Sometimes we forget that the Bible is a revelation of God’s wisdom to us. Not only does Scripture reveal the points of wisdom that God has chosen to reveal, but within its covers are a multitude of passages that speak directly about that wisdom. So complex and profound is it though, that God’s wisdom cannot be contained within the confines of words on a page. Literally, there are too many facets and applications of it for all of it to be revealed through the Bible. Figuratively, the Lord’s wisdom is not meant to be contained upon pages alone, but to be lived out through the obedient lives of His children as well. For the Christian then, there exists a great urgency in understanding the situation and significance of the Lord’s wisdom for the saturation of our lives.
Lamentably, few have chosen to deal comprehensively with this topic. Known pastor and author, A.W. Tozer, previously wrote the wisdom of God, however that work went unpublished until this month’s release by Bethany House. In The Wisdom of God: Letting His Truth and Goodness Direct Your Steps, Tozer directs readers attention to God’s wisdom, not merely for understanding, but under the notion that what is revealed will influence the steps of one’s life for God. While many of us would be quick to expound upon Jesus Christ as wisdom as our first step, Tozer does something a bit different. He first examines the doctrine of wisdom through the understanding of the Hebrews and only then does he demonstrate how the doctrine was fulfilled in Christ. Attention to this results in a unique foundation and understanding that ties together the doctrine comprehensively over the entirety of the Bible. Only then, does he move forward to discuss how to find and apply wisdom.
Tozer’s comprehensiveness creates a unique book for believers. That uniqueness is captured in three characteristics:
- Prayerful: One of the aspects to be appreciated is the emphasis on prayer. Not only does the book end with a prayer that encapsulates all of the teachings, but each chapter begins with a short and profound prayer about the concepts that readers will learn.
- Thoughtful: While writing in an easily understandable manner, the concepts presented are deep and require readers to reflect upon the content. Tozer addresses topics such as the difference between moral and divine wisdom, the role of wisdom in one’s life, among many others and thus readers must think beyond what they are sometimes comfortable with.
- Confrontational: Finally, the author’s thoroughness compels readers to be confronted about the current capacities of the gospel’s role in the Christian life. Reading through The Wisdom of God will force Christians to evaluate how much influence and impact we allow the gospel to have in all that we do, our own role in evangelism, and our low expectations of professing believers.
Because of these aspects, there is much that readers can gain from Tozer’s writings.
It is unfortunate that at times the book tends to take both a natural and mystical approach at times. Yes, those two words seem to conflict a bit. However, Tozer skirts the boundaries of acceptable doctrine in these areas. First, there are times that he seems to border on teaching believers to look beyond normal revelation into something more. However, he never quite crosses into mysticism in this writing, but readers would do well to be on guard. Furthermore, the author reacts against anything that can be explained as natural as not being from God. Thus, he makes a large distinction between the disciplines of science and religion. Part of this is understandable in that he attempts to differentiate and explain how many people can have aspects of wisdom apart from God. We can be thankful that he sees this as a necessary point to discuss, but the sharpness with which he determines those distinctions creates a false dichotomy that does not exist.
In light of this, A.W. Tozer offers compelling insights about the Christian life through The Wisdom of God. Therefore, the book is a worthwhile investment of time. Tozer’s thoroughness brings light to areas of the Christian life that need to be both confronted and considered. Therefore, readers would do well to read, contemplate, and respond to what is learned in this particular book.
To purchase a copy of The Wisdom of God, click here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost for the purposes of review. However, the review was not influenced in any way by others but is the response to my own reading of the book.