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Understanding The Journey of Others Sheds Light On Our Own

April 22, 2019

As a fan of A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)  who had been impacted by both of his great books The Knowledge of The Holy and The Pursuit of God as well as the numerous quotes and sermon snippets I have heard or read over the years I was delighted to find a modern biography that was both celebratory as well as  honest.  titled, A PASSION FOR GOD The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer by Lyle Dorsett (2008, Moody Publishers)

This well written book follows Tozer through his early ears in rural Pennsylvania through his conversion and call to ministry but begins with a critique best summarized by the phrase, “Tozer like all men and women God uses for his glory learned from mistakes rather than never making them” (p.22). The chapter titled, I’ve had a lonely life” sets the tone of honest about his decisions to not invest in his relationships with his wife and children nor take normal responsibility for the financial well being of those closest to him.. This is not to minimize the tremendous impact he had on college students who would travel to the church he preached at in Chicago on Sunday nights. It is fair to say he inspired a generation of ministry students with his preaching. How he handled the racial issues in the church ministry context showed great wisdom but animosity to basic people skills to other ministry leaders seems short sighted at best.

It is refreshing to see how God used a man greatly despite his significant weakness and flaws common in the 20th and 21st centuries and not just the 1st century.

If you don’t know Tozer read this book and get acquainted with his life and printed insights. If you know and love A.W. this book will confirm it is always about God and who He chooses to use rather than the performance based “It all depends on me and my perfection” mentality so common in the church today. Thanks to Lyle Dorsett for balancing so well the journey of this greatly used saint and the sinner.

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