God’s Pursuit of Man

***Disclaimer: I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine.

In the prequel to “The Pursuit of God,” A.W. Tozer in “God’s Pursuit of Man” gives powerful words to the followers of Christ and what it truly means to be a Christian. Though thin physically, the spiritual depth and truth convicts and challenges. This is a powerful book, and one of my personal favorites of Tozer’s.

Tozer states that his purpose in writing anything at all, for anyone, it should “flow up from the heart.” That seems to be the only book worth writing. He then says, “Whether or not this book ever reaches a wide public…it is for no other reason than to relieve a burden on my heart.” That is powerful. His conviction for putting these words on paper is to relinquish a burden, a weight upon his heart. He does not seek to “tickle the readers ears” with soft words, but, I presume, prayerfully seeks to challenge the reader in moving in boldness with God; knowing he or she is never alone in anything or anywhere.

One might say this work is a “guide” to being a Christian. Though the debate rages on “how” one becomes a Christian (i.e., predestined or free choice), the point is clear from Tozer: if you are a Christian, act like it. I am thankful for this spiritual challenge. Too often we have Christians by word of mouth and not by deed. Prayers are as that of the religious man in the temple versus the sinner who prayed, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.” Now, I am not trying to be super-religious, but the conviction felt drives me, and hopefully every reader, to a more genuine, alive, intimate communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is one paragraph that seemed to be the point of the spear. Tozer is speaking on God’s triumph of the old nature and only then will one know the blessedness provided by God. Tozer says:

God conquers us by breaking us, by shattering our strength and wiping out our resistance. Then He invades our natures with that ancient and eternal life which is from the beginning. So He conquers us and by that benign conquest saves us for Himself. (60)

I am thankful for these words. I am also thankful in the same chapter he writes on the nature of the cross as more than a mere symbol. “The cross where Jesus died became the cross where His apostle died…The cross that saves them also slays them.” There is no room at the cross for a fake identity as a Christian. One, according to Tozer, either is or is not.

But what are we to say when the great majority of our evangelical leaders walk not as crucified men and women but as those who accept the world at its own value-rejecting only its grosser elements? They preach the cross and protest loudly that they are truly believers. Are there two crosses? (61,62)

If there be one book on your bookshelf as a “guide” for Christian living, I would highly recommend this one to be that book. Now, can there only be one true book? Yes, that is the Bible. Outside of sacred Scripture? I would say there is a plethora of books to be had and read time and time again; this is one.

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