But, as I sadly read onwards in order to write this review, I found myself unexpectedly warming to this book. The style that I enjoy is absent. But the purpose of a devotional, as the name implies, isn't primarily entertainment. It's to try to make you more devoted.
Fortunately, Tozer's writing can help you with that. First, I'd like to discuss the layout for this book, then give you a feel for Tozer, and finally give you my thoughts on it. Hopefully, by the time I'm done, you'll have a better understanding of the work of this man.
Since this book is a devotional, it's naturally broken into 365 daily readings. If you try going through this in a leap year, tough luck. Aside from that, it's also broken up into monthly sections. Each month has a theme. For instance, April's theme is prayer. January's is personal life.
This book was created by pairing snippets from the Bible with sections of books by Tozer. Each book is conveniently cited, in case you feel like doing further reading. (Also, since this book is a compilation of Tozer quotes, most of the quotes in this post aren't all drawn from the devotional.)
To me, the biggest part of Tozer's style is its lack of adornment. He was from La Jose, Pennsylvania. You probably haven't heard of it, unless you're from La Jose. He converted to Christianity after hearing a street preacher, and five years later, without formal theological training, he became a pastor. As Tozer biographer James Snyder noted, "His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life."
He lived a simple, powerful life. He strove to teach and preach truth, plain, simple, and profound.
If you're looking for flowery, chivalrous language, or logical paths carefully trodden, then you should look elsewhere.
But if you're looking for truth, you'll find a lot of it here. I don't know if I completely agree with a few of the finer points of his theology. But despite that, this is definitely worth reading.
Here's a few more quotes from Tozer to give you a better feel for his style.
"No Christian, if he is right with God, should ever need to hide anything in his life."
Is this book worth reading? Probably. Is it going to be on my top 100 list? I doubt it. But I'll probably finish it anyways.
I'm not a giant fan of the style of this book. But the truth's contained in it, I must say, are valuable ones. Tozer diagnoses the modern state of the Western part of the church in a way that should pierce the vast majority of us.
We all need a bit of cold water in the face sometimes. Cold water is rarely pleasant. It's rarely beautiful, especially when you're being doused by it. But like this book, cold water will wake you up.
Non-fiction, Christianity, Theology.
CONTENT (1=worst & 10=best):
This is a devotional. I think this one can be safely pronounced to be about as clean as a whistle. With the caveat that I haven't completely finished this book yet, I'll give it a ten on all counts.