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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Book Review - I Call It Heresy!

This is another book by A. W. Tozer. Actually this is a collection of twelve sermons from 1 Peter. It is 159 pages, and again Tozer is thought-provoking and challenging. When I read him it is amazing that the was writing the kind of things he was in the 1950's. His challenges are as, if not more relevant, than when he wrote them.

Again I will just give you some of the things I highlighted in the book for your perusal.

Chapter 1 - I call It Heresy

1 Peter 1:14 - As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.

"You see, in our time we have over-emphasized the psychology of the sinner's condition. We spend much time describing the woe of the sinner, the grief of the sinner, and the great burden he carries. He does have all these, but we have over-emphasized them until we forget the principle fact - that the sinner is actually a rebel against properly - constituted authority!"

"Thus, in repentance, we fully reverse that relationship and we fully submit to the Word of God and the will of God as obedient children."

Chapter 3 - You Can Have The Trappings!

1 Peter 1:3 - . . . the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ which . . . hath begotten us again . . .

"When we do talk of the future we talk about eschatology instead of heaven. When I find any Christian who can live and work and serve here and snuggle down into the world like your hand fits into an old and familiar love, I worry about him. I must wonder if he has ever truly been born again."

"Brethren, we are still living in a wicked and adulterous generation and I must confess that the Christians I meet who really amount to something for the Saviour are very much out of key and out of tune with their generation."

"Anyone who needs to be chucked under the chin all the time to keep him happy and satisfied is in bad shape spiritually."

"You cannot out-hope God and you cannot out-expect God."

Chapter 4 - Never Apologize For God's Mercy!

1 Peter 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy . . .

"If God had not dealt with us all in mercy, we would have perished before we could have had time to be converted."

"The Spirit-led life is a clear, logical and rational life."

"I point out that the Spirit-led Christian life is not according to whim or impulse and yet there are Christians who feel that you cannot be spiritual without being capricious and that the more impulsive you are the more spiritual you are."

"My feeling is that men who depend upon capricious action and impulsive whims usually are not much good in the church of Christ and they wouldn't be any good if they worked for Ford or General Motors, either."

"We need to assemble ourselves together as believers whether the weather is good or bad. We have to pray and draw nigh unto the Lord whether we feel like it or not. Reading Peter's letter to those early Christians, we realize that they were living for Jesus regardless of circumstances or their mood."

" . . . you and I live for God according to a holy , high spiritual logic and not according to shifting and changing frames of mind or moods. Amen!"

"We must come to this knowledge that God is infinite, unlimited, boundless, with no sign post anywhere in the universe saying 'This is the end.'"

"Actually, when we use the expression, 'The mercy of God', we are referring to that which is so vast that the word vast does not begin to describe it, for we are talking about that which has no limits anywhere, that which has its center anywhere and its circumference nowhere."

"God is not less rich or more rich - He is rich - He holds all things in his being."

"We must not become self-righteous and imagine we are living such wonderful lives that God blesses us because we are good. That is not so!"

Chapter 5 - Holiness Is Not An Option

1 Peter 1:15,16 - . . . as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

"You cannot study the Bible diligently and earnestly without being struck by an obvious fact - the whole matter of personal holiness is highly important to God!"

"Neither do you have to give long study to the attitudes of modern Christian believers to discern that by and large we consider the expression of true Christian holiness to be just a matter of personal option: 'I have looked it over and considered it, but I don't buy it!'"

"There is something basically wrong with our Christianity and our spirituality if we can carelessly presume that if we do not like a Biblical doctrine and choose not to 'buy' it, there is no harm done."

"So, we are not forced to obey in the Christian life, but we are forced to make a choice at many points in our spiritual maturity."

"If we turn away from the authority of God's Word, to whose authority do we yield? Our mistake is that we generally turn to some other human - a man with breath in his nostrils."

Chapter 6 - God Names Me His Beneficiary!

1 Peter 1:4 - To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.

"But if we believers were as spiritual as we ought to be, we might be looking forward to death with a great deal more pleasure and anticipation than we do!"

"It is rather a proof that we ought to ponder soberly the fact that many Christians already have their future behind them. Their glory is behind them. The only future they have is their past. They are always lingering around the cold ashes of yesterday's burned-out campfire. Their testimonies indicate it, their outlook and their uplook reveal it and their downcast look betrays it! Above all, their backward look indicates it. I always get an uneasy feeling when I find myself with people who have nothing to discuss but the glories of the days that are past."

"Prospect is the word for you and me. Look forward! Look ahead! Live with faith and expectation because the Christian's future is more glorious than his past!"

Chapter 8 - Was Your Humility Showing Today?

1 Peter 5:5 - . . . be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."

"I think God looks beyond the situation to the spirit and attitude. I think He is more concerned with how we react to abuse and mistreatment than to the fact that we have been abused by someone."

"Some of us have had experiences of being 'told off' most eloquently by people with a very descriptive flow of language; but the eloquence is lost completely insofar as God is concerned. If you are His child taking some abuse or persecution for His sake, His great concern is the attitude that you will show in return."

"If in humbling ourselves we compromise the truth, we must never do it. If it means a compromise of morality, we must never do it."

"He may let us labor in humility and subjection for a long period because it is not yet his time - due time."

"Many of us have harmed our own children in such ways as these: teaching them to drive our cars before they were old enough; giving them too much money before they knew its value; giving them too much freedom before they knew the meaning of responsibility and maturity."

Chapter 9 - Husbands And Wife: A Partnership!

1 Peter 3:1-7 - Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands . . . Husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife . . . whose adorning . . . the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.

"What I do want to say about the relationships of husbands and wives will boil down to this: for the Christian of either sex, there is only one rule to follow and that is, 'What does the Bible say?'"

"When we have discovered what the Bible has to say with finality about any subject and have determined what pleases the Man in the glory, there is no room left for argument."

"Certainly the Bible picture is plain in denying the husband any right to be a dominating despot delighting in hard-handed dealings with his wife and family."

"But the fact is that thoughtless husbands are simply big, overbearing clods when it comes to consideration of their wives."

"A husband's spiritual problems . . . lie . . . in the heart of the man himself - in his attitude and inability to resist the temptation to grumble and growl and dominate."

"In our day, some folks seem to think the word modest is a comical word. You can laugh it off if you want to, but it is one of the words that we will face in the great day of coming judgment."

"I think there is a great contradiction apparent among us. Many women are working so hard in all kinds of jobs that they are making themselves old in the effort to get money enough to buy the clothes and cosmetics that are supposed to make them look young."

"Finally, I think that a Christian woman must be careful about the kind of persons she sets up as a model of character and example in daily life. It is a sad thing to have our minds occupied with the wrong kind of people."

Chapter 10 - Trust God With Your Emotions!

1 Peter 1:13 - Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

"It is my considered opinion that one of the greatest weaknesses in the modern church is the willingness to lay down foundations of truth without ever backing them up with moral application."

"This is what God did, and this is what God did. Therefore, this is what you ought to do! That is always the Bible way."

"I fully believe that it was Peter's expectation that laxity and carelessness and aimlessness would all be repudiated and forsaken by the serious minded Christian believer."

"Personally, I think there must be some kind of limit to the time that believers can continue their selfish and aimless habits of life without bordering on sin!"

"Many a preacher would like to challenge the intellectual and thinking capacity of his congregation, but he has been warned about preaching over the people's head."

"My preaching may go right through their heads if there is nothing in there to stop it, but I do not preach truths which are too much for them to comprehend."

"Sensational magazines and soap operas and doubtful stories will forever keep us from nourishing our hearts on noble thoughts of God!"

Chapter 11 - The Christian Has A Right To Grin!

1 Peter 1:6 - . . . ye greatly rejoice, though . . . ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.

"I have always felt compassion for Christian men and women who seem to major in pessimism, looking on the dark and gloomy side and never able to do anything with life's problems but grumble about them!
I meet them often, and when I do I wonder: 'Can these people be reading the same Bible that I have been reading?'"

Chapter 12 - Where Will The Experts' Be When Jesus Comes?

1 Peter 1:7 - . . . might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

"I cannot think of even one lonely passage in the New Testament which speaks of Christ's revelation, manifestation, appearing or coming that is not directly linked with moral conduct, faith and spiritual holiness."

"The prophetic teacher who engages in speculation to excite the curiosity of his hearers without providing them with a moral application is sinning even as he preaches."

"Because the Bible is the easiest book in the world to understand - one of the easiest for the spiritual mind but one of the hardest for the carnal mind!"

"The Word of God was never given just to make us curious about our Lord's return to earth, but to strengthen us in faith and spiritual holiness and moral conduct!"

Again I would highly recommend the material of A. W. Tozer.
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