Classic Quotes from Tozer’s Of God and Men

There is so much great material in this classic volume:

One cannot get enough of A. W. Tozer. Although he passed away 60 years ago, he is still loved and read by millions of believers worldwide. And more and more material of his keeps being produced. Even though only 8 or 9 of his books came out during his lifetime, there must now be 100 volumes filled with his material. I have 42 of them.

They keep mining his sermons, editorials, and articles to get more of his stuff into book form. Early on when I was a newish Christian I discovered Tozer and bought a number of his books. But sadly I lost some of them. The story goes like this:

A church friend was in hospital so I went to visit him. I brought 3 or 4 of my Tozer books. He was a teacher and an intellectual, so he said he was not into devotional writings so much. I said neither was I, but these books were different, so I left them with him. Trouble is, I never did get them back.

So over the years I re-purchased those lost volumes, and bought many more. But it seems one of them I never did replace: his 1960 book, Of God and Men. So I just went out and got a copy, re-read it, and highlighted a lotta quotable passages.

Here then are some of the great gems found in the book (with page numbers from the original Christian Publications hardcopy version):

“The fact is that we are not today producing saints. We are making converts to an effete type of Christianity that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian in our times is but a wretched parody on true sainthood. Yet we put millions of dollars behind movements to perpetuate this degenerate form of religion and attack the man who dares to challenge the wisdom of it.” 13

“The Church at this moment needs men – the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival, that we need a new baptism of the Spirit – and God knows we must have both; but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Ghost.” 14

“The true church has never sounded out public expectations before launching her crusades. Her leaders heard from God and went ahead wholly independent of popular support or the lack of it. They knew their Lord’s will and did it, and their people followed them – sometimes to triumph, oftener to insults and public persecution – and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world.” 15

“Yes, if evangelical Christianity is to stay alive she must have men again, the right kind of men. She must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and she must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff prophets and martyrs are made of.” 16

“If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation it must be by other means than any now being used.” 22

“Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom.” 23

“Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed. The purpose behind all doctrine is to secure moral action. What is generally overlooked is that truth as set forth in the Christian Scriptures is a moral thing; it is not addressed to the intellect only, but to the will also. It addresses itself to the total man, and its obligations cannot be discharged by grasping it mentally. Truth engages the citadel of the human heart and is not satisfied until it has conquered everything there. The will must come forth and surrender its sword. It must stand at attention to receive orders, and those orders it must joyfully obey. Short of this any knowledge of Christian truth is inadequate and unavailing.” 27

“Bible exposition without moral application raises no opposition. It is only when the hearer is made to understand that truth is in conflict with his heart that resistance sets in. As long as people can hear orthodox truth divorced from life they will attend and support churches and institutions without objection.” 27-28

Image of Of God and Men: Cultivating the Divine/Human Relationship
Of God and Men: Cultivating the Divine/Human Relationship by Tozer, A. W. (Author) Amazon logo

“We Christians can sing at the foot of the threatening volcano. Things have not gotten out of hand. However bad they look, the Lord sits king forever and reigns over the affairs of men. He makes the wrath of man to praise Him and the remainder of wrath He will restrain.” 32

“The church must examine herself constantly to see if she be in the faith; she must engage in severe self-criticism with a cheerful readiness to make amends; she must live in a state of perpetual penitence, seeking God with her whole heart; she must constantly check her life and conduct against the Holy Scriptures and bring her life into line with the will of God.” 33

“The task of the church is twofold: to spread Christianity throughout the world and to make sure that the Christianity she spreads is the pure New Testament kind.” 34

“Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual. We have lost the art of worship. We are not producing saints. Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities. We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser. Our homes have been turned into theaters. Our literature is shallow and our hymnody borders on sacrilege. And scarcely anyone appears to care. We must have a better kind of Christianity soon or within another half century we may have no true Christianity at all.” 36-37

“I have long believed that a man who spurns the Christian faith outright is more respected before God and the heavenly powers than the man who pretends to religion but refuses to come under its total domination. The first is an overt enemy, the second a false friend. It is the latter who will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ; and the reason is not hard to understand. One picture of a Christian is a man carrying a cross. ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ The man with a cross no longer controls his destiny; he lost control when he picked up his cross. That cross immediately became to him an all-absorbing interest, an overwhelming interference. No matter what he may desire to do, there is but one thing he can do; that is, move on toward the place of crucifixion.” 38

“[In the New Testament] the emphasis is not upon happiness but upon holiness. God is more concerned with the state of people’s hearts than with the state of their feelings. Undoubtedly the will of God brings final happiness to those who obey, but the most important matter is not how happy we are but how holy. The soldier does not seek to be happy in the field; he seeks rather to get the fighting over with, to win the war and get back home to his loved ones. There he may enjoy himself to the full; but while the war is on his most pressing job is to be a good soldier, to acquit himself like a man, regardless of how he feels.” 45

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? . . . I believe our problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying; and it simply will not work.” 50-51

“Prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The sovereign Lord accepts no offering from His creatures that is not accompanied by obedience. To pray for revival while ignoring or actually flouting the plain precept laid down in the Scriptures is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. . . . Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.” 52-53

“True faith requires that we believe everything God has said about Himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us. Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do.” 56

“The supreme purpose of the Christian religion is to make men like God in order that they may act like God. In Christ the verbs to be and to do follow each other in that order. True religion leads to moral action. The only true Christian is the practicing Christian.” 58

“Among other things, the Bible is a record of the struggle of twice-born men to live in a world run by the once-born.” 63

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” 67

“To esteem anyone worthless who wears the form of a man is to be guilty of an affront to the Son of Man. We should hate sin in ourselves and in all men, but we should never undervalue the man in whom the sin is found.” 84

“It is not an easy task to be prophets and reformers in our generation and yet maintain a spirit of kindliness toward the very ones we are sent to reprove. But it is not impossible.” 94

[1679 words]

5 Replies to “Classic Quotes from Tozer’s Of God and Men

  1. Great reading, great post. Thanks Bill.
    Perhaps this article should be made compulsory reading for our Christian “leaders”……

  2. Thanks Bill for all these quotes. Looks like obeying is better than just praying for things to change.

  3. True you don’t want to tailor the message to the audience in that you don’t want to give a soft message to an audience that doesn’t want to hear about sin and repentance but it would be ok I think to send out feelers to find out specific problems the community you’re in or going to is having and address them properly using them Bible. Kind of adding extra emphasis on the issues of each community while still giving the whole message of salvation. A drawing I often refer to is the decent of the modernists. It starts with one step but keeps going. The change from Christian to atheist is a slow methodical one but it has been faster the past few decades thanks to public schools and ungodly people controlling the education system. Society took some time but it did make the change. For men it took time to go from men to mice going the other way might take time society wide but individually could go much faster with God’s help.

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