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, the Chinese sage, Laotze, and Faber, the Catholic Hymnwriter

God’s WORD

    “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”—2 Timothy 3:5

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
    —Matthew 7:15

    “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

    “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
    —Titus 2:1

Chinese sage, Lao-tze
Pursuit of God Chapter 3: Removing the Veil

    “That is the first step, and as the Chinese sage Lao-tze has said,
    ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.'”

    Laozi
    Lao tzu (Lao Tse, Laotze, Lao Zi) was a philosopher of ancient China and
    is a central figure in Taoism. Laozi, or Old Master, is revered as a god in religious forms of Taoism. In the Taoist religion, Laozi, is also referred to as “One of the Three Pure Ones”.

    Laozi is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism, intimately connected with the Tao Te Ching and original Taoism. As Taoism took root, Laozi was recognized as a god. Belief in the revelation of the Dao from the divine Laozi resulted in the formation of the Way of the Celestial Master, the first organized religious Taoist sect.

Frederick Faber
Pursuit of God Chapter 3: Removing the Veil

    “Frederick Faber was one whose soul panted after God…and the measure in which God revealed Himself to his seeking heart set the good man’s whole life afire with a burning adoration rivaling that of the seraphim before the throne…

    “His love for the Person of Christ was so intense that it threatened to consume him; it burned within him as a sweet and holy madness and flowed from his lips like molten gold…And addressing our Lord directly
    he says to Him: ‘I love Thee so, I know not how My transports to control;

    Thy love is like a burning fire Within my very soul.’

    “Faber’s blazing love extended also to the Holy Spirit…He literally pressed his forehead to the ground in his eager fervid worship of the Third Person of the Godhead.

    “…Such worship as Faber knew…can never come from a mere doctrinal knowledge of God. Hearts that are ‘fit to break’ with love for the Godhead are those who have been in the Presence and have looked with opened eye upon the majesty of Deity. Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men…They had been in the Presence of God…”

God’s WORD
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”—John 15:26

“Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see…”
—1 Timothy 6:16

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
—2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8

    About Frederick William Faber Frederick William Faber (1814 to 1863) was an enthusiastic follower of John Henry Newman, a major convert to Catholicism. Faber also converted to Roman Catholicism in November 1845, about three years after being ordained an Anglican minister. Fredrick Faber is mainly remembered as a hymn writer.

    Since the English Roman Catholics did not necessarily feel comfortable singing the hymns of their Protestant neighbors, Faber, as a Catholic, wrote hymns suitable for Roman Catholic congregational singing. “Faith of Our Fathers” and “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” composed by Faber are often in ‘Protestant’ hymnals.

God’s WORD

    “For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.”—Psalm 5:9

    “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

    “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers…Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”
    —Titus 1:9–11

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, 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, 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

A. W. Tozer, the Mystic, Part 1

God’s WORD
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”—John 16:3

“For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.”—Isaiah 32:6

Tozer is called both a mystic, and a preacher who calls “for evangelicals to return to the authentic, biblical positions that characterized the church when it was most faithful to Christ and His Word.” Though Tozer is elusive regarding his bent towards mysticism, others praise him for it. [Was A. W. Tozer a Mystic?]

Rather than take the word of others, I decided to search Tozer’s writings to see if they contained any mysticism. I will mainly be referencing Tozer’s The Pursuit of God (1948), which I have read a number of times. I also reviewed Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy (1961), for mystical references.

In 1963, the year of his death, Tozer wrote, The Christian Book of Mystical Verse, a poetry collection from the saintly mystics (which I won’t be reviewing).

The prefaces to both The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy, indicate Tozer was offering what the mystics believe. Tozer is not hiding what he is offering—once you realize he is really speaking from the viewpoint that the mystics are right. Tozer is steeped in the literature of the mystics, but not the language of the Bible, even though he often quotes it or alludes to it.

from Preface to Tozer’s The Pursuit of God

    “…This book is a modest attempt to aid God’s hungry children so to find Him…it is a discovery which my own heart has made of spiritual realities most delightful and wonderful to me. Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done…”

    Tozer ends with an offer, “if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”

from Preface to Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy

    “…Were Christians today reading such works as those of Augustine or Anselm a book like this would have no reason for being. But such illuminated masters are known to modern Christians only by name…

    “It is my hope that this small book may contribute somewhat to the promotion of personal heart religion among us; and should a few persons by reading it be encouraged to begin the practice of reverent meditation on the being of God, that will more than repay the labor…”

In The Pursuit of God, Tozer often quotes or positively references Roman Catholic mystics and their writings—Augustine, Nicholas of Cusa, Thomas a Kempis (and “the Voice” from his “Imitation of Christ”), Francis of Assisi, von Hugel, Bernard of Clairvaux, Cloud of Unknowing, Frederick Faber, the Catholic hymn writer, as well as the Chinese sage, Lao-tze.

Though the Carmelites, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Brother Lawrence, are not mentioned specifically, their mystic belief system is
referred to as a correct way to God—John’s ascent to God, Teresa’s
mystical ecstacy
(including terms such as piercing sweetness), both John
and Teresa’s use of being inflamed with love for God, in which they were
referring to a marriage or “union” with God, and Lawrence’s Practicing
the Presence of God
which referenced, “the All.”

Thirteen years later, in Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer again referenced Augustine, Nicholas of Cusa, Cloud of Unknowing, and Frederick Faber positively. Among the People Tozer added were Richard Rolle, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, Bernard of Cluny, and Anslem, a mystic scholastic.

God’s WORD
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”—Matthew 15:9

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you
into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”—Galatians 1:6

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?
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 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