Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: The Root of the Righteous

The Root of the Righteous: Tapping The Bedrock of True Spirituality. A.W. Tozer. 1955/2015. Moody Publishers. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: One marked difference between the faith of our fathers as conceived by the fathers and the same faith as understood and lived by their children is that the fathers were concerned with the root of the matter, while their present day descendants seem concerned only with the fruit.

The Root of the Righteous remains one of my favorite books by A.W. Tozer. (I've reviewed 22 Tozer books to give you some perspective.) Why do I keep reading Tozer? Why would I recommend him to others? Because I find that even though these sermons were preached decades ago, his messages remain relevant. He has a fiery way of speaking--or writing. He's zealous for the Lord and for the things of the Lord. He's not timid in issuing challenges to believers. His love for God is evident in every book of his that I've ever read. And that love for God is matched for his love of the truth as revealed in the Word of God. There is nothing casual about how Tozer treats the Bible or the God that Bible reveals. His books urge readers--believers--to take God seriously, to pick up the Word of God for themselves, to trust and obey. Tozer reminds his readers that how they live matters, and they need to be growing in knowledge and holiness. I would describe Tozer as a devotional theologian. That is, his writings may read like a devotional, but, they have great depth and substance.

What does a Christian life look like? How should we live as Christians in this world? How should we spend our time? What should matter to us? The Root of the Righteous addresses how believers should live their lives. Many, many subjects are covered within these 46 chapters.

Tozer challenges believers in their complacency, in their laziness. Seek God, seek more of Him always, grow in your faith, don't be satisfied to remain where you are, never settle! Take God seriously! Live your creed--as if you actually believe what you say you do.

Favorite quotes:
The Christian is strong or weak depending upon how closely he has cultivated the knowledge of God.
Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.
We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that He understands everything and loves us still.  
To many Christians Christ is little more than an idea, or at best an ideal; He is not a fact. Millions of professed believers talk as if He were real and act as if He were not. And always our actual position is to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk. We can prove our faith by our committal to it and in no other way. Any belief that does not command the one who holds it is not a real belief.
In every Christian's heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying.
The chapter titles:

  • The Root of the Righteous
  • We Must Give Time to God
  • God is Easy to Live With
  • Listen to the Man Who Listens to God
  • We Must Hear Worthily
  • That Utilitarian Christ
  • On Receiving Admonition
  • The Great God Entertainment
  • Bible Taught or Spirit Taught?
  • The Terror of the Lord
  • No Regeneration without Reformation
  • Faith is a Perturbing Thing
  • True Faith Brings Committal
  • The Great Disparity
  • Our Enemy Contentment
  • Christ is the Pattern
  • The Cross is a Radical Thing
  • We Must Die If We Would Live
  • Christ Died For Our Hearts
  • We Stand in Christ's Triumph
  • To Be or To Do
  • Make Room for Mystery
  • The Whole Life Must Pray
  • No Saviorhood without Lordship
  • "A Sweet Lute, Sweetly Played"
  • The All-Importance of Motive
  • The Presence More Important Than the Program
  • The World's Most Tragic Waste
  • The Hunger of the Wilderness
  • Our Fruit Will Be What We Are
  • Needed: A Baptism of Clear Seeing
  • Narrow Mansions
  • The Sanctification of Our Desires
  • In Praise of Disbelief
  • Thankfulness As A Moral Therapeutic
  • Understanding Those Dry Spells
  • About Hindrances
  • The Uses of Suffering
  • Praise God for the Furnace
  • Victory in the Guise of Defeat
  • Love of the Unseen is Possible
  • Something Beyond Song
  • Three Degrees of Love
  • We Need Cool Heads
  • We Can Afford to Wait
  • God, the First and the Last

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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