Insight from Tozer – Why People Find the Bible DifficultMay 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
Tags: A. W. Tozer, Man the Dwelling Place of God, understanding the Bible
I am having a renewed interest in the writings of Tozer. While visiting my in-laws I came across some old paperbacks and asked if I could take some home to read. A few of them were by Tozer and Andrew Murray. I started skimming through the books and decided to slowly read through Man The Dwelling Place of God. I also thought that Wednesdays on the blog would become an insight from Tozer day. Maybe I can remind people of the great insight and practical knowledge that God gave this man. At the least I would be encouraged and challenged to know God better.
My plan is to give some excerpts from different chapters and let the reader think about what Tozer has written. I will give some of my thoughts as well. Today’s chapter is Why People Find the Bible Difficult, pages 26-29.
“………..Why is the Bible hard to understand? No snap answer can be given; the pert answer is sure to be the wrong one………..In spite of this I venture to give a short answer to the question….I believe that we find the Bible difficult because we try to read it as we would any other book, and it is not the same as any other book.
The Bible is not addressed to just anybody. Its message is directed to a chosen few. Whether these few are chosen by God in a sovereign act of election or are chosen because they meet certain qualifying conditions I leave to each one to decide as he may, knowing full well that his decision will be determined by his basic beliefs about such matters as predestination, free will, the eternal decrees and other related doctrines. But whatever may have taken place in eternity, it is obvious what happens in time: Some believe and some do not; some are morally receptive and some are not; some have spiritual capacity and some have not. It is to those who do and are and have that the Bible is addressed. Those who do not and are not and have not will read it in vain.
Right here I expect some readers to enter strenuous objections, and for reasons not hard to find. Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Savior of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.”
These are powerful words from Tozer aren’t they? They still speak loudly to the times in which we live. Sometimes I think God was using this man to get people’s attention and to turn their hearts and minds back to Him. This chapter may have been written in the 1950’s and appeared as either an article or editorial in The Alliance Witness which was a monthly magazine of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
I think we should pay attention and think about what Tozer had to say. We should also ask ourselves if our church services are man-centered or God-centered and who really is the star of the show? Stay faithful and hopeful.
Much GRACE and peace to you,
Bill (a fellow-laborer)
Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-3