Book Review: From the Library of A.W. Tozer—Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey Compiled By: James Stuart Bell
I love these types of compilations and I love this one especially. One reason for my great delight in this particular volume is that it captures the great influencers of one of my greatly loved theologians, A. W. Tozer. The Pursuit of God, The Knowledge of the Holy, and Man, the Dwelling Place of God are among my favorite works by Tozer. I consider it a window into his heart and mind and a great privilege to be able to draw from the theological writings that helped to shape him. This is what From the Library of A. W. Tozer provides us with, a window, an opportunity, and a privilege. I am grateful for the effort and energy that James Stuart Bell provides to deliver this book to people who have gleaned from the teaching of Tozer.
This collection is divided into eight sections or chapters. Each chapter operates under a particular theme and/or discipline of spiritual formation. I use this language because I am reminded of some of the teachings and spiritual writing compilations that I’ve used from the Renovare’ Group. I found this “library collection” of Tozer, by Bell, very similar in structure to Devotional Classics: Revised Edition: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups by Richard Foster. This isn’t meant to say it is a duplicate work, but to emphasize how important some of these ancient and historical Christian writings are to the Body of Christ that is the Church. We are truly surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and it is a blessing to have a sampling of some of their works compiled in a single volume. The themes or subject of the chapters are as follows: Worship, Prayer and Contemplation, Exhortations, The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Practicing the Presence of God, Christian Doctrine, and Living the Christian Life. Included at the end of the book is a section devoted to brief biographies of the authors mentioned, a listing of references from which the excerpts were taken as well as a well documented index.
This book is a real treasure. It can certainly be used as a devotional resource and James Bell recommends it as such for one of its purposes. I think in addition to the devotional value of the book is the educational and academic value. In bite-sized portions, the reader is introduced to some of the greatest minds in Christian history and influence; names like Augustine, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis Fenelon, George Mueller, John Wesley, John Calvin, William Law, and many, many more! In my estimation it is much akin to being handed a well-documented genealogy of our Christian faith family. What a colorful and diverse family of faith we have; with humility and open mind, we have the opportunity to learn much from one another. The references and annotations provide a great resource for additional study and reading for those who wish to further enrich their study and devotion. I recommend this book highly.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”