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Review: Culture 11th November, 2016

Posted by Scotty in Books, Reviews.
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9781600668012

I was a bit surprised by this book. I enjoy reading Tozer. He has written some wonderful Christian Classics that are deep, provocative and insightful. I recently read Culture by A.W.Tozer and I’m surprised to say that I was disappointed with this book.

What did I like?

As you’d expect from Tozer, his writing is packed full of Scripture, he affirms God’s Word and our need to guard the Truth. He calls the reader to consider the cost of following Jesus and to accept that living like Christ should mean we experience trouble in the world, since the morality of Christ and morality of the world will always be at odds. He upholds the need for holiness and gives a number of critiques of the church that give pause and invite consideration about the state of our churches.

What didn’t I like?

This book is not for those who are interested in engaging the discussion about Christ and culture and how the church can engage with culture for the sake of the Gospel. From the title and subtitle (and from other Tozer books) I expected the book to contain deep insight into how to live and engage culture as Christians. Instead the chapters were mostly critical and separatist in their approach, rightly encouraging holiness and purity as Christians living in the world, but failing to give any practical help for how to engage the culture around us in a meaningful way. I’ve come to love Tozer for his penetrating insights into the character of God and the heart of man, but this book was more shallow in its discussion and somewhat one-sided in it’s approach.

Who should read it?

Those who are looking to be challenged to be distinct from the world and who are perhaps newer to contemplating the relationship between Christ and Culture.

I’ll finish with a couple of my favorite quotes:

There is an inactivity that, paradoxically, is the highest possible activity…
In the Old Testament, to wait on God meant coming before His presence with expectation and waiting there with physical and mental inactivity… There is a place where the mind quits trying to figure out its own way and throws itself wide open to God. And the shining glory of God comes down into the waiting life and imparts an activity (p101).

One picture of a Christian is a man carrying a cross… The man with a cross no longer controls his destiny; he lost control when he picked up his cross.  That cross immediately became to him an all-absorbing interest, an overwhelming interference. No matter what he may desire to do, there is but one thing he can do; that is, move on toward the place of crucifixion (p148)

(I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review)

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