Although written two years after the publication of The Pursuit of God, Tozer’s God’s Pursuit of Man is considered its prequel because it sets forth the biblical truth that before man can pursue God, God must first pursue man. In this book, previously published as The Pursuit of Man Tozer speaks fervently of God’s desire for man to be saved and the action He takes as He “invades” the human soul. It is then, Tozer explains, that the Holy Spirit can teach us the mystery of the triune God.
Aiden Wilson Tozer Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) was born on a small farm in what is now Newburg, PA. His family moved to Akron, Ohio, when he was just a young boy. At the age of 17, Tozer heard a street preacher, responded to the calling of Christ, and began his lifelong pursuit of God. After becoming an active witness of Jesus as a lay preacher, he joined The Christian and Missionary Alliance and was soon serving as the pastor of West Virginia’s Alliance Church, in 1919. He transferred to the Southside Alliance Church in Chicago in 1928, and his ministry continued there for 31 years. During that time he preached on the Moody Bible Institute’s radio station. In the 1940s Tozer was invited to speak at Wheaton College, and seldom a year passed after World War II that he didn’t preach in the college’s Pierce Chapel. In 1950 he became the editor of The Alliance Life magazine and served in that capacity until his death.
Self-taught, with no formal Bible training, Tozer has been called a twentieth-century prophet within his own lifetime. Through years of diligent study and constant prayer, he sought the mind of God. A master craftsman in the use of the English language, he was able to write in a simple, cogent style the principles of truth he had learned. For Tozer, “there was no substitute for knowing God firsthand.” He wrote many of his books with one idea in mind—that his reader would achieve the heart’s true goal in God and maintain that relationship with Him.
Tozer moved to Toronto in 1959 and spent the final years of his life as the pastor of Avenue Road Church. He and his wife, Ada, lived a simple, non-materialistic lifestyle and let much of the royalties from his books go to those in need. The Tozers had seven children, six boys and one girl. James L. Snyder, said of Tozer that his “preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life. He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them.”
“We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as always being there, and there first.” (Page 3)
“For sin’s human captives God never intends anything less than full deliverance. The Christian message rightly understood means this: The God who by the word of the gospel proclaims men free, by the power of the gospel actually makes them free. To accept less than this is to know the gospel in word only, without its power.” (Page 27)
“For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act which inspired the text” (Page 77)
“We habitually stand in our now and look back by faith to see the past filled with God. We look forward and see Him inhabiting our future; but our now is uninhabited except for ourselves. Thus we are guilty of a kind of temporary atheism which leaves us alone in the universe while, for the time, God is not. We talk of Him much and loudly, but we secretly think of Him as being absent, and we think of ourselves as inhabiting a parenthetic interval between the God who was and the God who will be.” (Pages 5–6)
“Salvation must include a judicial change of status, but what is overlooked by most teachers is that it also includes an actual change in the life of the individual. And by this we mean more than a surface change—we mean a transformation as deep as the roots of his human life. If it does not go that deep it does not go deep enough.” (Page 24)