Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Review: Reclaiming Christianity

Reclaiming Christianity: A Call to Authentic Faith. A.W. Tozer. 2009. Regal. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

I really do love reading A.W. Tozer. Though he preached these sermons decades ago--he died in 1962, I believe--his messages are always extremely relevant and very passionate. Tozer had an incredible amount of zeal, he was a man "with a burning heart" whose love of God and love of the Word is evident with every sermon, every book. In Reclaiming Christianity, his focus is on the church, the "modern" "evangelical" church, if you will. His message is for the church and for the individual. He challenges. He invites. He scolds and warns too. Tozer was not a sin-tolerant man. He could be very opinionated! I don't always agree 100% with every thing he says. But oh, how I love to spend time with him!

I would definitely recommend this one. It may not be the Tozer I recommend as your very first Tozer. (That would probably be Knowledge of the Holy). But it's a good book.

Favorite quotes:
Nothing God can do for you now can fix you like concrete so that you will always be good. You have to walk with God on a daily and continuous basis. That is what the epistles address.
What is reconciliation? Reconciliation occurs when two enemies come together in love. God, who is the enemy of sin, and man, who is the enemy of God, were reconciled together in Jesus Christ. And when Jesus, who is God and man, died on the cross for man, He brought the two together through the mystery of reconciliation. Note that God did not say, “You will be reconciled if you feel reconciled. He said, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”; he has been reconciled. And if you experience reconciliation, you will want to go out and tell someone else about it. That is evangelism at the grass roots.
A Christian is one who believes the truth that there is only one door and that door is the Son of God Himself.
God’s Word is both our terror and our hope. God’s Word both kills and makes alive. If we engage it in faith, humility and obedience, it gives life and it cleanses, feeds and defends. If we will close it in unbelief, ignore it or resist it, it will accuse us before the God who gave it, for it is the living Word of God. We dare not resist it nor argue it down. Some people believe part of the Word but do not believe the other part. They say, “If it inspires me, it is inspired; and if it does not inspire me, it is simply old history and tradition.” I believe this is God’s unique thing—the uttered Word of the living God—and when we get into the meaning of it and know what God is uttering forth, it has power to kill those who resist and it has power to make alive those who believe. “The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations…. Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isa. 52:10; 53:1). Unbelief will paralyze the arm of the man who is filled with unbelief. While that same arm, long from being paralyzed, is working for the salvation of men.
If I go to a sinner and say, “I am exactly the same as you, the only difference is that I have a Savior,” but I do all the same things he does—I tell the same dirty jokes he tells and I waste my time the same way he does and I do everything he does—and then I say, “I have a Savior, you ought to have a Savior,” doesn’t he have the right to ask me what kind of Savior I have? What profit is there for a man to say, “I have a physician” if he is dying on a cot? What does it profit a man to say, “I have a Savior” if he is living in iniquity?
To the average church, God is desirable and may even be useful, but He is not necessary. Most churches can get on without God; they just give God His place in a nice way, as a guest.
A real Christian uses his whole Bible. This will make some of you mad, but if you are living on your morning daily devotions taken out of a book somebody compiled, I warn you that is pabulum. Read the entire Bible. Read it all. I do not say these other things are harmful, I just say that if you have that and nothing else, then you are not matured in your Christian life. Read all the Bible, read the “begats” and “begottens”; read it all. A real Christian ought to be able to take a rounded diet. A spiritual Christian is a person who has grown up in God and is mature and growing in the Spirit. So let us ask God to make us mature Christians and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today is the day of excusing sin instead of purging sin. An entire school of thought has developed around justifying sin within the Church and trying to prove that it is perfectly normal, and therefore, acceptable. Books are written to justify raising a little bit of hell while still being a good Christian. It is a terrible state of affairs, and we need to bring these fiery words back again.
I am quite astonished how we sing one way and believe another. I think we ought to go over our hymns, and the ones we have determined not to believe we should throw out and save ink and trouble. But if they are true, we ought to hold them to be true and if they are not we ought to say so. God loves candid people, and He has very little to do with conventional things merely for convention’s sake. So if it is not so that there is joy that the Cross is a beautiful thing to carry and that joy cometh in the morning after a night of weeping; if it is not true, then we ought to quit quoting it. If it is true, we ought to start believing it.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Joyful Reader said...

Got to get this one! I have read one or two others by him and enjoyed them as well.