“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”—John 14:6
What is wrong with Pursuing God?
God’s way, the Bible, says Jesus is the only way to God. Mankind prefers to get
to God through his works and/or through an experience. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God could be retitled Pursuing an Experience of God.
Pursuing in the Bible, usually has to do with going after one’s enemy. The Hebrew word was also translated follow after, as in follow after righteousness, or pursue peace, but the phrase pursue God is not in the Bible. God’s Word does tell us that no one seeks Him, but that Jesus came to seek us who were lost.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There
is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”—Romans 3:10, 11
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which
was lost.”—Luke 19:10
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
—1 John 4:10
While affirming and often referencing the Bible (though majorly torquing it to make his points), Tozer subtly attacks organizations and those that believe the Bible. Tozer seems to think that worship is a spiritual feeling or sensation. He therefore, accuses people of not being spiritual, because they aren’t pursuing God enough and not worshipping correctly. Tozer is enticing people with something more—something we (meaning Christians), apparently didn’t get when we had our sins forgiven. Second Peter says differently.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge
of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”—2 Peter 1:3
Instead of pointing people to what God’s Word says, Tozer sets up other people (mystics, but he doesn’t call them that), their philosophies, writings, and experiences as examples of the way you can pursue (get closer to) God, experience Him, get righteousness, or become more spiritual. How can
we get any closer to God if we abide in Him and His words abide in us?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”—John 14:23
Because of the mystical people Tozer refers to as good examples, I am left with the thought that Tozer is really telling his readers, many of whom think Tozer is
a biblical preacher, that they can have unity with God—be one with the Divine.
Just like the Carmelites, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Brother Lawrence, Tozer advocates a mystical way to God, but not the God of the Bible, or the true Jesus. Tozer, under the guise of using scripture (albeit wresting it), deceives his readers through enticing words of men’s wisdom, not to the true Jesus, but to another Jesus, not to get closer to God, but in actuality, to become one with God.
It seems more like Tozer is offering water from “…broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” and advocating a return to the centuries old mysticism of Roman Catholicism, thus propagating Satan’s lie—”your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods…”
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”—Genesis 3:5
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”—Proverbs 16:15
“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”—Jeremiah 2:13
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…”—John 4:14
The next four posts will include quotes and some background information on Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Nicholas of Cusa, Frederick Faber, Thomas a Kempis, and The Cloud of Unknowing—all of whom Tozer quotes and references positively in The Pursuit of God.
Other Posts related to Tozer and The Pursuit of God
Conclusion of the Carmelite Order Posts or Why I am Writing about A W Tozer
Was A. W. Tozer a Mystic?
A. W. Tozer, the Mystic, Part 1
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God and Augustine
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, von Hugel, Bernard of Clairvaux, and the
Cloud of Unknowing
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, the Chinese sage, Laotze, and Faber, the Catholic Hymnwriter
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Thomas a Kempis, and Nicholas of Cusa
Unbiblical and/or mystical phrases, in The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
What is so appealing about the The Pursuit of God by Tozer?
JTB series: Scripture compared with some phrases in The Pursuit of God