November 14, 2011

A Passion for God...The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer

A.W. Tozer is one of my favorite authors. His book "The Pursuit of God" was the most beautiful book I've ever read. There is no denying his intimate relationship with the Savior. This book, "A Passion for God" however took me aback because it revealed things about Tozer that weren't perfect, that made him human. Sometimes its hard to realize pastors are human and have struggles and imperfections. It made me realize how I had put Tozer and other great men of God on a pedestal, where only God should be.

This book reveals Tozers struggle in his personal relationships with his wife and children, some who said they never really knew their dad. His wife Ada and he had 7 children, who all went on to serve the Lord, but felt a loneliness in not connecting with their dad. Ada after Tozers death remarried Leonard Odam and said, "I have never been happier in my life. Aiden (Tozer) loved Jesus Christ, but Leonard Odam loves me."

Tozer's love for Jesus was genuine and strong. It shines through his writings and makes you want to know and love Jesus more too. So reading about how sad and lonely his wife was throughout their marriage, was hard to read. Again I had to remember Tozer was a man of God, not God Himself. This is a man who spend hours a day in prayer, who spoke the Truth and wanted more than anything for others to know and experience the love of Christ on a deeper level.

Billy Graham, who was a student at Wheaton college in the early 1940's, says of Tozer..."I remember sitting under his ministry so many times in the Tabernacle in Chicago. I always came away blessed in soul. I believe him to be a man of God." Many students would come to hear Tozer preach who felt..."Tozer truly knew Jesus Christ rather than just knew the Bible recorded about Him."  After reading his book "The Pursuit of God" I feel the same way.

Students flocked to Tozer's meetings like the earlier generation had flocked to D.L Moody's. Like Moody..."people were told that knowing about Jesus Christ, understanding correct doctrine, and being a good student of the Bible are only part of our calling. The Lord wants His people to 'know Him' not just 'know about Him.' He taught that.. "eternal life is to know the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent."
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" John 17:3

Dr. Samuel M. Zwemer, who wrote the introduction to the first edition of "The Pursuit of God"says of the book: "a masterly study of the inner life by a heart thirsting after God, eager to grasp at least the outskirts of His ways, the abyss of His love for sinners, and the height of His unapproachable majesty...It is theology not of the head but of the heart." Tozer saw the book as a way to reach persons who have "a growing hunger after God himself."

In his book "The Pursuit of God" Tozer says of being born again (John 3:5-7) and the deeper life in Christ: 

"Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him. In our sins we lack only the power. The moment the spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God. It is however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the the glorious pursuit, the heart's happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end."

 "Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You  must be born again.'" John 3:5-7

Another thing I admire Tozer for, is as this book says..."Tozer took Jesus Christ seriously when He said, 'whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5)

Tozers ministry then and now, led people to Jesus Christ. His ministry was fruitful because the Holy Spirit worked through him. It wasn't because he was a perfect man, but because he had a perfect Savior.


  1. I appreciate your thoughts and insights on this book, Cathy. Great review!

  2. Following you - from my blog (Loves 2 Read)

  3. Tozer is one of my favorites as well! Thanks for coming by the blog today! Mind Over Madi was a great read! :) Have a great weekend!


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