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The Pursuit of God (Paperback)
The Pursuit of God, first published in 1948 by Christian pastor and writer A.W. Tozer provides a simple blueprint for living a life closer to God. Considered a Christian classic, this book was listed on Christianity Today's collection of 100 "Best Books of the Century."
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) was a self-taught pastor and writer. As a young man with no formal education in theology, he was nonetheless offered a position as a pastor. For the next 44 years, he served as a spiritual leader to his congregants and wrote books, essays, and articles to share his faith and lead others closer to God.
Tozer's ongoing concern was the worldliness of the modern church. He was a fundamentalist, taking all of his theological principles directly from the scriptures and never bending the Word to fit his own beliefs. It is for this adherence to the Bible and his simple writing style that he became one of the most revered Christian writers of the 20th century.
On a long overnight train ride between Chicago and Texas in the 1940s, Tozer wrote the first draft of The Pursuit of God. The resulting book went on to become one of his best-known works. In the preface, Tozer notes the reasons why he felt the need to write this book. While there are numerous teachers engaged in the work of sharing the doctrines of Christ, " ... too many of these seem satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest Presence, nor anything unusual in their personal lives." But among their listeners, Tozer felt there were many who felt "within their breasts a longing which their teaching simply does not satisfy."
In this book, Tozer attempts to bridge this gap, helping the believers to find this deeper connection to God. Each chapter reveals another way that the reader can improve his or her relationship with the Creator. For those that feel the urge to pursue God, this work is a valuable guide. It includes lessons on materialism, the proper relation of man to God, and the true value of meekness, among others.
As he often does, Tozer argues against worldliness and distraction, even within the church. "Right now we are in an age of religious complexity," he says. "The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart."
A major theme of the book is developing your personal experience of God. Just as you have five senses that let you interact with the world around you, you have a spiritual sense that lets you interact with the Creator. When you accept God's universal Presence, you start to accept that you will never be closer to Him in heaven than you are right now. But you can get to know Him better through prayer and faith.
Tozer also warns that there is no need to separate your life into two parts, the spiritual and the secular. Our sacred acts like attending church, studying the Bible, and prayer do not need to feel so divorced from the worldly acts of eating, sleeping, and working. Life is not meant to be lived with spirituality in one hemisphere, and the "real world" in another. After all, Christ Himself came to Earth in a human body, and he had to feed it and care for it just like you do.
In simple prose, Tozer helps to lead the reader out of a superficial relationship to God and toward a deeper connection with Him. It is in this pursuit that Christians can find His Presence, not just in church, but around and within them.