Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: The Attributes of God

The Attributes of God. A.W. Tozer. 1996. Christian Publications. 176 pages. [Book I Bought]

From chapter one:
Are you contented with nominal Christianity? If you are, I've nothing for you. Are you contented with popular Christianity that runs on the authority and popularity of big shots? If you are, I've nothing for you. Are you content with elementary Christianity? If you are, all I've got for you is to exhort you earnestly to press on toward perfection. But if you're not satisfied with nominal Christianity, popular Christianity, and the first beginnings of things and you want to know the Triune God for yourself, read on. (16)
A.W. Tozer's The Attributes of God has been on my shelf for years. It is probably one of the first Tozer books I ever bought. However, it has remained unread for years. Even after discovering Knowledge of the Holy, a book that I loved, loved, loved. The first few attempts, for better or worse, I found a bit intimidating. The timing just wasn't right. But it was right this time. It was JUST RIGHT. The Attributes of God turned out to be an amazing--absolutely amazing--read for me.

Tozer's Attributes of God is published as two volumes. I have only read the first one. So far. In this first volume, Tozer explores:

  • God's Infinitude
  • God's Immensity
  • God's Goodness
  • God's Justice
  • God's Mercy
  • God's Grace
  • God's Omnipresence
  • God's Immanence
  • God's Holiness
  • God's Perfection

Each chapter begins with Scripture. Each chapter closes with prayer. These are contemplative, devotional readings. Tozer never lets readers forget that it is KNOWING GOD and not KNOWING ABOUT God that truly matters. His enthusiasm is contagious. His approach is passionate and demanding. He invites readers into theology. He encourages them to take God seriously, to take God at his word, to earnestly and passionately seek GOD for themselves. Some of what he says could be considered harsh, but, it could also be taken as truth--pure truth revealing the ugliness of our sin condition and just how far we've fallen. Tozer takes sin just as seriously as he takes God. I'd argue that Tozer took sin so very seriously precisely because he took God at his word, because he treasured God's word in his heart, because he believed that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, because he trusted that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Tozer calls believers to a deeper life, a holier life, a called apart life.

I absolutely loved this one!!!! I had four favorite chapters. I loved the chapters on God's Goodness, on God's Justice, on God's Mercy, and on God's Grace. While all the chapters are excellent, some of them are more WOW than others.

I would definitely recommend this one!!!

Favorite quotes:
The Bible is a whole series of highways, all leading toward God. And when the text has been illuminated and the believer of the text knows that God is the end toward which he is moving, then that man has real faith. (20)
What God made, God loves, because it's inconceivable that God should make anything that He didn't love. (26)
Christianity at any given time is strong or weak depending upon her concept of God. And I insist upon this and I have said it many times, that the basic trouble with the Church today is her unworthy conception of God. (41)
Nobody has ever been saved, from the day that Abel offered his bloody lamb on a homemade altar, down to the latest convert made today,  except out of the goodness of God. Because of God's grace, His mercy, His lovingkindness, His goodness and graciousness, His cordiality and approachability, He kindly saved people. (47)
He takes no pleasure in human tears. He came and wept that He might stop forever the fountain of human tears. He came and bereaved His mother that He might heal all bereavement. He came and lost everything that He might heal the wounds that we have from losing things. And He wants us to take pleasure in Him. Let us put away our doubts and trust Him. (55)
When Jesus died on the cross the mercy of God did not become any greater. It could not become any greater, for it was already infinite. We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No--Jesus died because God is showing mercy. It was the mercy of God that gave us Calvary, not Calvary that gave us mercy. If God had not been merciful there would have been no incarnation, no babe in the manger, no man on a cross and no open tomb. (82)
The goodness of God is confronting human suffering and guilt, and that is mercy. (85)
Mercy cannot cancel judgment apart from atonement. When justice sees iniquity, there must be judgment. But mercy brought Christ to the cross. (86)
The man who has an adequate conception of God will not only believe in the love of God, but also in the holiness of God. He will not only believe in the mercy of God, but also in the justice of God. And when you see the everlasting God in His holy, perfect union, when you see the One God acting in judgment, you know that the man who chooses evil must never dwell in the presence of this holy God. (107)
The teachings of the Holy Scriptures have their origin in the nature of God. They are what they are because God is what He is. These teachings rest upon the character of God and are guaranteed by the changeless attributes of the Lord God Almighty, the Ancient of Days. (118)
It is the manifest, conscious presence of God that makes heaven heaven. (128)
We need to repent of unlikeness; of unholiness in the presence of the holy; of self-indulgence in the presence of the selfless Christ; of harshness in the presence of the kind Christ; of hardness in the presence of the forgiving Christ; of lukewarmness in the presence of the zealous Christ, burning like a fiery flame; of worldliness and earthliness in the presence of the heavenly Christ. (154)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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