The following quote [in blue] is from A.W. Tozer and was written 50 years ago. It might have been written yesterday. Our culture is shallow and getting shallower. If we truly want to grow in the “grace and knowledge of Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), to grow in our intimacy with Christ–like a garden–we need space, time, and the right nutrients.
Tozer makes a powerful observation revealing just how shallow our own age’s meditation and ponderings on the Scripture are. We are made of weak and thin stuff in comparison. Our theological reflection, my own theological reflection, is a dim shadow compared to the image of holiness this casts.
I am convinced that the dearth of great saints in these times even among those who truly believe in Christ is due at least in part to our unwillingness to give sufficient time to the cultivation of the knowledge of God. We of the nervous West are victims of the philosophy of activism tragically misunderstood. Getting and spending, going and returning, organizing and promoting, buying and selling, working and playing—this alone constitutes living. If we are not making plans or working to carry out plans already made we feel that we are failures, that we are sterile, unfruitful eunuchs, parasites on the body of society.
The gospel of work, as someone has called it, has crowded out the gospel of Christ in many Christian churches. In an effort to get the work of the Lord done we often lose contact with the Lord of the work and quite literally wear our people out as well. I have heard more than one pastor boast that his church was a “live” one, pointing to the printed calendar as a proof—something on every night and several meetings during the day. Of course this proves nothing except that the pastor and the church are being guided by a bad spiritual philosophy. A great many of these time-consuming activities are useless and others plain ridiculous. “But” say the eager beavers who run the religious squirrel cages, “they provide fellowship and they hold our people together.”
To this I reply that what they provide is not fellowship at all, and if that is the best thing the church has to offer to hold the people together it is not a Christian church in the New Testament meaning of that word. The center of attraction in a true church is the Lord Jesus Christ. As for fellowship, let the Holy Spirit define it for us: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles” doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers? (Acts 2:42).
A.W. Tozer, Waiting for God
We have got to find ways to simplify our lives so that God has the time and space to change us. We are too busy with trivial things. Just like a garden, we need space, and light, and time, and nutrients to grow.
Ask this question of your day:
What is wasteful, just “filling time”, unproductive, and useless in your daily activity?
What might change if I/we redeemed some of that time for prayer, Bible Study, and reflection?
We need to go deeper with God, if revival and blessing are to come to our country and world.
2 thoughts on “The Thinness of Evangelical Reflection in our Age”
Reblogged this on ChosenRebel's Blog and commented:
The “NERVOUS WEST” is A.W. Tozer’s description of the Church. We are often so occupied with trivial things and meaningless activity, even in the church, that there is little time for quiet reflection on the Scripture. Let Tozer show you a better path.
Is there an AW Tozer writing and publishing today? Is it possible? Where are the great voices of the last century; today’s Tozer, Packer, Nee, Lloyd-Jones, Stott, Schaefer? (No offense, Marty). I’m wondering if the voices are not still here but the din created by the internet is not drowning out the message.
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