Book Review: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

Tozer’s book is incredibly technical and mysterious at the same time. He pushes you, hard, and asks very pointed questions about your belief in who God is. Often theology proper (the study of God Himself) is glossed over and assumed. Tozer implies throughout the book that maybe it should be first among the theologies.

God Speaks
The big thing that stands out is how God actively wants to communicate today, just as much as in times past. The very fact that God gave us the Bible speaks volumes on how God wants to actively pursue and interact with people. God is not a set it and forget it person. God speaks actively today as He did in times past. This includes authorial intent, what God spoke and meant then is what He is saying to us today.

“The Bible will never be a living book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in his universe…I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking.” (p. 71-72, Italics author’s emphasis)

More than Saved
We forget God the father. The book brings out something we too easily forget, lose, or never attained. God gave salvation as a means to pursue Him, not as a ‘get out of jail free card.’ The danger of viewing the Bible or Christianity as a psychological self-help community, or merely as a redemptive story is that both neglect the key to the Bible, to faith, to life, and that is a personal God. Jesus will and purpose was the will of the Father. We must get back to that.

Format
Tozer is hard to read. He writes in a way that we do not speak or think like today. This makes getting through the book a little difficult. It’s like reading someone’s journal. He is very humble and very pointed, but it is a chore to get through the book. I say this to be aware of it, not as a criticism. I wish I read this book long ago.

Tozer ends each chapter with what is a lost art in churches today- written prayers. His prayer for himself and those who read the book create a significant impact. One can develop a solid prayer life from the end of each chapter. We often view prayer as only genuine and heartfelt if it is spontaneous. A book of prayers may be helpful and a great resource for today. Each generation must speak to God. Being formal is just as genuine and heartfelt as being spontaneous.

Bottom line:
The Pursuit of God is on my “Must Read List.” It brings into balance that Christianity and the Bile is about God wanting and being known, and everything else is subservient to that foundational principle.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

  1. I’ll have to pick up this one. The way you describe his writing style sounds a lot like G.K. Chesterton. I’ve been working on Orthodoxy for over two years now. Chesterton is brilliant and incredibly witty, but the book is so dense (and the writing antiquated) I have to reread every paragraph a few times and have to set it down for a few months after every chapter.

    I enjoyed your comments on prayer. I agree, forms/set prayers can be just as effective as spontaneous, casual prayers. Sometimes more so. Just as long as they don’t become rote recitals with no meaning. I have a copy of The Book of Common Prayer that I enjoy occasionally praying from.

  2. I’ll be posting a review of Crazy Love by Francis Chan soon. His book followed by Tozer’s leaves quite an impact. Chan is more of the how to side of the scale where Tozer is on the what & why side.

    I need to get the book of common prayer. I read from it while in college & seminary. I should get it on my shelf.

  3. This book is one of my favorite reads of all time. The chapter on faith quite possibly changed my life. This is definitely a must read on every serious Christian’s book list.

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