This is a 176 page book written by A. W. Tozer. In fact it is a collection of articles he wrote for The Alliance Witness, of which he was the editor. Most of the articles would have been written in the 1950's and early '60's. Since I first started reading Tozer some years back I have always been challenged by his plain speaking and the practical nature of his writings. My personal opinion, is that his views are even more relevant today than when he wrote them half a century ago.
I am just going to provide you with some of the statements that I highlighted in the book.
"Those Christian leaders who shook the world were one and all men of sorrows whose witness to mankind welled out of heavy hearts."
"We should and must learn that we cannot handle holy things carelessly without suffering serious consequences."
"Whatever is done without heart is done in the dark no matter how scriptural it may appear to be."
"Because this is true, any evangelism which by appeal to common interest and chatter about current events seeks to establish a common ground where the sinner can feel at home is as false as the altars of Baal ever were. Every effort to smooth out the road for men and to take away the guilt and the embarrassment is worse than wasted: it is evil and dangerous to the souls of men.
One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity being carried on in evangelical circles these days, is the notion that as times change the church must change with them. Christians must adapt their methods by the demands of the people. If they want ten-minute sermons, give them ten-minute sermons. If they want truth in capsule form, give it to them. If they want pictures, give them plenty of pictures. If they like stories, tell them stories. If they prefer to absorb their religious instruction through the drama, go along with them - give them what they want. 'The message is the same, only the methods changes,' say the advocates of compromise."
"The Christian is not sent to argue or persuade, nor is he sent to prove or demonstrate; he is sent to declare, 'Thus saith the Lord.'"
"Truth is slain to provide a feast to celebrate the marriage of heaven and hell, and all to support a concept of unity which has no basis in the Word of God."
"In a fallen world like ours unity is no treasure to be purchased at the price of compromise."
"Unity in Christ is not something to be achieved; it is something to be recognized."
"There was a time,no longer ago than the twenties and thirties, when a Christian knew, or at least could know, where he stood. The words of Christ were taken seriously. A man either was or was not a believer in New Testament doctrine. Clear, sharp categories existed. Black stood in sharp contrast to white; light was separate from darkness; it was possible to distinguish right from wrong, truth from error, a true believer from an unbeliever. Christians knew that they must forsake the world, and there was for the most part remarkable agreement about what was meant by the world. It was simple.
But over the last score of years a quiet revolution has taken place. The whole religious picture has changed. Without denying a single doctrine of the faith, multitudes of Christians have nevertheless forsaken the faith and are as far astray as the Modernists, who were at least honest enough to repudiate the Scriptures before they began to violate them."
"See to it that we pray more than we preach and we will never preach ourselves out."
Our first responsibility is not to the public but to God and our own souls."
Commenting on the writings of C. S. Lewis, he writes, "In short, his books persuade the intellect but never get the conscience in trouble."
"A religious mentality characterized by timidity and lack of moral courage has given us today a flabby Christianity, intellectually impoverished, dull, repetitious and, to a great many persons, just plain boresome. This is peddled as the very faith of our fathers in direct lineal descent from Christ and the Apostles. We spoon-feed this insipid, pabulum to our inquiring youth and, to make it palatable, spice it up with carnal amusements filched from the unbelieving world. It is easier to entertain than to instruct. It is easier to follow degenerate public taste than to think for oneself, so too many of our evangelical leaders let their minds atrophy while they keep their fingers nimble operating religious gimmicks to bring in the curious crowds."
"What they should be taught is that a true Christian is converted to Christ, not to peace or rest or joy."
"Only engrossment with God can maintain perpetual spiritual enthusiasm because only God can supply everlasting novelty."
"I think it highly improbable that anyone who speaks cautiously can speak effectively. His timidity will deactivate his effort and render it impotent."
"Some preachers have such a phobia for repetition and such an unnatural fear of the familiar that they are forever straining after the odd and the startling."
"No one should try to be more original than an apostle."
Sin is at bottom the abuse of things in themselves innocent, an illegitimate use of legitimate gifts."
". . . truth is not mental only but moral."
"May God raise up a people who will consult their pleasures less and the great need more."
"Faith sees the invisible but it does not see the nonexistent."
"Christian expectation in the average church follows the program, not the promises."
While I am sure that I would not agree with all of Tozer's doctrinal positions, I find most of his writings to be very thought provoking and at times painfully practical. I would heartily recommend his works.