Following Tim Challies’ light reading plan, Tozer’s well-known classic was the “book of my choice” that has sat unread on my shelf for far too long. I would like to offer a brief three-part review of Aidan W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God.
A brief sketch of “Tozer’s Legacy” is offered as a preface to the book and many surprises abound. Tozer was a seventeen-year-old convert with no formal education before entering into the ministry. An evident thirst for knowing God led Tozer to educate himself “with no teacher but the Holy Spirit and good books” (Tozer, 5). The weight of Tozer’s self-imposed education, and prayerful seeking after God himself, materialized into an extensive writing ministry both during his life and after. Equally profound is the train trip from Chicago to Texas that prompted the all-night endeavor to write The Pursuit of God.
Throughout my reading, I discovered the knowledge of the holy one exuded from Tozer’s pen with endless joy, reverence, and praise. Many of Tozer’s critiques concerning his present- day Christianity still finds much resounding truth today. In light of these difficulties, the cry of A.W.’s heart is for a personal, soul-saving relationship with God that does not end after the point of salvation.
“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love…” (Tozer, 15).
“Our gifts and talents should be turned over to Him. They should be recognized for what they are, God’s loan to us, and should never be considered in any sense our own” (Tozer, 29).
“Ransomed men need no longer pause in fear to enter the Holy of Holies” (Tozer, 34).
“Faith creates nothing; it simply reckons upon that which is already there” (Tozer, 53).
“At the root of the Christian life lies belief in the invisible. The object of the Christian’s faith is unseen reality” (Tozer, 54).
“The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect one” (Tozer, 85).
“Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life” (Tozer, 90).
“All our heartaches and a great many of our physical ills spring directly out of our sins” (Tozer, 104).
“It is well that He spoke, for one one else could have done it as well; and it is good that we listen. His words are the essence of truth. He is not offering an opinion; Jesus never uttered opinions. He never guessed; He knew, and He knows” (Tozer, 104).
“I would point out that the Roman Catholic church represents today the sacred-secular heresy carried to its logical conclusion” (Tozer, 119).
Reading Tozer’s work proved difficult at times due to the disconnected devotional thoughts that each chapter provided. In addition, Tozer’s use of the English language, though profound, also complicated my reading.
In light of my difficulties, I would recommend this book to any Christian in need of encouragement to pursue God through prayer and the Bible. Tozer writes with an infectious and convicting desire for all believers to know God in an intimate, personal, and salvific way. Very few quotes sprinkle the pages of The Pursuit of God, evidencing Tozer’s complete synchronization of his beliefs and his truly amazing self-imposed education. Acts 4:13 comes to mind as a fitting way to describe Tozer’s passion exuding from this classic work, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”