The Knowledge of the Holy

When I was in college, I heard a preacher quote A. W. Tozer and my life had a dramatic change.  Here is the quote:

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us (1).

At first, that statement seemed dramatic, but the longer I thought upon it, the more I agreed with it.

As I look back, I think the introduction of this concept drastically changed the goal of ministry for me.  I see a deep desire in what I do to help people truly acquaint themselves with God.

The quote is the first line in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy.

The following chapters explain some of the more prominent attributes of God.

What I love about Tozer’s writing is that he sounds more like an Old Testament prophet than a modern-day communicator.

So many descriptions of God is reducing him to some trivial illustration, but Tozer paints a picture of God that is simply glorious.

I reread the book last weekend and was reminded of how vital of a read this is by a man I would probably consider my favorite author.

I try to come up with a few pivotal quotes from a book when I review them here, but I could not limit it, so I forced myself to take 1 quote from each chapter – that process was difficult enough!  Enjoy these quotes and then get lost in this book.

My Favorite 23 Quotes from 23 Chapters

Favorite quotes:

  1. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him (3).
  2. To think of creature and Creator as alike in essential being is to rob God of most of His attributes and reduce Him to the status of a creature (7).
  3. The harmony of His being is the result not of a perfect balance of parts but of the absence of parts (15).
  4. The doctrine of the Trinity, as I have said before, is truth for the heart.  The fact that it cannot be satisfactorily explained, instead of being against it, is in its favor.  Such a truth had to be revealed; no one could have imagined it (23).
  5. …because we are the handiwork of God, it follows that all our problems and their solutions are theological (27).
  6. I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of (34).
  7. The mind looks backward in time till the dim past vanishes, then turns and looks into the future till thought and imagination collapse from exhaustion; and God is at both points, unaffected by either (39).
  8. How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none (47).
  9. What peace it brings to the Christian’s heart to realize that our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself.  In coming to Him at any time we need not wonder whether we shall find Him in a receptive mood (53).
  10. …God has never learned and cannot learn (55).
  11. Not only could His acts not be better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined (60-61).
  12. Since He has at His command all the power in the universe, the Lord God omnipotent can do anything as easily as anything else (67).
  13. Forever God stands apart, in light unapproachable.  He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar… (70).
  14. The certainty that God is always near us, present in all parts of His world, closer to us than our thoughts, should maintain us in a state of high moral happiness most of the time (76).
  15. I think it might be demonstrated that almost every heresy that has afflicted the church through the years has arisen from believing about God things that are not true, or from overemphasizing certain true things so as to obscure other things equally true.  To magnify any attribute to the exclusion of another is to head straight for one of the dismal swamps of theology… (79).
  16. To fear and not be afraid – that is the paradox of faith (84).
  17. The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions (89).
  18. If we could remember that the divine mercy is not a temporary mood but an attribute of God’s eternal being, we would no longer fear that it will someday cease to be (91).
  19. Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving (93).
  20. We do God more honor by believing what He has said about Himself and having the courage to come boldly to the throne of grace than by hiding in self-conscious humility among the trees of the garden (100).
  21. Holy is the way God is.  To be holy He does not conform to a standard.  He is that standard (105).
  22. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures.  He would be afraid to do so (111).
  23. To know God is at once the easiest and the most difficult thing in the world (115).