CULTURE: Living as Citizens of Heaven on Earth—Collected Insights From A.W. Tozer
I first heard Tozer’s preaching in 1968, when I lived in England. As a result of his impact on my life, I began to read his books. I was thrilled to receive a book by Tozer that I had never seen before, published in 2016.
Culture is a compilation of Tozer’s writings on Christian culture. It is an excellent book, with a beautiful and aesthetically designed cover by Moody Publishers.
One of my favorite chapters is “The Sacrament of Living”. Tozer states Jesus, the Son of Man, “never once performed a non-sacred act. His presence here in human flesh sweeps away forever the evil notion that there is about the human body something innately offensive to the Deity.” (p. 12). For those of us taught to hate our body, this is a refreshing perspective that brings hope in the midst of failure or discouragement.
When The Church Loses Relevance
Fragmentation has occurred within the Church placing anything outside church walls or to do with the physical body as being secular.
With this schism between the sacred and the secular, we have excused sin and have lost our awe of God. Instead of failure driving us to Calvary where we experience the Lord’s forgiveness, we have rationalized and dismissed our activity as being secular; thus it is of no relevance to our faith.
The Church has lost her cutting edge in society as she has become a social organization that seeks to be entertained. We fail to understand our identity as the Bride of Christ who is to do everything for God’s glory. Instead, we have modified the truth so we feel comfortable; but that has created hard hearts and an absence of spiritual desire. Tozer calls us to truth; to embrace and live the truth so we may find inner satisfaction and everything we do becomes a sacred act of worship.
It is thrilling to realize once we understand God’s presence crosses every barrier, the Holy Spirit enables us to develop a mindset where “every act of [our] life is or can be as truly sacred as prayer or baptism or the Lord’s Supper.” (p. 12).
If you have never read Tozer before, this is an excellent book to begin with. Tozer’s writings are as fresh and relevant today as they were 60 years ago.
In one chapter, he speaks about developing an “authentic voice”. For those who have had their voice stolen through abuse, it is exciting to think how the Lord longs for us to have an authentic voice in society.
Teaches us not to hate our bodies but to receive the sacred in daily living
Demands a response to truth without glossing over the challenges of life
Words to make you thirsty and desire Christ more
Encourages understanding our identity in Christ
The Radical Message
Tozer reminds us, “Truth is a glorious but hard mistress. She never consults, bargains, or compromises.” (p. 148). Truth always demands a response of us as it leads to the radical message of Calvary where Christ died so we might live. Its embrace begins the deep work of purification as the Spirit creates inner unity that makes the world hunger after truth.
If you desire a book that will make you thirsty, confront lies you believe, and challenge you to move to a new level in your walk with Christ, then I encourage you to read this book.
Thanks to Moody Publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.