Book Review: The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

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Book Review of A.W. #Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy | Jamie Rohrbaugh | blog

I was relaxing in a shady clamshell on the beach in the Bahamas when tears started running down my face. I was reading A.W. Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy,” and the Lord visited me with revelation of Himself.

I saw Him so clearly that day:

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    • I saw His bigness and grandeur, compared to my smallness.
    • I saw His beauty and majesty.
    • I saw His mercy and love.
    • I was wrecked with desire to give Him more of my allegiance and obedience than I ever had.

    On that day, I was overwhelmed with one of the most powerful visitations of the Holy Spirit I have ever had in my life. God used this book to change my life.

    I don’t say “it changed my life” easily or tritely, either.

    I read a lot. Lots of books are good. Some are bad. Few are truly life-changers.

    But reading “The Knowledge of the Holy” really did change my life. It’s easily the most powerful book I’ve ever read, outside of the Bible.

    This book is short: only 117 pages. It has 23 chapters, each one of which is also very short. But in these short chapters, Tozer takes over 20+ revealed attributes of God and explains each one. He shows not only what God is like, but also what God is not like, and how we sometimes have false notions about Him.

    This is a short book, but not a shallow one. It’s deep. It’s so deep it will bring you to tears. Reading it will fill you with joy, faith, and yes, repentance.

    This book contains a more understandable explanation of who God is, and of how He relates to mankind, than I have ever read or seen anywhere else. “The Knowledge of the Holy” has done more to change my life than any other book, except the Bible.

    Some of the quotes from The Knowledge of the Holy that I loved the most are:

    Start-quoteThe low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. … With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence” (page vii).
    “Low views of God destroy the gospel for all who hold them” (pg. 3).

    “The word necessary is wholly foreign to God” (pg. 33).

    “Divine goodness, as one of God’s attributes, is self-caused, infinite, perfect, and eternal. Since God is immutable He never varies in the intensity of His loving-kindness. He has never been kinder than he now is, nor will He ever be less kind” (pg. 83).

    “It is a strange and beautiful eccentricity of the free God that He has allowed His heart to be emotionally identified with men. Self-sufficient as He is, He wants our love and will not be satisfied till He gets it. Free as He is, He has let His heart be bound to us forever” (pg. 100).

    “Holy is the way God is. To be holy He does not conform to a standard. He is that standard” (pg. 103).

    This book is worth your time. If you read only 3-4 pages per day, you could finish it in less than a month. So go grab your copy from Amazon at this link: The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life, and please let me know what you think by posting comments below as you read through it!

    Note: The links above are my affiliate links. That means that if you purchase this book on Amazon using a link above, Amazon will pay me a small commission (at no additional cost to you of course). Thank you in advance! 

    Image courtesy of William Andrus on Flickr via Creative Commons license. Graphics and text added.


    1. Reading this now. Thanks for the recommendation.

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