Book of the Month/May 2024

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I recall reading a bunch of A.W. Tozer during my time in the Navy, but I can’t dredge up the titles because that was before I started keeping a reading log, and it was a long time ago. But he did have a big impact on me, a fact I remember quite well.

I do have a record of reading the book I am recommending now—back in 1980, it was. I thought it was excellent then, and as I am reading it again now, I would have to say the same thing and then some. The book is The Knowledge of the Holy, a study of the attributes of God.

Tozer was in a class by himself, but if we were forced to classify him, he would be some kind of fundamentalist, or an old school evangelical. And if you had that fixed in your mind, and came to this book with all your caricatures in place and screwed down, you would be in for a series of abrupt surprises.

His treatment of the doctrine of God is thoroughly orthodox, and it is an orthodoxy that is informed by devout voices down through church history. When was the last time you read a fundamentalist quoting Nicolas of Cusa, and doing so aptly? This is a work of intellectual and theological devotion—if you want to quicken the pulse of your brain’s piety, this would be a good place to start.

He does a very good job of distinguishing things that cannot be separated, and he honors and affirms the simplicity of God—He is not the sum total of His attributes. At the same time, Tozer distinguishes aspects of God’s character in the way that Scripture distinguishes them. This is an intelligent, bracing, and edifying book. I wish I had not waited 44 years to read it again.