A. W. Tozer
|Aiden Wilson Tozer|
April 21, 1897|
La Jose (now Newburg), Pennsylvania, US
|Died||May 12, 1963(aged 66)|
|Religion||Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA)|
|Spouse(s)||Ada Cecelia Pfautz|
Aiden Wilson Tozer (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963) was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor. For his work, he received two honorary doctorate degrees.
Hailing from a tiny farming community in western La Jose, Pennsylvania, his conversion was as a teenager in Akron, Ohio. While on his way home from work at a tire company, he overheard a street preacher say: "If you don't know how to be saved... just call on God." Upon returning home, he climbed into the attic and heeded the preacher’s advice.
In 1919, five years after his conversion, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church. This began 44 years of ministry, associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a Protestant Evangelical denomination; 33 of those years were served as a pastor in a number of churches. His first pastorate was in a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. Tozer also served as pastor for 30 years at Southside Alliance Church, in Chicago (1928 to 1959), and the final years of his life were spent as pastor of Avenue Road Church, in Toronto, Canada. In observing contemporary Christian living, he felt that the church was on a dangerous course toward compromising with "worldly" concerns.
"Born into poverty" Tozer was self-educated teaching "himself what he missed in high school and college due to his home situation." In 1950, Tozer received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wheaton College. It was May 1950, when Tozer was elected editor of the Alliance Weekly magazine, now called, Alliance Life, the official publication of the C&MA. From his first editorial, dated June 3, 1950, he wrote, "It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that." In 1952, he received an honorary LL.D. degree from Houghton College.
Among the more than 40 books that he authored, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His books impress on the reader the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God.
Living a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, he and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.
Prayer was of vital personal importance for Tozer. "His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life," comments his biographer, James L. Snyder, in the book, In Pursuit of God: The Life Of A.W. Tozer. "He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them," writes Snyder.
Over the years many have been inspired by the life and sermons of Tozer. In 2011, Christian music artist Lauren Barlow of BarlowGirl published a compilation of stories told by 59 artists, writers, and leaders about how A.W. Tozer inspired them.
Books by A. W. Tozer include the following:
- Let My People Go (1947)
- Paths to Power
- The Divine Conquest (1950)
- The Pursuit of God, (1948) Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, ISBN 0-551-00455-X (Online E-text)
- The Knowledge of the Holy, (1961) New York: Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-068412-7
- The Root of the Righteous (1955)
- Of God And Men (1960)Harrisburg PA: Christian Publications, ISBN 0-87509-254-3
- Born after Midnight (1959)
- Christian Book of Mystical Verse
- How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit
- Paths to Power*
- That Incredible Christian
- Total Commitment to Christ: What is It? (booklet)
There are also many compilations of sermons and other writings which were edited and published by Christian Publications, Inc. and Regal Books, after Tozer's death. Although the following books were published posthumously, authorship is attributed to A. W. Tozer. (This list is by no means complete.):
- The Attributes of God, Volume One with study guide by David E. Fessenden (1997) ISBN 0-87509-957-2
- The Attributes of God, Volume Two with study guide by David E. Fessenden (2001) ISBN 0-87509-988-2
- The Best of A. W. Tozer, Book 1 (1979) ISBN 0-87509-458-9
- The Best of A. W. Tozer, Book 2 (1995) ISBN 0-87509-594-1
- The Best of A. W. Tozer, 52 Favourite Chapters Compiled by Warren W Wiersbe (1991), Crossway Books ISBN 1-85684-007-7
- Man: The Dwelling Place of God (1966)
- When He is Come (1968) ISBN 0-87509-221-7
- I Call It Heresy! (1974) ISBN 0-87509-209-8
- Who Put Jesus on the Cross? (1975) 0-87509-212-8
- The Pursuit of God (1976) STL Books, Bromley, Kent ISBN 1-55742-753-4
- That Incredible Christian (1977) ISBN 0-8423-7025-0
- Knowledge of the Holy (1978) ISBN 0-06-068412-7
- Gems from Tozer (1979) ISBN 0-87509-163-6
- Renewed Day by Day: Daily Devotional (1980) ISBN 0-87509-292-6
- A Treasury of A. W. Tozer (1980) ISBN 0-8010-8851-8
- Echoes from Eden: The Voices of God Calling Man (1981) ISBN 0-87509-227-6 Originally published as, The Tozer Pulpit Vol. 8: Ten Sermons on the Voices of God Calling Man
- Leaning Into The Wind (1985) STL Books, Bromley, Kent ISBN 0-903843-98-6
- Whatever Happened to Worship? (1985) ISBN 0-87509-367-1
- Whatever Happened to Worship? (1986) OM Publishing, Carlisle, ISBN 1-85078-010-2
- Faith Beyond Reason (1987) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent ISBN 1-85078-025-0
- Jesus, Our Man in Glory (1987) ISBN 0-87509-390-6
- Jesus, Author of Our Faith (1988) ISBN 0-87509-406-6
- Men Who Met God (1989) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent ISBN 1-85078-058-7
- That Incredible Christian (1989) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent ISBN 1-85078-064-1
- I Talk Back to the Devil: Essays in Spiritual Perfection (1990) ISBN 0-87509-437-6
- The Coming King (1990) STL Books, Bromley, Kent ISBN 1-85078-074-9
- Christ the Eternal Son (1991) ISBN 978-1-60066-047-4
- Man: The Dwelling Place of God (1992) ISBN 0-87509-415-5
- God Tells the Man Who Cares (1992) ISBN 0-87509-508-9
- Born After Midnight (1992) ISBN 0875094163
- We Travel an Appointed Way (1992) OM Publishing, Bromley, Kent ISBN 1-85078-116-8
- The Knowledge of the Holy (1992) ISBN 0-06-069865-9
- The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in Christian Life (1997) ISBN 0-8027-2707-7
- The Tozer Topical Reader (1999) ISBN 0-87509-838-X
- The Radical Cross (2005) ISBN 0-88965-236-8
- The Worship-Driven Life: The Reason We Were Created (2008) ISBN 1-85424-877-4
- Signposts: A Collection of Sayings from A.W. Tozer ISBN 0-89693-583-3
- Tozer on the Almighty God: A 366-Day Devotional ISBN 0-87509-972-6
- The Pursuit of God ISBN 1-60066-015-0
- Faith Beyond Reason ISBN 1-60066-033-9
- Warfare Of The Spirit ISBN 1-60066-059-2
- The Pursuit Of God With Study Guide ISBN 1-60066-106-8
- The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship (2009) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-46897
- Reclaiming Christianity: A Call to Authentic Faith (2009) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-46903
- And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John (2009) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-46910
- Living As a Christian: Teachings from First Peter (2010) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-46927
- Experiencing the Presence of God: Teachings from the Book of Hebrews (2010) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-46934
- A Disruptive Faith: Expect God to Interrupt Your Life (2011) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-57619
- The Crucified Life: How to Live Out a Deeper Christian Experience (2011) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-59224
- The Dangers of a Shallow Faith: Awakening from Spiritual Lethargy (2012) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-62040
- Preparing for Jesus' Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope (2012) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-63955
- God's Power for Your Life: How the Holy Spirit Transforms You Through God's Word (2013) Regal Books, Ventura, CA ISBN 978-08307-65379
- Keys to The Deeper Life (1984) Clarion Classics published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI ISBN 0-310-33361-X
- Harris, Lynn (1992). The Mystic Spirituality of A.W. Tozer. Edwin Mellen Pr. ISBN 0-7734-9872-9.
- A. W. Tozer (Author of The Pursuit of God), www.goodreads.com. Accessed 2013-07-11.
- "Historical Timeline". Christian and Missionary Alliance. Retrieved 2013-10-16. This publication was originally named The Word, The Work, and The World, later renamed The Alliance Weekly, later renamed The Alliance Witness, later renamed to its present name Alliance Life.
- Bailey, Nathan, ed. (1963-07-24). "Significant Dates in the Life of Aiden Wilson Tozer". The Alliance Witness (Christian and Missionary Alliance) 98 (15): 7. OCLC 52856644. Retrieved 2013-10-16. "1952-Received LL.D. degree from Houghton College." This issue of The Alliance Witness is subtitled Dr. A. W. Tozer Memorial Issue.
- History: A.W. Tozer, cmalliance.org.
- Barlow, Lauren (2011). Inspired by Tozer: 59 Artists, Writers, and Leaders Share the Insight and Passion They've Gained from A.W. Tozer. Ventura, California, USA: Regal. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8307-5929-3.
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- Works by A. W. Tozer at Project Gutenberg
- Tozer Audio Sermons
- Tozer Devotional
- The Pursuit of God Free audio from Librivox