Friday, June 20, 2008

A Passion for God - Dorsett

This is a quick read biography of the preacher and author Aiden Wilson Tozer (otherwise known as A.W.). Dorsett does a great job of not only showing the many facets of what A.W. was about - but also showing his weaknesses - so as not to put A.W. up on a pedestal - but to point his readers to the God whom A.W. served.
Before reading this book, I knew (give or take) two things about Tozer. One was that he wrote The Pursuit of God. Two was that he wrote The Knowledge of the Holy. Great books. You need to read them if you haven't. But, after reading this book this week - I now know 3 more important things about this man who knew his God intimately.
1. He loved college students. This is important to me because I love college students. He preached several years at a church in Chicago. The Sunday night sermons were well-attended to overflowing the sanctuary by nearby college students from MBI and Wheaton. He poured his life into many of them, mentoring them, encouraging them to read and study, and also to be engaged in world missions and church planting. (Does that sound familiar - I think the Summit does a great job with their college staff).
2. He loved to read. He dropped out of school at 14 never to return, but has 2 honorary doctorates and probably has more knowledge about subjects than people with two real doctorates have. He spent so much time learning and reading and studying - and pouring that information and that desire to other people. Definitely one that would agree with Piper and Lewis on the idea of chronological snobbery when it comes to reading.
3. He wasn't a husband of great intimacy, nor a father of the same. He was faithful with never any worries as to affairs - but Ada (his wife of 45 years) scarcely knew intimacy with him - to the contrary - they had 7 kids. Those kids, minus the youngest and only daughter - hardly knew intimacy with their father. So sad that a man who knew his God so well and knew books and knew the children in the church's nursery - couldn't show intimacy with his only wife and several kids. One thing I do know for sure - if A.W. Tozer had written a book on marriage - I wouldn't be reading it.
But, even knowing that he wasn't a doting husband or father - doesn't negate his writings, sermons, or life. I am grateful for Dorsett who didn't cover up Tozer's weaknesses - but expressed them us his readers in this book. One doesn't negate all of a person's teaching just because they are not adequate in all areas.

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