Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Aiden Wilson Tozer
Among his more than forty books, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: "The Pursuit of God" and "The Knowledge of the Holy."
For many, reading Tozer can be a deeply moving experience. His books impress on the reader the necessity and possibility for a deeper and honest walk with God.
His respected reputation as a preacher and writer on the spiritual life is surprising, considering he received no formal theological training. He did receive two honorary doctorates.
His preaching and books were never solely focused on academic or theoretical concerns. His highly readable style is characterized by a freshness, and is drawn from a deep sense of relationship with God, with an urgent regard for a relevant and applicable understanding of scripture. While his works are strikingly meditative and sensitive, his clear prose also displays a clarity of perception and disciplined logic.
Possessing a unique discernment of contemporary Christian living, his spiritual intuition about modern trends of the church guided his argument that the church was on a dangerous course towards compromising with ‘worldly’ concerns. With a simple and penetrating style he was able to demolish popular assumptions about the Christian experience.
Prayer was of vital personal importance for Tozer. "His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life," comments his biographer James L. Snyder in the book, "In Pursuit of God: The Life Of A.W. Tozer.” “He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them,” writes Snyder.
Living a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, he and his wife never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.
Important events in the Life of A.W. Tozer
Aiden Wilson Tozer was born April 21, 1897, in La Jose (now Newburg), a tiny farming community in western Pennsylvania.
His conversion experience was as a teenager in Akron, Ohio. While on his way home from work at a tire company he overheard a street preacher say "If you don't know how to be saved . . . just call on God." Upon returning home he climbed into the attic, heeding the preacher’s advice.
In 1919, five years after his conversion, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church. This began forty four years of ministry associated with The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a protestant evangelical denomination. Thirty three of those years he served as pastor in a number of churches. He also ministered as an author, magazine editor, Bible conference speaker, denominational leader, and a spiritual mentor to many.
His first pastorate was in a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. Tozer also served as pastor for thirty years at Southside Alliance Church in Chicago (1928 to 1959), and the final years of ministry and the final years of his life were spent as pastor of Avenue Road Church in Toronto, Canada.
In 1950, Tozer was elected editor of the Alliance Weekly magazine, now called Alliance Life, the official publication of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. From his first editorial, dated June 3, 1950, he wrote "It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that."
Tozer and his wife Ada Cecelia Pfautz were parents of seven children, six boys and one girl.
He was buried in Akron, Ohio, with a simple epitaph marking his grave: “A. W. Tozer - A Man of God.”
Fellow author Leonard Ravenhill once said of Tozer, "I fear that we shall never see another Tozer. Men like him are not college bred but Spirit taught."
More quotes from Tozer:
Speaking about the fast-paced modern church, he warned, "Our religious activities should be ordered in such a way as to leave plenty of time for the cultivation of the fruits of solitude and silence."
“God wants us to worship Him. He doesn't need us, for He couldn't be a self-sufficient God and need anything or anybody, but He wants us. When Adam sinned it was not he who cried, ‘God, where art Thou?’ It was God who cried, ‘Adam, where art thou?’” - from “Worship: The Missing Jewel”
Reflecting on his relationship with God, "I have found God to be cordial and generous and in every way easy to live with."
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