Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gain a Good Knowledge of God by Reading Tozer's Classic

Different sub-categories of theology arouse the interest of different people. My dad, for instance, loves eschatology. One of the sub- sub-categories that fans into flame my affections for God is the study of his attributes, the aspects of his character that are revealed to us all throughout Scripture, like, for example, Psalm 86:5: “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you” (ESV).

One of the best books on the attributes of God is the slim volume by A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy. The book opens with an excellent discussion on the importance of meditating on the nature of God, then proceeds through several brief chapters, each one reverently unpacking one of God’s attributes, and closes with a call to not just study God but to enter into a relationship with him.

You want insight into the nature of God? Read this book, barely more than 100 pages.

Throughout his discussion of God’s attributes, at least three themes become clear.

1. We have a tendency to think wrongly about God, to get him wrong.

Therefore, we need to be in the Scriptures regularly, renewing our minds continually with regards to our understanding of who God is.

2. What God is he is eternally.

When we talk about God being merciful, for instance, we must understand that he has always been merciful, and he will always be merciful. God’s character does not change or evolve or progress (or digress, for that matter).

3. The attributes interplay with one another, but they never compete with one another.

For example, God is just, and he is eternally and immutably just. He is also loving, eternally and immutably so.

These attributes do not compete with one another in the Godhead, first God feeling wrathful in his holiness, then the next moment love welling up within him. They are all perfectly manifested in him at all times.

The cross for instance demonstrates his holiness and his love, his righteousness and his mercy, and also his wisdom in being able to judge sin and save sinners.


Anonymous said...

Psalm 77 is one of many of the great Psalms in the Bible that reveal facits of the Majesty of God. I think, at least in part, this is why so many people love to linger long in the Psalms. Often it is there our spirits walk, as it were, eastward in Eden in the cool of eternal day, enjoying His fellowship where, beside the still waters, we freely drink to fill our spirit's "vast chasm," (Billy Graham) and find that much-need rest unto our weary souls (John 4:23, 24; Hebrews 3:11 through 4:11; Matthew 11:29, 30).
TOZER WRITES: "We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the cmpany of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Chruch is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God." --A. W. Tozer, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY, Back to the Bible Broadcast, Box 82808, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501, Copyright © 1971, p. 7.
"O God of Bethel, by whose hand
Thy people still are fed;
Who through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led!
Our vows, our prayers we now present
Before Thy throne of grace:
God of our fathers! be the God
Of their succeeding race.
--Philip Doddridge, Ibid. p. 11.


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