Book Review: The Knowledge Of The Holy by A. W. Tozer

7310: The Knowledge of the Holy

I have heard this book recommended or talked about quite a lot over the years, so when I saw it at the same time as my husband was looking for a Valentine’s present for me, he kindly bought it for me. Books are one of my favourite kind of presents!

It also fitted in very well with something I recently realised as I was preparing for our church’s women’s retreat – that many of our problems as Christians come about because we have the wrong view of God.

What it’s about

It’s basically about what God is like, and His attributes. Tozer starts off by explaining why we must have the right view of God, and making sure that we realise that He is incomprehensible (or ‘not able to be understood’ if that was too long of a word!).

Then there are 19 chapters, each on a different aspect of God’s character, such as is holiness, justice, immutability (i.e. He doesn’t change), eternity and more. He ends with an exhortation to get to know God, and some practical tips for how we can do that better.

What I like about it

It is not a long book, though thorough, and each chapter is quite short, so it doesn’t take long to read. It is also in pretty easy language with the exception of some long theological words like omnipotence (all-powerful) which title some of the chapters.

The first chapter was great, as it explained why we should think rightly about God:

‘I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.’

I also liked his view on the sovereignty of God and the will of man, which has divided so many Christians over the years. Just a little excerpt:

‘If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, “What doest thou?” Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.’

What I didn’t like

There was one thing that disappointed me – the practical aspect of each chapter was very short. I believe, and I know the author does too, that our everyday lives as Christians are deeply affected by our view of God, so I would have preferred it if he had gone into more detail about how our understanding of each attribute should affect us.

Who should read it

I think nearly all Christians would benefit from this book. So many Christians don’t have a proper view of God, and many other problems stem from that.

However I think if you are blessed to be one of those who have been brought up all their lives in an evangelical church, surrounded by good doctrine and teaching, and have read the Bible through quite a few times, then this book may not teach you much that is new to you.

But I am glad I have finally read it, and it will be a great quick reference guide for the different attributes of God.

Linking up to Wise Woman and Winsome Wednesday

You may also like...