There are so many classic Christian works from throughout history that I’d love to read. I’ve read parts of many of them, all of some of them, but it’s difficult to get to them all. I’ve really been enjoying the copy of From the Library of A. W. Tozer that Bethany House recently sent to me. A.W. Tozer is the author of the classics The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy among others.
From the Library of A. W. Tozer takes excerpts from a wide variety of works throughout church history…from the earliest church fathers to modern time…and arranges them by theme. Each work included is one that had a profound influence on A.W. Tozer’s life and thought and is fairly short, about 1 to 3 pages in length.
The eight chapters cover these themes:
- Worship: The Chief End of Man
- Prayer and Contemplation
- Exhortations and Prophetic Words
- Our Counselor: The Holy Spirit
- Jesus Christ: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King
- Practicing the Presence of God
- On Christian Doctrine
- On Living the Christian Life
In these pages you’ll find the writings of Augustine, Thomas a Kempis, Martin Luther, D. L. Moody, and many others. From early church fathers, to monks, mystics, and reformers, there’s a wide variety of thought represented here. There’s also a biographical sketch of Tozer himself and, in a section in the back, a brief (about a paragraph) biography of each writer and a list of the works excerpted.
This is not a book to sit down and read straight through, but I’ve really been enjoying working slowly through it as part of my daily devotional time. This is definitely not a substitute for Scripture reading or Bible study, but it makes a nice addition. I like the way the book is organized…it’s very interesting to read about the same subject from such a variety of viewpoints. By reading one excerpt a day I get a broad sweep or overview of the thoughts of a very diverse group of people from throughout church history on a given topic. Some of the writers and works I’m very familiar with, others I’ve heard of, still others are totally unfamiliar. It’s been thought-provoking and has exposed me to some writings that I may have never sought out on my own. While it would be difficult to read complete works of so many writers on each subject, this compilation offers the opportunity to become familiar with a wide variety of perspectives. Each excerpt brings out a different unique facet of the topic at hand.
If you’d like to delve in to some of the great works of Christianity from throughout the ages but don’t know quite where to begin, From the Library of A. W. Tozer may make an excellent starting point. The excerpts here are sure to whet your appetite to seek out at least a few of the originals to read further, and it provides well-rounded views on a variety of topics. It offers exposure to a number of great thinkers throughout church history, making it excellent for personal study or even as an addition to a high schooler’s study of church history and/or literature. I think it’ll be an excellent fit when my oldest daughter and I study church history together in a couple of years.
It’s a unique book that offers a valuable glimpse of Christian thought through the ages!
Thanks so much to Bethany House for providing a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.