Here is yet another book review! I highly recommend this gem! Check out my other reviews:
- Book Review: What is a Healthy Church Member?
- Book Review: The Doctrine of Repentance
- Book Review: The Prayer Matrix
- Book Review: Taking God at His Word
Or my book list that I am not sticking to very well….
The author of Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer, was a pastor, author, and one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century. This powerful little book is meant to show who God is, how people relate to him, and how he stands apart from every other thing in the universe.
Tozer points out in the preface that the Church is losing the correct view of God. The Church, according to him, has replaced the lofty concept of God for a low and unworthy thinking of him. Then in the first chapter, Tozer’s title couldn’t agree more with his first statement. We must think rightly of God. “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Thinking rightly about God will direct the way in which we live our Christian lives. It provides a foundation to our thinking.
Chapter 2 describes God’s attributes. By attributes Tozer means, “simply whatever may be correctly ascribed to God.” It is, “whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.” He is incomprehensible. Not that he cannot be known because he has already revealed himself in some ways, but that he cannot be known fully with our finite human minds. Humans end up describing him in anthropomorphic ways by giving God hands, feet, or eyes. We even describe him using zoomorphic ways by saying God has wings as seen in the Book of Ruth. All these are ways humans try and visualize God and understand him. Yet, he cannot be fully comprehended by human minds.
Tozer explains that the Trinity, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each have these attributes. They do not each have one or two different attributes, but that they each use all the attributes true of God. With that being said, Tozer goes into the rest of the attributes.
God is self-existent. Humans think of things as having a cause and effect. Something has to have caused something else for it to be created. God was not created or caused. He just simply is. To the young child asking where God comes from, Tozer would say that God has always been and will always be. Because God is self-existent he is self-sufficient. He depends on no one to provide for him. God does not need food, shelter, or even humans! God did not have to create human life because he was lonely.
God is eternal as well. He had no starting point. He is self-existent! He simply was, is, and is to come. He is also infinite. He is never ending and he has no limits of time, emotions, or energy. God is immutable. He will never change and has never changed in the past. He is infinitely immutable. He is omniscient. He has infinite knowledge of everything. His knowledge never changes, which means he cannot learn more because he already knows it all! He is wise. His infinite, immutable, omniscience gives him the perfect wisdom seen in Christ himself. Through his wisdom he provides for all our needs. Even salvation!
Tozer goes on to say that God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful. He has infinite, immutable, omniscient, wise, power! He knows how to use his own power. He cannot create a rock that is too heavy for him to lift. God is transcendent. He is above all things, set apart from all things, and not affected by sin, time, or space. Nothing can be compared to him. Yet, God is omnipresent. He is so near to us that he is able to know what we are doing at all times. Because he is infinitely immutable, omniscient, wise, omnipotent, transcendent, and omnipresent we can know that he is faithful. He will never change, so we know that what he has promised in the Bible will come true because he is who he is.
Because God is infinitely faithful, he is infinitely good. He is full of perfect goodness. In him can no evil reside! He is never changing, so that means that his faithfulness to us will never change and his goodness towards us will not change either. God is just. Because he is omniscient he knows everything that we have done. We fall short of what his holy standards require from us. Yet, through his goodness he has provided a way of escape! This introduces his mercy and grace. He holds back his justice sometimes in order to bring us back to him. Other times he gives us something that we don’t deserve in order to bring us to him.
God’s love is also infinite, immutable, faithful, and good. He loves perfectly. His love for us never changes like our love for something will change. Because he is faithful to us and good to us his love will also be directed towards us with an infinite supply from the Creator of life.
God is holy. Because he is holy, he is set apart from sin. He cannot be in its presence and desires us to be holy so that we may be in communion with him. His Son dying on the cross provides us with the chance to join in his holiness. His holiness also affects how he carries out his justice. Anyone found unworthy will be cast out, but those found with the righteousness of Christ will be brought in.
Finally, God is sovereign. There is nothing that is out of his control. He has before the foundations of the world put forth his perfect will in each of our lives. Tozer shows how each of God’s attributes work alongside of his sovereignty. God does what he wants because he is God! Who are we to question his motives (Romans 9)?
In this book, A.W. Tozer sets forth these attributes of God and connects them all together. They all feed off one another making God who he is. Without one of these attributes God would cease to be who he is. Adding to these attributes would make the God of the Bible not God at all, but the one who has all these attributes is God.
I really enjoyed how the author presented the attributes of God as who God is instead of what qualities God has. This book has changed my view on the Almighty and I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to know who God really is or even to those who believe they are sure of who he is.