What is so appealing about The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer?

God’s WORD

    “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!”—Ezekiel 13:3

    “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
    —Romans 1:16, 17

    “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”—Galatians 3:3

    “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”—John 6:63

Tozer offers us something more
In his book, The Pursuit of God, Tozer points to his perceived inconsistencies and hypocrisies of conservative Christians or biblical groups. But Tozer does not point these people to the Bible (our only means to discern truth), for correction so they can repent.

Instead, Tozer (as do “emergent” leaders of today), uses the so-called faults of people who may or may not be “Christians,” as an excuse to disregard God’s Word. Then, by wresting scripture and false guilt trips, Tozer introduces and convinces folk of another way—a false Jesus and an experiential, mystical religion, which is actually, the old mystic path to union with “God.”

The most amazing thing about this to me is that so many denominations and belief systems elevate Tozer and his teachings, many thinking he is biblical.

So, why do people from so many “Christian” belief systems like The Pursuit of God, and think it is helpful in their walk with the Lord?

A few of the reasons that this book appeals to us
Tozer sounds so spiritual. We choose spiritual over godly and biblical.
We want the something more which Tozer offers.
We want an experience, to feel more spiritual, and feel close to God.
We don’t have what Tozer is offering, so we assume there is something more.
We are trusting in a feeling, and giving credibility to experience.
We have not repented from our sins, so therefore, don’t have salvation.
We think man’s words and experience trumps God’s WORD.
We are not discerning.
We don’t remember all the warnings about deception.
We think there is something we can do to get close to God.
We think there is something we can do to be more holy.
We don’t believe our “heart is deceitful…and desperately wicked…”
We do not understand the transaction that has taken place on our behalf.
God seems far away because we have unconfessed sin in our life.

    God’s WORD
    “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”—Isaiah 59:2

    “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
    —James 4:8

I was raised in a Methodist/Baptist tradition. At age 10, I wrote in my Bible that
I had accepted Jesus as my Saviour. I knew that God was the Creator, that Jesus was God and that Jesus died on the cross for sins, and I tried to be good. I was a real good ‘rule’ keeper. Starting in my teens, I felt a huge distance between God and me.

I tried rededicating my life, giving God everything, getting ‘saved’ again, and experiencing God in nature. I read the Bible through many times—often daily, and prayed daily. I knew the right answers, but I didn’t know how to find God.

I did have a favorite passage of scripture. I wanted to know the truth, and I knew I was all bound up inside, and confused. I wanted to be free, but I didn’t know how.

    “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”—John 8:32

Finally, in my early 30s, I understood I was a sinner and received forgiveness from Jesus, my Saviour.

I had continued to read the Bible through the years. And the verses I read, whether in the new or old testament, talked about rebellion. When I read,
First Samuel 15:23, I told the Lord I didn’t think I had a problem with
rebellion, but if it was a problem, would He please show me.

    “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…”— 1 Samuel 15:23

I realized that I was rebellious. I remembered rebellious thoughts I had towards my parents back to about three years old.

I read in Jeremiah:

    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”—Jeremiah 17:9

I remembered a verse that had bothered me for a long time:

    “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
    and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all
    thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
    —Mark 12:30

Another verse came to mind:

    “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
    —1 John 3:15

When I realized that God saw me as a murderer, I finally comprehended what a terrible predicament I was in. I was a rebellious, murderer, with a wicked, deceitful heart, that could not, nor if I was honest with myself, did not want to keep the first commandment.

I did not really want God. I didn’t want to walk in His way. In fact, I couldn’t do what was right because there was no good in me. I could do NOTHING to make myself acceptable to God. At that point, I grasped some of the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross.

    “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans 5:8

I asked for forgiveness, and Jesus forgave me and gave me new life. He rescued me from the Kingdom of darkness, and put me in His Kingdom of Light.
I was free.

    “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”—John 8:36

When I read the Bible, I started to understand it.

    Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    —John 8:31

    “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

That was almost 30 years ago. Have I doubted my salvation ever? Yes. Have I strayed into strange doctrine ever? Yes. Have I made bad decisions? Yes. But once I understood I was a sinner, I knew that there was NOTHING I could do to save myself, and likewise, there was NOTHING I could do to make myself holy.
It is all about Jesus and what He has done and is doing for me.

    God’s WORD
    “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”—Hebrews 12:2

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to
    the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”—Romans 1:16

    “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
    —Philippians 3:9

    “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto
    us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”—1 Corinthians 1:30

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
Tozer the Mystic, Part 2, What is wrong with Pursuing God?
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God and Augustine
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, von Hugel, Bernard of Clairvaux, and 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
JTB series: Scripture compared with some phrases in The Pursuit of God

3 responses to “What is so appealing about The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer?

  1. Georgia Johnson

    It has been over a year since you stopped posting in this blog and just about that same time I found it. However, I did not find time to read it until now.

    I just want to say thanks and affirm your efforts. I too have struggled with the world of discernment ministries and wanting the TRUTH about many disturbing things, particularly with the ssues of contemplative prayer and having spiritual “experiences” of God, I am seeing among Christians and churches these days.

    The TRUTH is only found in GOD’s HOLY and UNERRING WORD which you have stated over and over again.

    I am amazed to find zero comments here a year later. I pray that you will continue to “fight the good fight” until HE returns.

    • Thank you for your comment Georgia.

      I have had a number of comments to my JTB site which I did not post because they promoted A.W. Tozer as a biblical, godly man. They are often aghast that I would or could cast him as anything but the most biblical preacher that ever was.

      I continue to find connections with men (some have been favorite preachers of mine) who preach God’s Word, but also promote Tozer or emphasize morality/culture.

      Certain websites which have been known in the past as promoting the Bible and truth have come out strongly in favor of and justifying Tozer as godly and biblical and not mystical, or won’t deal with the issue.

      Those who write/talk against New Age (look for book titles with the word New Age in it) are appealing to an ecumenical group and have an agenda (my opinion) and seem to be taking the focus off the Bible and the need for people to repent and get their sins forgiven from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

      I’ve not been brave enough to name names and hope that the posts I have done will give clues to people who are in search of the truth, or alert folk that are unaware of the deceivers deceiving while telling people that they are giving out the truth.

      Thank you again for your comment and encouraging words.

  2. Greetings.

    I just came upon your website and am exploring. Just finished with your views on Tozer. Couldn’t agree more with you. And I also share with Georgia the surprise at how “quiet” everyone is. I have only been saved 5 years, but by God’s mercy I have received a crash course in what all is going on in the church at large. When I see Dr. Stanley including mystics/New Ager’s in his monthly magazine, I know the Lord’s hand must not only be on the door, but I’m pretty sure I see it turning….

    God bless you and keep you as you continue His work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s