KOTH Commentary: Chapter 1: Why We Must Think Rightly About God


“Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ”What comes into your mind when you think about God?” we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.”

In Chapter 1 of “Knowledge of the Holy” A.W. Tozer enters into the most important subject behind the book; why the idea of thinking rightly of G-d matters to us. It is quite fitting that he begins here, because we live in a society that has embraced a more modern form of atheism and agnosticism. In the past, many would be very quick to deny the existence of the Christ, G-d, and the validity and importance of the scriptures. However, as science has progressed, more and more forms of proof have pointed to the existence and significance of Christ, as well as the logical reasoning behind why it would be much more rational for there to be a Creator of the universe rather than simply blind chance. This is where the scary part comes into play.

I’ve spoken to many individuals that are very quick to acknowledge the existence of G-d, or a “higher power” as they believe. They are also the first to admit that Christ existed and was not a phony magician or stuntman. However, disbelief has evolved from not believing to believing and asking “so what?”. It’s quite hard to find somebody who doesn’t believe in the existence of Christ. However, the important thing is addressing this complacent attitude of “so what?” by meeting people not at their disbelief (which we find quite rarely) but in their lack of caring.

Tozer addresses this challenge by reminding us that we have come quite far from a worthy perspective of who G-d is, the nature of His character, and our proper obligation to revere His being through our lives.

What comes to your mind when you think of G-d?

How many of these notions and ideas have come from religious institutions?

What happens when you strip away the religious pictures, and simply focus on G-d?

When we begin to ask ourselves these questions, we cannot help but slowly become aware that our mentality and belief of who the Creator is is quite far from the idea that ought to be. Perhaps you are the type to associate G-d with a Sunday morning service, or with an altar call experience. The danger of associating G-d with these experiences is that we forget that the Creator exists outside of these experiences, just as we are able to brush away our tears and slip back into our seats after a tearful altar call confession. We must not leave G-d at the altar!

As we begin to think of our image of G-d and perhaps discover we have stepped far away from proper thinking of Him, we may yet begin to discover a deep obligation in our souls that reminds us we have somehow slipped far away from how we ought to think of G-d, carving away a deep burden in our souls that somehow longs to be made right.

This deep burden may be the pangs of pain associated with the fact that we have begun the treacherous path towards idolatry; a mockery that cannot be topped, as it assumes G-d is somehow other than He is, thus taking away our worship and admiration, spewing it on something other than which is Holy and of Him.

Perhaps we are not creating any graven images of stone, wood, or gold that we offer our worship to. However, how much different is it to worship or think of G-d in such a way that is not Him? In this same respect, we begin to divert our love, affection, worship, and lives to things that which are not G-d, and begin driving down the road of idolatry at a very rapid pace. Our spiritual lives cannot help but because affected by our worship of these images that-are-not G-d. In addition, this false worship cannot help but infect and invade our places of worship, thus polluting the wider body of religious institutions that have been created to ultimately worship G-d.

“Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear.” Tozer writes.

Thus, we must ensure that our thoughts of G-d come from a place that is right of Him, His character, Holiness, and true being – even though we will never be able to fully fathom it, as we are simply created beings. One of the best ways we can step into a place of properly thinking of G-d is to take every thought and notion we have of Him and place it into perspective of whether or not it is an accurate depiction/direction of thought we ought to have. If it is not, then we must eradicate this thought, replacing it when proper thoughts of G-d.

I’ll end this blog with a paragraph from Chapter 1 which I thought captured the chapter quite well.

“The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him – and of her. In all her prayers and labors this should have first place. We do the greatest service to the next generation of Christians by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past. This will prove of greater value to them than anything that art or science can devise.”

Further reading: https://aaronplaatsite.wpengine.com/good-reads/knowledge-of-the-holy/chapter-1-why-we-must-think-rightly-about-god/

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