Monday, April 11, 2016

"God"

John 3.33 AMP

“Whoever receives His [Jesus Christ’s] testimony has set his seal of approval to this: God is true.

My style of reading is to attack a book with pen or highlighter in hand. My personal library contains mostly battered volumes with earmarked pages, scribblings of diagrams with arrows, underlinings, margin comments, and other evidence of book abuse.

My wife’s book collection was quite different. She was a minimalist and chose to own less, not more, possessions of any kind, including books. I will own any popular book. She was quite selective about the company of literature she kept. A few classics and her Bible. That’s about it. A voracious reader, my wife opted for the public library rather than “clutter our home with one more book”, as she put it.

Adonica made an exception with A. W. Tozer. She had to own The Knowledge of the Holy. It’s a skinny 120 page volume and, in my initial opinion, no bargain at $12.95. But my dear woman read and reread this book many times. She could review any page at any time to instantly reconnect with God. This reading practice is not systematic enough for me. I read a book once while identifying the key points with a yellow highlighter. My wife claims that highlights and underlines demand your attention at subsequent readings, and our mind excludes the other and just as meaningful passages of a book. She does not underline her Bible for the same reason. “It’s all God’s Word”, she would claim, “not just the part you decide to underline!” Powell’s Bookstore apparently agrees, offering you less at the ‘book buyers’ counter for marked up copies.

Before she died, my precious Adonica read to me this portion of “Knowledge” from Tozer:

“Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering. To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for ‘where’ has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made.”[1] 

I was mesmerized. These words fed my soul. I was still contemplating Tozer’s message the next morning when I read my Bible. Tozer (and my wife) inspired me to meditate that day on three small words from John, chapter 3: “God is true”. I did not begin to make even the slightest scratch in the surface of their meaning, but I may have moved incrementally and imperceptibly in the direction of “The Knowledge of the Holy” by the practice of this simple discipline of meditation. According John 3.33, I “set my seal of approval to [the fact that] God is true” by simply believing the words of His Son, which I do.

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[1] The Knowledge of the Holy ~ The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life, A. W. Tozer, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 1961, pp. 26f. Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was a popular Christian author and mystic. He authored thirty books and is one of the most influential American evangelists of the twentieth century. He also wrote: “We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God” (p. 1) and, “…because we are the handiwork of God, it follows that all our problems and their solutions are theological. Some knowledge of what kind of God it is that operates the universe is indispensable to a sound philosophy of life and a sane outlook on the world…” (p. 27).

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