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The Knowledge of the Holy

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  9,208 ratings  ·  369 reviews
An Inspiring Classic on the Nature of God

What is the nature of God? How can we recapture a real sense of God's majesty and truly live in the Spirit? This beloved book, a modern classic of Christian testimony and devotion, addresses these and other vital questions, showing us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and ex
Paperback, 117 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperOne (first published 1961)
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Sep 03, 2008 Matt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People with the right hearts but wrong heads, sadly the exact opposite of who will probably read it.
Having never before read A.W. Tozer, I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book, and if I expected anything I'm not sure that this was it.

The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life is a study in the unstudiable. It is a scrutiny of that which is inherently inscrutable. It is therefore I think doomed from the start, for the knowledge that it would convey is inexpressible and the wisdom it would impart is far beyond man's understanding.
Great book!

There was a story I learned growing up. Five blind men who did not know what an elephant was like found an elephant. Since they could not see, they felt around to imagine what an elephant would be like. One felt the leg and said, "An elephant is like a tower!". Another felt the trunk and said, "No! it is more like a python!". Another felt the tail and said," No! An elephant is more like a rope!". Another felt the stomach and said," You are all wrong! An elephant is like a big sack!" T
Robbie Pruitt
Nothing is more important than a right understanding of God, or "thinking rightly about God." In Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer states, "The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men." Tozer is addressing idol worship that many fall into by thinking wrongly about God.

It is into this reality that Tozer speaks in his book, Knowledge of the Holy, which is an excellent study of the
Nov 11, 2009 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Michael by: Rodney Cripps
In this work, Tozer tackles arguably the most important question in life—Who is God? He correctly ascertains that so as we think about God, so as life goes. And in his attempt to tell what God is like, he succeeds in at least outlining the major characteristics of God as held by classical, orthodox Christianity.
I’d venture to guess that concepts of God’s unity, simplicity, and being aren’t being discussed, much less understood, outside of a few seminaries, and most of them Catholic. The forma
A.W. Tozer begins chapter one saying, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." This is more or less an agreeable statement, however, the view Tozer takes of God is in many ways an antithesis of who God is. The most profound offence is his neglect of the love of God. While for Tozer everything else such as God's Justice and Omnipotence is a scriptural certitude but when it comes to the sentence "God is love," suddenly Tozer becomes a 19th century B ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Candice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Candice by: Matt Styles
For a mere review from me reduces any holiness for the grandiose scale of the book though short in quantity however irrelevant to quality, I've added quotes that touched me.

Reflection upon revealed truth naturally follows the advent of faith, but faith comes first to the hearing ear, not to the cogitating mind. The believing man does not ponder the Word and arrive at faith by a process of reasoning, nor does he seek confirmation of faith from philosophy or science. His cry is, "O, earth, earth,
I read this book at a rate of one chapter each morning, kind of ‘devotional theology’ to go along with regular bible reading and prayer. It was an experiment, and it was great – it may reveal more about my personality than anything else, but I find this kind of theological reading much more encouraging and practically helpful than typical devotional material that I have read in the past. The book itself is known as a classic, and deservedly so. Tozer’s intense, earnest style is perfectly suited ...more
Natalie Wickham
This is a brief, but classic, work that I read in preparation for a Bible study in which I was involved this fall. There are 23 chapters, each only several pages long, that expound on some of the many attributes and aspects of God’s nature. A statement in the preface encapsulates nicely why it is so critical to study God: “It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate.” In the first chapter, Tozer adds, “A right ...more
Another of Tozer ' s gems. A description of a selection of God's attributes. It is popular now to talk of God in terms of being a god of love. This diminishes Him by making him into a god of one dimension. God operates with an infinite number of attributes ( many we are most likely unaware of) and all simultaneously and equally. By limiting Him we reduce his influence on the world and our lives.
Michael Locklear
"The Knowledge of the Holy" is a wonderful classic by A. W. Tozer, where he deals with the Divine Attributes of God, such as:
The self-existence of God
The self-sufficiency of God
The immutability of God
The eternity of God
The wisdom of God
And more... His faithfulness, love, mercy, grace, holiness, sovereignty, that He is all-knowing (omniscience), all-powerful (omnipotent) and ever-present (omnipresence).
This is a marvelous little classic worth reading and meditating over. Add it to your li
Destin Givens
This is the best book I've read to date on the Attributes of God, and quite possibly the most helpful book of theology I've read to date.

Tozer's handling of God's attributes are done from a perspective of awe and reverence. Never have I seen such a mix of stout theological rigor and love/adoration.

Reading this caused me to want to know my Holy Father more. Not just to know more about Him in theory but to know Him intimately. To chase after this great prize which is the knowledge of God. To have
Summary: Tozer expresses in his book that he feels the Church has lost sight of what God is truly like due to the lack of faithful study of His holiness. As a result, we have created out versions of "God" rather worshipping the actual Creator and thus committing a great sin called idolatry. We choose only to see God as loving or as judging and leave out all of His other attributes and because God is a unitary being that cannot be divided, all attributes depend on each other and cannot be isolate ...more
Robert Vincent
Knowledge of the Holy – A.W. Tozer

In my early Christian life I had made it a practice to read this book every year. Now after I had stopped doing that after several years, a bible study partner mentioned he had been reading Knowledge of the Holy. That prompted me to pick it up again and I finished reading it in three sittings. It is indeed a short book filled with a wonderful word display of the attributes of God.

Tozer does lead the reader to a good understanding of the person of God in the best
Rebekah Choat
Tozer posits that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us,” and that a right conception of God is absolutely necessary not only for systematic theology but also for practical Christian living. He laments the fact that the Church has lost the true concept of the holiness and majesty of God and “has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men.” He then sets out to address the question of what God ...more
Matt Awesome
This book was one of those paradigm shifters for me. Tozer put in me in my place with respect to God. Tozer, in his pretty formulaic way, describes God for us. He lays out God's attributes, from majesty to faithfulness.

We tend to read the Bible and come across verses that say things like, "He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing." (Job 26:7) and respond by thinking, "Oh yah, God created the world. I knew that." We forget that if God is exactly who he says he is i
Christopher M.
A fantastic overview of the attributes of God. Biblically sound, eloquent, concise, and readable, Tozer manages to hit on the major attributes of God (though, we could probably find many more to add) while not getting too carried away into philosophic proofs and rabbit trails. He assumes that the truth in the book will only be understood by the person already possessing faith, so while he does go to lengths to describe the person of faith, especially toward the end, he does not belabor the point ...more
Aaron LaPointe
Tozer knocks it out of the park:

"To regain her lost power the Church must see heaven opened and have a transforming vision of God. But the God we must see is not the utilitarian God who is having such a run of popularity today, whose chief claim to men’s attention is His ability to bring them success in their various undertakings and who for that reason is being cajoled and flattered by everyone who wants a favor. The God we must learn to know is the Majesty in the heavens, God the Father Almigh
Nadine Brandes
Nov 17, 2014 Nadine Brandes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nadine by: Dr. Thoennes -- Professor from Biola University
Absolutely amazing. Tozer challenges us to think deeper about how we view God. It's crucial to our relationship with Him to view Him rightly.

This book is deep. The writing is thick and takes every bit of brain power one can muster. But Tozer wrote it because he realized we'd stopped pushing ourselves. The church stopped reading Augustine or Tozer stepped up to leave us with a "simpler version" to guide us in our understanding of God. Now, The Knowledge of the Holy is a classic...and
The back of the book declares that The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Life is a classic. As such, I read this with high expectations that were not really met. Tozer attempts to educate about the unknowable aspects of the Divine. There is nothing too much that I find objectionable, but there is not much new ground here that goes beyond other great mystical theologians either. Tozer attempts to make right the drifting of understanding in modern churche ...more
Paul Wichert
I think Tozer has correctly diagnosed one condition of modern Christianity as, "simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit." (p.6) But I have mixed thoughts about this book. On the one hand: Tozer is such a great example of devotion put into words -- his encouragement to see God, through his attributes, as majestic, high and exalted is much needed and appreciated. He also tries to combine his lofty devotional language with doctrine, occasio ...more
Dottie Parish
The Knowledge of the Holy is a classic and profound book about God and His attributes. This is a book to be read slowly, prayerfully and thoughtfully. And to be read and studied and prayed over again. Each chapter begins with a beautiful prayer about the attribute to be explored. Tozer illuminates in detail how wise, how amazing, how incomprehensible God is and yet how merciful, just and graceful. The final chapter describes the lost power of the Church and the need for a transforming vision of ...more
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
This book is like an oasis in the middle of our busy lives. Here we get closer to God because we learn to know Him and thus, to love Him.

This book reminds us that we are not to mistake God for a nice fellow whose job is to help us out. No, this one is an earth-shaking book. It inspires awe in the hearts of the fainted, it awakes you from your self-deluding day-dreams. By describing His attributes (holiness, immutability, divine omniscience, wisdom, omnipotence, transcendence, omnipresence, faith
Timothy Stone
One of the areas that Christians tend to not think enough about is the absolute glory and greatness of Our God. I specifically said Christians with no such adjectives as “today” or “modern” because I think this has been a problem throughout history. In other words, unlike A. W. Tozer, in his book The Knowledge of the Holy, I don't think that the ancients had it so perfect and we only recently flubbed this up.

Despite this and a few other minor quibbles, I was greatly edified by the above-titled b
Paris Anderson
A.W. Tozer does in 120 pages what Wayne Grudem, author of "Systematic Theology", does in nearly 1200 pages: he neatly summarizes some of the most well-known and doctrinally important issues in the Christian faith in a precise, no-nonsense sort of way. Though the topics Tozer addresses (immutability, sovereignty, atonement, omnipresence, etc.) do not receive the same degree of Scriptural bolstering and degree of depth as Grudem gives them (due to the drastic difference in length, of course), Toze ...more
Brian Manville
Too many Christian books today seem more like self-help books or devote themselves to beating up the Body for the things the Church is not doing. It is helpful - perhaps even imperative - that more Christians spend time reading books that are worshipful and insightful. A.W. Tozer seemingly wrote books like this with ease.

In The Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer goes through the many attributes of God, providing essays on those attributes and their importance in changing the attitudes of the believer
Aaron Blakeley
Fair warning I am about to draw some odd similarities between authors. I have enjoyed H.P. Lovecrafts style of horror for sometime. Leaving the reader with a since of nihilism. This idea that we are so insignificant and that the things happening in the universe are so unknowable that upon knowing them you loose your mind.

A.W. Tozer frames God in this type of otherness except in contrast to Lovecraft's leaves the reader with the impression that even though God to the fullest extent is so unknowa
Jim Golden
What can I say about a book that gives you a first hand look into the face of God except I hope you enjoy it as much as I did as many times as I did. This is a book that you will return to time and time again as you seek God's Holy Spirit to turn its truth into revelation in your life.
Reagan Ramsey
Wow. I loved this. It's deep and really hard to read at times, but so powerful. Tozer takes us through the attributes of God--those things that are true of Him (He is eternal, sovreign, holy, loving, etc). And it helped me to reframe my position toward see how high He is, and how great and incomprehensible it is that we call Him Father. It's so hard when you're living in the world, used to the half-virtues and straight evil that we encounter, to realize that God is infinitely holy, perf ...more
Andy Anderson
If you are a skeptic who is really seeking truth, read it.
If you are a average Christian who needs to grow, read it.
If you want to know more on the thoughts of who God is, read it.
If you want to have a springboard for the attributes of God, read it.
Excellent book.
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  • The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
  • True Spirituality: How to Live for Jesus Moment by Moment
  • The Attributes of God
  • Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
  • Abide in Christ
  • The Holiness of God
  • The Mortification of Sin
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • Knowing God
  • Holiness
  • The Practice of Godliness
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
Aiden Wilson Tozer was an American evangelical pastor, speaker, writer, and editor. After coming to Christ at the age of seventeen, Tozer found his way into the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination where he served for over forty years. In 1950, he was appointed by the denomination's General Council to be the editor of "The Alliance Witness" (now "Alliance Life").

Born into poverty in we
More about A.W. Tozer...
The Pursuit of God The Pursuit of Man: The Divine Conquest of the Human Heart The Attributes of God: A Journey Into the Father's Heart (The Attributes of God, Volume 1) Whatever Happened to Worship?: A Call to True Worship The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ

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“Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.” 157 likes
“We might be wise to follow the insight of the enraptured heart rather than the more cautious reasoning of the theological mind.” 68 likes
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