A. W. Tozer is a mentor from afar.  I have been changed by his writings and his life has impacted me after his death.

Tozer on Worship and Entertainment is a collection of writings and excerpts from his sermons on the commercialization of worship.  While his ministry was in the middle of the 20th century, his words are still poignant.

Favorite Quotes

  1. We can only worship that which fascinates us…If you can explain it, you cannot worship it (2).
  2. No worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in me displeasing to God (14).
  3. It is possible to have an experience with God and yet not have a saving experience with God (41).
  4. If you do not know the presence of God in your office, your factory, your home, then God is not in the church when you attend (54).
  5. God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship (65).
  6. The church that wants God’s power will have something to offer besides social clubs, knitting societies, the Boy Scout troops and all of the other side issues (69).
  7. Our pursuit of God is successful just because He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us (89).
  8. Hymns do not create truth, nor even reveal it; they celebrate it (94).
  9. Then there are some among us these days who have to depend upon truckloads of gadgets to get their religion going, and I am tempted to ask: What will they do when they don’t have the help of the trappings and gadgets (99)?
  10. The devil is busy brainwashing us and conditioning us little by little and feeding his ideas into the Church (124).

Book Overview

“We are saved to worship God. All that Christ has done for us in the past and all that He is diong now leads to this one end.” — A. W. Tozer

Tozer had strong convictions about the subject of worship, as well as its corruption by what he called “the great god Entertainment.” The excerpts in this book were carefully selected to give you a clear picture of his thoughts on both topics:

  • Worship: Unacceptable Worship, Spiritual Concentration, The Presence of God, the Power of God, Personal Communion, Adoration, Hymns
  • Entertainment: Evangelical Heresy, Propoganda, An Outward Shift, Modern Evangelism, Religious Activity, Worldliness

Also included are Tozer’s sermon “The Act and Object of Worship” in its entiretiy and his controversial essay “The Menace of the Religious Movie,” written in the mid-1950s. You might not agree with all that Tozer says, but, as always, he draws a line in the sand and causes us to think critically about what is and isn’t worship, and if what we are doing is truly worship.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.