Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Knowledge of the Holy

I bought this the same time I got The Pursuit of God back in 2008, so it had been sitting on my shelf for ages. That is not because I didn't enjoy Tozer's other book (I did), but more simply because other books came up and I just forgot about this one. Compared to The Pursuit of God  I though this was was a tad less readable. I didn't really know what I was expecting this book to be, but I found it to be somewhere in between J. I. Packer's Concise Theology and Book 4 of C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.

Each chapter in this book looked at one attribute of God. So in this sense it sounds like a short theological text book as it is looking at theology proper. But Tozer is not an academic, he is a pastor. This means that even though he was systematically going through God's attributes, in each chapter he moves from a possibly abstract or inconceivable idea to what this really means for a Christian, and he did this well. It's good to have a theological book with some heart in it.

Tozer's goal in writing this book is to give the lay person an idea of who God really is, so they can stand (or sit) in awe of who He is and try to understand how other, and big and holy He is. I think Tozer did pull this off. He had helpful explanations and analogies to show that in some categories, when thinking about God, we really don't have categories we can use.

I think compared to The Pursuit of God, I would recommend it before this book. Not because this is bad or has wrong ideas (quite the contrary - it is probably more theological than The Pursuit of God), but because it did feel a little like a textbook, and so it is more a useful reference book, than a reading book. Next time I hit the issue of immutability, omniscience, self-existence etc... I will most likely reach for this book first, so in that regard it might be worthwhile to have it on your shelf.

If you want to read this book online you can, or you can download a pdf of it.

Related links
The Pursuit of God - by A. W. Tozer


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