A Do-It-Yourself Education Better Than None

September 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Insight from A. W. Tozer

I have been slowly reading through Tozer’s Man: The Dwelling Place of God as a part of my devotional reading/studying. I haven’t used every chapter that I have read. I find that Tozer usually challenges my thinking. Usually the posts from my Tozer readings are on Wednesdays. Right now I am considering which of his books to read and post from next. If you would like to listen to him preach go to: www.sermonindex.net. They have a great collection of sermons and it would be well worth the time to look them over and listen to a few.

Tozer has much to say about this subject and took to heart lifelong learning. Remember that this is only an excerpt from his chapter. But I do hope you are challenged to learn.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

This is written for those Christians who may have missed a formal education. Let no one despair. A do-it-yourself education is better than none. It can be acquired by the proper use of our mental powers.

Our intellectual activities in the order of their importance may be graded this way: first, cogitation; second, observation; third, reading………………..

I believe that pure thinking will do more to educate a man than any other activity he can engage in. To afford sympathetic entertainment to abstract ideas, to let one idea beget another, and that another, till the mind teems with them; to compare one idea with others, to weigh, to consider, evaluate, approve, reject, correct, refine; to join thought with thought like an architect till a noble edifice has been created within the mind; to travel back in imagination to the beginning of the creation and then to leap swiftly forward to the end of time; to bound upward through illimitable space and downward into the nucleus of an atom; and all this without so much as moving from our chair or opening the eyes – this is to soar above all the lower creation and to come near to the angels of God.

Of all earth’s creatures only man can think in this way. And while thinking is the mightiest act a man can perform, perhaps for the very reason that it is the mightiest, it is the one act he likes the least and avoids the most………………………….

After cogitation comes observation (in order of importance, not in order of time). Observation is, of course, simply a method of obtaining information. Without information the most powerful mind can produce nothing worthwhile………………………

While it is impossible to live even a short time without learning something, unfortunately it is possible to live a long time and not learn very much. Observation is a powerful tool, but its usefulness depends upon how well we use it……………

Lastly, reading. To think without a proper amount of good reading is to limit our thinking to our own tiny plot of ground. The crop cannot be large. To observe only and neglect reading is to deny ourselves the immense value of other people’s observations; and since the better books are written by trained observers the loss is sure to be enormous. Extensive reading without the discipline of practical observation will lead to bookishness and artificiality. Reading and observing without a great deal of meditating will fill the mind with learned lumber that will always remain alien to us. Knowledge to be our own must be digested by thinking. – from pages 144-147, Christian Publications, Inc. Copyright 1966.

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