Category Archives: Emergent

More Unbiblical Quotes from A. W. Tozer

God’s WORD

    “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
    whether they are of God: because many false prophets
    are gone out into the world.”—1 John 4:1

    “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord
    may have free course…And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.”
    —2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2

    “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”—2 Corinthians 4:5

    “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but
    as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”—2 Corinthians 2:17

Following are a few quotes of A. W. Tozer from several of his books, with some Bible verses which address some of the error of A. W. Tozer’s writings.

Knowledge of the Holy, by Tozer, excerpt from Chapter 5 
“That God is everything and man nothing is a basic tenet of Christian faith and devotion; and here the teachings of Christianity coincide with those
of the more advanced and philosophical religions of the East.”

    God’s WORD
    “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of
    these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children
    of disobedience.”—Ephesians 5:6

    “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”—Colossians 2:4

    “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:—1 Corinthians 2:4

Echoes from Eden by Tozer, excerpt from chapter 4
“So Christ’s blood was our blood, and this is the theology of New Testament victory for the believer. This is the theology that I experienced as a young man
in the Alliance.”

    God’s WORD
    “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”—Hebrews 9:12

    “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”—Hebrews 13:12

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock,
    over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
    to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with
    his own blood.”—Acts 20:28

“This is the theology that tells me that Christ and I are united, so that when He died, I died, and when He arose, I arose.”

    God’s WORD
    “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”—Hebrews 2:9

    “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins
    in his own blood,”—Revelation 1:5

“This is the doctrine of spiritual victory, and there is no other way that consistent victory can be found.”

    God’s WORD
    “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through
    our Lord Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 15:57

Man the Dwelling Place of God by A. W. Tozer
Chapter 12. Three Degrees of Religious Knowledge
“In our knowledge of divine things three degrees may be distinguished:
the knowledge furnished by reason, by faith and by spiritual experience respectively…”

    God’s WORD
    “… be thou an example of the believers, in word, in
    conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
    Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation,
    to doctrine.”—1 Timothy 4:12, 13

    “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”—1 Thessalonians 2:13

Chapter 19 The Communion of Saints
“Then, true Christian communion consists in the sharing of a Presence…

“…The immanence of God in His universe makes possible
the enjoyment of the “real Presence” by the saints of God
in heaven and on earth simultaneously

“I suggest also that we try to acquaint ourselves as far as possible with the good and saintly souls who lived before our times…Augustine, for instance, would bring to us a sense of the overwhelming majesty of God…Bernard of Cluny would sing to us of ‘Jerusalem the Golden’ and the peace of an eternal sabbath day until the miserable pleasures of this world become intolerable;

“Richard Rolle would show us how to escape from “the abundance of riches, the flattering of women and the fairness of youth,” that we may go on to know God with an intimacy that will become in our hearts ‘heat, fragrance and song’;

“Tersteegen would whisper to us of the ‘hidden love of God’ and the awful Presence until our hearts would become ‘still before Him’ and ‘prostrate inwardly adore Him’; before our eyes the sweet St. Francis would throw his arms of love around sun and moon, trees and rain, bird and beast, and thank God for them all in a pure rapture of spiritual devotion…”

    God’s WORD
    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”—Colossians 2:8

    “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”—1 Corinthians 2:13

    “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like
    things do ye.”—Mark 7:13

Pursuit of God
Chapter 1 Following Hard after God

“…we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can…

    God’s WORD
    “God is not a man…”—Numbers 23:19

    “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”—John 4:24

Chapter 6 The Speaking Voice
“The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free.”

    “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds;
    but the word of God is not bound.”—2 Timothy 2:9

“The life is in the speaking words. God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book.”

    God’s WORD
    “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”—1 John 5:11

    “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”—1 John 5:20

“Again we must remember that God is referring ere not to His written Word,
but to His speaking Voice. His world-filling Voice is meant, that Voice which antedates the Bible by uncounted centuries, that Voice which has not been silent since the dawn of creation, but is sounding still throughout the full far reaches of the universe…”

God’s WORD

    “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”—John 5:39

    “…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
    —Revelation 19:10

    “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”—2 John 9

    “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

    “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”—1 Timothy 6:3, 4, 5

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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

Unbiblical and/or mystical phrases, in The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer

God’s WORD

    “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity,
    they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much
    wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who
    live in error.”—2 Peter 2:18

    “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.”—James 3:15

    “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”—Colossians 2:4

    “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”—Matthew 12:37

The Chapters in A. W. Tozer’s, The Pursuit of God, with a few of the unbiblical and/or mystical phrases.
Chapter 1 Following Hard after God

All is of God
God is always previous
man must pursue God
experience of the Divine
Creating Personality, God
throbbing heart of New Testament religion
feel the heat of their desire after God
torrent of spiritual desire
his burning desire after Christ
to taste, to touch with their hearts
to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God
our expanding hearts
to sacrifice the many for the One
we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word

Chapter 2 The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing
We must ascend a step at a time.
know God in growing intimacy
inward bleeding

Chapter 3 Removing the Veil
to push in to conscious awareness of His Presence
interior journey of the soul
push on into His Presence
Flame of the Presence
the need to experience that Presence actually
the manifest Presence
wrenched loose from that `blissful center’

Chapter 4 Apprehending God
A spiritual kingdom lies all about us…within reach of our inner selves
only One who is Absolute, that is God
Absolute One
great Reality is God
fixed points in the universe
By the deep wisdom of life
real and the imaginary
the great unseen Reality is God
we can rise to unlimited heights
our inner eyes
taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all
God will become to us the great All

Chapter 5 The Universal Presence
the divine immanence
the doctrine of the divine Presence
transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them
think on them and pray over them until they begin to glow within us.
The Universal Presence is a fact
We will know Him in increasing degree

Chapter 6 The Speaking Voice
He fills the world with His speaking Voice.
the living Voice of God immanent in His creation
This word of God is the breath of God filling the world with living potentiality.
universal Voice of God
The order and life of the world depend upon that Voice
[The concept of the speaking voice seems to be from the “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis.]

Chapter 7 The Gaze of the Soul
faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.
a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God
volitional act which establishes the heart’s intention to gaze forever upon Jesus
a habit of soul is forming
faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests
lift our inward eyes to gaze upon God
eyes of the soul looking out
the eyes of God looking in
the all-seeing eyes of God
nor ever turn aside the eyes of my mind
Thou, who are Love’s self
constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God
we shall be ushered onto a new level of spiritual life
without special equipment or religious paraphernalia
can never be subject to the caprice of accident

    God’s WORD
    “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.”—Proverbs 5:21

    “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”—Proverbs 15:3

    “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”—Acts 26:18

The source and even the concept of the phrase, Gaze of the Soul, and the idea that, “faith is the gaze of the heart at God,” in Chapter 7, is not from the Bible.

    God’s WORD
    “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” —Acts 16:31

    “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”—Hebrews 11:6

    “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word
    of God.”—Romans 10:17

Chapter 8 Restoring the Creator/creature Relation
emotionally satisfying
a fixed center
Such a center is God.
The pursuit of God
will embrace the labor of bringing our total personality into conformity to His
as we make progress in the holy way
`the stars in their courses’ fight for him
this voluntary sell-out of his all to his God
to take again our God as our All
God was our original habitat
our hearts…feel at home when they enter again that ancient and beautiful abode
holy intention made the difference

    God’s WORD
    “…he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”—Philippians 1:6

Chapter 9 Meekness and Rest
a visitation from above
His words are the essence of truth

    God’s WORD
    “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came
    by Jesus Christ.”—John 1:7

    “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

Chapter 10 The Sacrament of Living [Sacrament is not in the Bible]
and turn the whole life into a sacrament.
unify our inner lives and make everything sacred to us
a thousand thought-prayers
God is in all our simple deeds
The sacredness of times and places
a half-light necessary to the education of the race
passed away before the full sun of spiritual worship
For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary.

    God’s WORD
    “…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and
    of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”—Isaiah 66:2

    “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them
    that believe.”—Galatians 3:22

    “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:”—1 Corinthians 2:4

    “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things,
    thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished
    up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto
    thou hast attained.”—1 Timothy 4:6

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
What is so appealing about the The Pursuit of God by Tozer?
JTB series: Scripture compared with some phrases in The Pursuit of God

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, Thomas a Kempis, and Nicholas of Cusa

God’s WORD

    “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

    “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions
    and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings,
    evil surmisings,

    “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”—1 Timothy 6:3–5

Thomas a Kempis
Thomas a Kempis wrote a very mystical, unbiblical book, The Imitation of Christ, which apparently had a major influence on Tozer’s The Pursuit of God, especially Chapter 6: The Speaking Voice.

Excerpt from Pursuit of God, Chapter 5: The Universal Presence

    “Pick at random a score of great saints whose lives and testimonies are widely known. Let them be Bible characters or well known Christians of post-Biblical times…how unlike each other were John and Paul, St. Francis and Luther, Finney and Thomas a Kempis…

    “Yet they all walked, each in his day, upon a high road of spiritual living
    far above the common way…I venture to suggest that the one vital
    quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity…”

JTB comment: What they all had in common was that they were sinners.

God’s WORD
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
—Romans 3:23

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death
by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
—Romans 5:12

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
—1 Corinthians 15:22

Nicholas of Cusa
Excerpt from Pursuit of God, Chapter 7: The Gaze of the Soul

    “‘When all my endeavour is turned toward Thee because all Thy endeavour is turned toward me; when I look unto Thee alone with all my attention, nor ever turn aside the eyes of my mind, because Thou dost enfold me with Thy constant regard…’ So wrote Nicholas of Cusa four hundred years ago.

    “I should like to say more about this old man of God. He is not much known today anywhere among Christian believers, and among current Fundamentalists he is known not at all. I feel that we could gain much
    from a little acquaintance with men of his spiritual flavor and the school
    of Christian thought which they represent…

    “Nicholas was a true follower of Christ, a lover of the Lord, radiant and shining in his devotion to the Person of Jesus. His theology was orthodox, but fragrant and sweet…says Nicholas…’With Thee, to behold is to give life; ’tis unceasingly to impart sweetest love of Thee; ’tis to inflame me to love of Thee by love’s imparting, and to feed me by inflaming, and by feeding to kindle my yearning, and by kindling to make me drink of the
    dew of gladness, and by drinking to infuse in me a fountain of life,
    and by infusing to make it increase and endure.’

    “When the habit of inwardly gazing Godward becomes fixed within us we shall be ushered onto a new level of spiritual life more in keeping with the promises of God and the mood of the New Testament. The Triune God will be our dwelling place even while our feet walk the low road of simple duty here among men. We will have found life’s summum bonum indeed…”
    [the Cusa quotes are from, Nicholas of Cusa, The Vision of God

God’s WORD
“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”—1 John 2:5

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”—Romans 10:3

    Nicholas of Cusa integralscience.org/cusa.html
    “Divinity is the enfolding and unfolding of everything that is. Divinity is in all things in such a way that all things are in Divinity.”—Nicolas of Cusa

    Nicholas of Cusa (1401 to 1464) was a philosopher, theologian, mathematician, and an astronomer whose writings influenced the development of Renaissance mathematics and science, and is widely considered as one of the greatest geniuses and polymaths of the 15th century. As a German Roman Catholic cardinal, Nicholas served as a
    papal legate to three popes.

    Nicholas of Cusa was noted for his deeply mystical writings, particularly
    on the possibility of knowing God with the divine human mind…His first
    and most famous treatise, On Learned Ignorance , is a
    mystical discourse on the finite and the infinite.

    The fundamental insight that inspired Nicholas’s thought and writing on metaphysical topics, came from a mystical illumination in 1437, during a journey home from Constantinople.

    Nicholas described this vision as his gift from God which provided him…
    a way of viewing opposites as coincident from the point of view of infinity. According to Nicholas, this logic of infinitude unites opposites, transcends comparison, overcomes limits of discursive reasoning, and goes beyond both positive and negative theology.

Nicholas was influenced by Plato and Neoplatonic thinkers, and drew inspiration from Dionysius, Meister Eckhart, Anselm of Canterbury, and Ramon Lull.

God’s WORD

    “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”—Acts 20:29

    “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”—Ephesians 5:6
                                                                                     
    “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

    “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”—1 John 4:15, 16

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
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

A. W. Tozer, Pursuit of God, von Hugel, Bernard of Clairvaux, and The Cloud of Unknowing

God’s WORD
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”—Isaiah 57:15

“Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.”—Job 41:11

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.”—Psalm 50:12

    von Hügel
    Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God

    All is of God, for as von Hugel teaches, God is always previous.

    About Baron Friedrich von Hügel

    Friedrich von Hugel (May 1852–1925) was an influential Austrian Roman Catholic layman, religious writer and thinker who lived in England from age 15 until his death. His scholarly concerns included the relationship of Christianity to history, ecumenism, mysticism and the philosophy of religion.
     
    Hügel characterized the human soul, the movements of western civilization, and the phenomena of religion itself by three elements:
    the historical or institutional element, the scientific or intellectual element, and the mystical or experiential element.
     
    Hügel cautions: “…mysticism would never be the whole of religion; it would become a dangerous error the very moment it claimed to be this whole; but, at the same time, it would be an element essential to religion
    in the long run and upon the whole…”

    Bernard of Clairvaux
    Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God

    St. Bernard stated this holy paradox in a musical quatrain that will be instantly understood by every worshipping soul:
    We taste Thee O Thou Living Bread,
 
    And long taste upon Thee still:

    We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
 
    And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

JTB Comment: This sounds like the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

    About Bernard of Clairvaux
    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) was a French abbot and the primary reformer of the Benedictine Cistercian monastic order, and the dominating figure in the Catholic Church from 1125 to 1153.

    Bernard was devoted to promoting the veneration of the Virgin Mary, and was the most influential advocate of the Second Crusade. In 1129, Bernard was instrumental in obtaining the recognition of the new order of Knights Templar, the rules of which he is said to have drawn up.

    In opposition to the rational approach to divine understanding that the scholastics adopted, Bernard preached an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary. Bernard played the leading role in the development of the Virgin cult, which is one of the most important manifestations of the popular piety of the twelfth century…

God’s WORD
“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”—Luke 1:46, 47

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”—1 Timothy 2:5

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”—Hebrews 9:15

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood
of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
—Hebrews 12:24

    The Cloud of Unknowing
    Pursuit of God Chapter 1: Following hard after God
    “We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One.

    “The quaint old English classic, The Cloud of Unknowing, teaches us how to do this. ‘Lift up thine heart unto God with a meek stirring of love; and mean Himself, and none of His goods. And thereto, look thee loath to think on aught but God Himself. So that nought work in thy wit, nor in thy will, but only God Himself. This is the work of the soul that most pleaseth God.’

    “Again, he recommends that in prayer we practice a further stripping down of everything, even of our theology. `For it sufficeth enough, a naked intent direct unto God without any other cause than Himself.’

    “…And he is all for simplicity: If we would have religion `lapped and folden in one word, for that thou shouldst have better hold thereupon, take thee but a little word of one syllable: for so it is better than of two, for even the shorter it is the better it accordeth with the work of the Spirit. And such a word is this word God or this word love.'”

JTB note: Tozer is actually advising lectio divina here.

    The Cloud of Unknowing
    The Cloud of Unknowing is a spiritual guidebook thought to have been written in the latter half of the 14th century by an anonymous English monk, who counsels a young student as to how to seek God.

    The Cloud of Unknowing has been described as Christianity with a Zen outlook. The practical prayer advice contained in The Cloud of Unknowing forms a primary basis for the contemporary practice of centering prayer,
    a form of Christian meditation developed by Trappist monks William Meninger, Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating in the 1970s.

God’s WORD
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”—1 Corinthians 5:6

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”—Psalm 51:17

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—1 Corinthians 2:14

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”—Acts 3:19

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, 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

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God and Augustine

God’s WORD

    “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”—Romans 10:17

    “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”—2 Timothy 1:13

    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”—Colossians 2:8

Many religious institutions and leaders, Roman Catholic, Reformed, Protestant, and others, have based some of their belief system on the writings of Augustine of Hippo. Tozer, in his Pursuit of God seems to accept Augustine’s unbiblical phrases and philosophies—the interior life, gaze of the soul, summum bonum.

The Pursuit of God, Chapter 1: Following hard after God

    “The experiential heart-theology of a grand army of fragrant saints is rejected in favor of a smug interpretation of Scripture which would certainly have sounded strange to an Augustine…”

The Pursuit of God, Chapter 3: Removing the Veil

    “Among the famous sayings of the Church fathers none is better known than Augustine’s, `Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.’ The great saint states here in few words the origin and interior history of the human race…”

The Pursuit of God, Chapter 7: The Gaze of the Soul

    “…When the habit of inwardly gazing Godward becomes fixed within us we shall be ushered onto a new level of spiritual life more in keeping with the promises of God and the mood of the New Testament…

    “We will have found life’s summun bonum indeed. `There is the source of all delights that can be desired…For it is the absolute maximum of every rational desire, than which a greater cannot be.'”

God’s WORD
“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”—Jeremiah 10:23

“…for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”
—Genesis 8:21

“For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness…”—Psalm 5:9

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:14

JTB comment:
In these three excerpts Tozer has referenced error. Don’t we base truth on what is written in God’s Word, not what a person, even a so-called church father says? What is experiential heart-theology? The following information explains what is meant by some of Augustine’s unbiblical terms and thinking.

Augustine: Inner man, Gaze of the Soul, and summun bonum

    The Soul of St Augustine by Nymph Kellerman
    “Augustinian thought is based on the soul as the innermost reality, which he calls the ‘inner man’…’To arrive at God, one begins with the reality of God’s creation, and especially with the inner nature of man.” He refers to the soul as the ‘interior of man’…”

God’s WORD
“And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”—Luke 11:39

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

“Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

“All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
—Mark 7:21–23

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”
—Ephesians 3:16

    Gaze of the soul/contemplation
    Contemplation, the object of contemplative life, is defined as the complacent, loving gaze of the soul on Divine truth already known and apprehended by the intellect, assisted and enlightened by Divine grace.
    —p. 329 The Catholic Encyclopedia by Charles George Herbermann, Knights of Columbus Catholic Truth Committee, 1908

    In his early work, Augustine adopted a Platonic confidence in reason. Defining reason as the gaze of the soul, he proposed that the soul’s eye could gain direct insight into truth and eventually achieve an intellectual vision of God.—Christianity, A Global History, by David Chidester

    13. When, then, you shall have sound eyes, what remains?
    From The Soliloquies of St. Augustine
    A. That the soul look.
    R. The gaze of the soul is Reason; but since it does not follow that every one who looks, sees, that right and perfect looking, which is followed by seeing, is called Virtue, for Virtue is rectified and perfected Reason. But that very act of looking, even though the eyes be sound, cannot turn them toward the Light unless three things persist:

    Faith—by which the soul believes that, that toward which the gaze has been directed, is such that to gaze upon it will cause blessedness:

    Hope—by which, the eyes being rightly fixed, the soul expects this vision to follow: and

    Love—which is the soul’s longing to see and to enjoy it. Such looking is followed by the vision of God Himself, who is the goal of the soul’s gaze, not because it could not continue to look, but because there is nothing beyond this on which it can fix its gaze.

    This is truly perfected Reason—Virtue—attaining its proper end, on which the happy life follows. And this intellectual vision is that which is in the soul a conjunction of the seer and the seen.” (translated into English by Rose Elizabeth Cleveland)

God’s WORD
“But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?”—Luke 5:22

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock,
and unto the Greeks foolishness;

“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”—1 Corinthians 1:22–24

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”—1 Corinthians 2:13

    Summum bonum
    “Summum bonum (Latin for the highest good) is an expression used in philosophy, particularly in medieval philosophy, and in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, to describe the ultimate importance, the singular and most ultimate end which human beings ought to pursue.

    “…In the Western world, the concept was introduced by the neoplatonic philosophers, and described as a feature of the Christian God by Saint Augustine in De natura boni (On the Nature of Good, written circa 399).

    Augustine denies the positive existence of absolute evil, describing a world with God as the supreme good at the center, and defining different grades of evil as different stages of remoteness from that center…”

God’s WORD
“And from Jesus Christ…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”—Revelation 1:5

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”—Revelation 20:10, 14, 15

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”—Revelation 22:3–5

For more reading on Augustine:
wikipedia
Just the BOOK

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, 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
What is so appealing about the The Pursuit of God by Tozer?
JTB series: Scripture compared with some phrases in The Pursuit of God

Tozer the Mystic, Part 2, What is wrong with Pursuing God?

God’s WORD
“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