Title: Of God and Men: Cultivating the Divine/Human Relationship
Author: A.W. Tozer
Published by: Moody Publishers (10/6/2015)
Pages: 176 (Paperback)
Blurb: Is our Christianity that of the New Testament?
“God and men and their relation to each other—this I believe to be all that really matters in the world, and that is what I have written about here.”
—A. W. Tozer
Like a physician running a biopsy on lifeless faith, here A. W. Tozer offers one of the most compelling critiques of feigned spirituality you may ever read.
In Of God and Men, Tozer exposes false religious notions and lifts up true New-Testament Christianity. A loving and gentle critique of culture and even the church, it reveals lies we unknowingly believe, godless practices we unknowingly do, and treasures of Christ we unknowingly ignore. A manifesto of true religion, Of God and Men will set your foot on the narrow path and lift your heart in soaring worship.
My Take: This was only my second Tozer book, and it was haunting how prophetic much of this book appears to be. There were many instances where I had to remind myself this was written in 1960, because it still applied just as much, if not moreso, to our society today. Tozer was a very intelligent man, self-taught and burning with a passion for God and for revival in our nation. With each chapter being only a few pages long, he crams a lot of information into each chapter. It also makes for a good book to read in the style of a devotion, tackling one each day and spending the rest of the day considering the words Tozer wrote and how they apply to you or the society around you.
I cannot express enough how powerful this book was. Rather than go on about why I thought it was great and why you should read it to, I will instead share a few quotes from the book that should speak loudly about how good and relevant this book is and why it should be in your collection (note: emphasis in italics are mine):
“Truth engages the citadel of the human heart and is not satisfied until it has conquered everything there. The will must come forth and surrender its sword. It must stand at attention to receive orders, and those orders it must joyfully obey. Short of this any knowledge of Christian truth is inadequate and unavailing. Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition. It is only when the hearer is made to understand that truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in. As long as people can hear orthodox truth divorced from life, they will attend and support churches and institutions without objection. The truth is a lovely song, become sweet by long and tender association; and since it asks nothing but a few dollars, and offers good music, pleasant friendships and a comfortable sense of well-being, it meets with no resistance from the faithful. Much that passes for New Testament Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song and made palatable by religious entertainment.”
“The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival, that we need a new baptism of the Spirit – and God knows that we must have both; but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Ghost. We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. they will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within – or from above. This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.
Much that the church – even the evangelical church – is doing these days she is doing because she is afraid not to. Ministerial associations take up projects for no higher reason than that they are being scared into it. Whatever their ear-to-the-ground, fear-inspired reconnoitering leads them to believe the world expects them to do they will be doing come next Monday morning with all kinds of trumped-up zeal and show of godliness. The pressure of public opinion calls these prophets, not the voice of Jehovah. The true church has never sounded out public expectations before launching her crusades. Her leaders heard from God and went ahead wholly independent of popular support or the lack of it. They knew their Lord’s will and did it, and their people followed them – sometimes to triumph, oftener to insults and public persecution – and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world.”
These gems come from just two of the chapters within the book and, believe me, there is so much quotable material in there that it blows me away and makes me eager to read more of Tozer’s works. There is so much depth in each chapter that it could be mined over and over and still uncover new gems of truth. It covers topics relevant to men and women and our relationships with God, and the things covered in here are as relevant today as they were over fifty years ago.
I was provided a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.