Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review: Knowledge of the Holy

Knowledge of the Holy. A.W. Tozer. 1961/1978. HarperCollins. 128 pages. [Source: Book I Bought]

I believe this is the third time I've read and reviewed A.W. Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy. I reviewed it also in 2012 and 2014. I would say I gushed about how wonderful the book was in both reviews. This is just the kind of book where it's almost impossible not to gush. Because Tozer accomplishes something quite well: he manages to speak of the deep and heavy things of God--who He is, His nature, His attributes, etc--and to do so in a way that is devotional and thought-provoking. I tend to associate "devotional" with light, fluffy, surface-satisfaction. Tell me something in a few quick words that make me feel good about myself. But that is not a fair assessment in all cases I've come to learn. Knowledge of the Holy is devotional in that it tunes you into God. He's so passionate, so zealous, so concerned with God's Glory that it's just contagious. Reading Tozer makes you excited to think--really think--about God. And often that means reflecting and engaging. Tozer is readable--never dry or boring--but he's challenging as well. 

It will be tough to find quotes to share without repeating from earlier reviews. But I'll do my best to find a handful
We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past.
What is God like? What kind of God is He? How may we expect Him to act toward us and toward all created things? Such questions are not merely academic. They touch the far-in reaches of the human spirit, and their answers affect life and character and destiny.
It is not a cheerful thought that millions of us who live in a land of Bibles, who belong to churches and labor to promote the Christian religion, may yet pass our whole life on this earth without once having thought or tried to think seriously about the being of God.
To believe in Him adds nothing to His perfections; to doubt Him takes nothing away. Twentieth century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God. But the truth is that God is not greater for our being, nor would He be less if we did not exist. That we do exist is altogether of God's free determination, not by our desert nor by divine necessity.
God's eternity and man's mortality join to persuade us that faith in Jesus Christ is not optional.
Today, this moment, He feels toward His creatures, toward babies, toward the sick, the fallen, the sinful, exactly as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind.
Mercy never began to be, but from eternity was; so it will never cease to be. It will never be more since it is itself infinite; and it will never be less because the infinite cannot suffer diminution. Nothing that has occurred or will occur in heaven or earth or hell can change the tender mercies of our God. Forever His mercy stands, a boundless, overwhelming immensity of divine pity and compassion.
Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and to make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God's kindness to us in Christ Jesus. We benefit eternally by God's being just what He is. Because He is what He is, He lifts up our heads out of the prison house, changes our prison garments for royal robes, and makes us to eat bread continually before Him all the days of our lives.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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