Of God And Men, by A.W. Tozer
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
This book consists of 40 short chapters that are focused on the theme of the relationship between God and mankind. It must be noted that this book is fairly unsparing in its view of the weakness of the contemporary Christian message in the absence of a firm commitment to obedience. This is a book it is easier to admire than it is to like, and one wonders if this is frequently the case given the author’s body of work as a whole . This book has all of the signs of being written by someone who is skilled at being a critic and who can diagnose the flaws and faults of our society especially those who profess Christianity but whose evidence of Christ living within them is slight to nonexistent. If one sees oneself as one of the people the author is not critiquing rather harshly, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment, but one gets the feeling that the author was a person who remained rather emotionally remote from others and was not a warm and fuzzy person, as this book is evidence of someone who speaks with truth but without a lot of love.
The forty chapters of this book take up about 160 pages and manage to hit home with some tough statements. The author points out how we need men of God again, and that Christ’s words were for Christians. He expresses a great deal of skepticism in genuine Christianity being popular for large parts of society given the rebelliousness of mankind against God’s ways, something this book discusses in a wide variety of ways. The author shows a great deal of understanding about the corruption of people and the way that books corrupt and that false metaphors give people wrong ideas about how God works with people and how knowledge that is kept in the head that never becomes a part of practice ultimately is without purpose or worth. This is a message delivered somewhat fiercely by a cerebral person to others who would likely share the same vulnerability. To be sure, this book is one that does a great job in reminding believers of the difficulty of genuine Christianity and the way that holiness must precede happiness, something that is especially pointed in the current generation.
A reader’s opinion of this book is likely to depend a great deal on what the reader is looking for. If you want the truth and are not concerned that the truth about holiness and obedience is phrased politely, or that it mentions biblical law rather than general discussions of moral standards in one’s disposition, there is a great deal to appreciate here. Like the author’s work as a whole, this book is a strong exhortation and is highly critical of some of the negative tendencies of contemporary society that the author was able to recognize ahead of time with a striking degree of insight. There is a lot of encouragement that one can get from a book like this if one values corrective sorts of reading. One could easily see, though, how such an author who is so focused on analyzing and critiquing societal trends and whose focus is on holiness could seem a remote person to others and not the sort of warm and engaging person that people feel truly at home with. This is a book one respects and the person behind it was likely someone of a great deal of severity that one could admire, but which one wishes the author might have reflected more on himself as a way of being less judgmental to the outside world.
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