so don't think about yourself the way you feel about yourself. Instead, go to God and Christ. God loves you, and Christ loves you enough to have died for you. He thought you were worth something. (53)
Error cannot stand before God. Heresy cannot possibly stand up under all the light of the Bible. It is a night-blooming plant, and blooms in the shadows of human thought, but as soon as we turn the whole Bible loose on it, it withers and dies. (75)
What is your concept of Jesus Christ, my brother? If the "ten-cent-store Jesus" that is being preached by a lot of men, the plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice and is pictured as a soft and pliable friend to everybody--if He is the only Christ there is, then we might as well close our books and bar our doors, and make a bakery or garage out of this church. But that Christ that is being preached and pictured is not the Christ of God, nor the Christ of the Bible, nor the Christ we must deal with. The Christ we must deal with has eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished brass, and out of His mouth comes a sharp, two-edged sword. He will be the judge of mankind. And, thank God, you can leave your loved ones who have died in His hands, knowing that He Himself suffered, knowing that He knows all, that no mistakes can be made, that there can be no miscarriage of justice, because He knows all that can be known! (83)
The God that men believe in now, the God to whom they are "sensitive," is a kind of divine Pan with a pipe who plays lovely music while they dance, but he's not a God that makes any moral demands on them. I still say that any revival that will come to a nation and leave people as much in love with money as they were before is a falsehood and it's from the devil. And any revival that can come to a nation and leave men as worldly as they were before, and as engrossed in human pleasures, is a snare and a delusion. Faith in God--not in any god, not in religion--but faith in the sovereign God who made heaven and earth, who judges among the gods, and whose throne is justice and judgment, and who will require men's deeds--that's the God we must believe in, my friends. And when we believe in that kind of God, we will change our way of living, and we'll change for the better. We will repent, and we will reform and turn to God, and we will cease to do evil and begin to do good, and turn from the world. We will seek to crucify our flesh and put on the new man which is renewed in holiness. (101)

*I recently purchased Tozer Speaks, a two volume Tozer set featuring four books per volume. The first volume of Tozer Speaks has The Tozer Pulpit, The Tozer Pulpit, vol. 2 (aka When He is Come OR The Counselor), Tozer Pulpit, vol. 3 (aka Faith Beyond Reason) and Tozer Pulpit, vol. 4 (aka I Talk Back to the Devil). I did NOT want to wait to review this one massive volume as one book, so I'll be reviewing each of the four books separately. I thought I'd use the original titles from their original publication instead of Tozer Speaks, Volume 1, Book 1; Tozer Speaks Volume 1, Book 2; etc. All page numbers will be from this edition however. Which should not be a problem since this is the first book.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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