a.w tozer biography

01

The Life of A.W. Tozer: In Pursuit of God

Tozer's spiritual legacy continues today as his writings challenge readers to a deeper relationship with and worship of God. Here is his life story, from his boyhood and teenage conversion, to his years of pastoral teaching.


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02

A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A. W. Tozer

'I fear we shall never see another Tozer. Men like him are not college-bred but Spirit-taught.' Leonard Ravenhill, 20th century British evangelist.

Pastor A. W. Tozer, author of the Christian classics The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy, was a complex, intensely private, deeply spiritual man, and a gifted preacher whose impact for the kingdom of God is immeasurable. In this thoughtful biography, bestselling author Lyle Dorsett traces Tozer's life from his humble beginnings as a Pennsylvania farm boy to his heyday as a Chicago pastor--when hundreds of college students would travel to his South Side church to hear him preach and thousands more heard his Sunday broadcasts on WMBI. Eventually, he came to his final pastorate in Toronto.

From his conversion as a teen to his death in 1963, Tozer remained true to one passion: to know the Father and make Him known, no matter what the cost. The price he paid was loneliness, censure from other, more secular-minded ministers of the times, and even a degree of estrangement from his family. Read the life story of a flawed but gifted saint, whose works are still impacting the world today.


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03

A.W.Tozer: A Twentieth Century Prophet

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04

The Way To God: And How To Find It

With more than one million copies of this classic work distributed since it was first published in 1894, there are few in the history of Christianity who have more profoundly affected the faith and the church than D.L. Moody. In the pre-television era, he traveled more than one million miles to preach the gospel to more than 100 million people. Although equipped with just four years of formal schooling, Moody launched ministries in education and publishing that remain vital and fruitful today.

In these pages, today's believers will find a model of biblical passion, vision, and commitment. God did not mean for salvation to be a deep, complicated subject man could not understand. D.L. Moody shows how simple and attainable salvation is. This beloved man of God – D.L. Moody – leads the reader along the path to God and His glory, and he shares the rewards of salvation and a life of faith. All of God's goodness and mercy can be yours for the asking. Just follow the teaching presented here, and your life will be wonderfully changed and miraculously blessed.


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05

Let My People Go: The Life of Robert A. Jaffray

Robert A. Jaffray was a citizen of no single country. From his early manhood he moved about over the face of the world—not aimlessly, but with clear intelligent purpose. He was an explorer, a pioneer, and this accounts for the gaps that will be found in this or any story of his life. He lived in too many places too far from each other to allow a closely woven biography to be written. One could have journeyed half way around the world to see him, only to find that he had left the day before to visit some remote point in the Far East where some important gathering looked to him for guidance. Jaffray was a Canadian by birth. Wherever he traveled, home to him always meant Canada. Of Canada he was ever proud, and he remained loyal to his country as long as he lived. But he had met Christ as Moses had met God at the burning bush, and he had been baptized into His Spirit, made to feel the impulses of His heart. After that, Christ’s people were his people in a sense none other could be. For the lost tribes of the earth he felt a kinship such as Moses felt for the children of Israel. He felt them to be God’s people, though held under the bondage of sin. In the same way they were Jaffray’s own people, and he was called to set them free. He distinctly heard a Voice saying, “Say to Pharaoh: Let my people go!” This feeling of kinship with the lost of the earth and the conviction that he had been commissioned to deliver them from bondage made Jaffray a prophet and a deliverer, as surely as Moses had been before him. It was not until his last and greatest adventure, when he entered the East Indies, that he stated this conviction in so many words, but it had always been in the back of his mind and in the bottom of his heart, and it gave him an air of command. We may as well know at the outset that we have here no ethereal saint full of the gentler graces but too sweet and fragile for this rough world. Anything but that! Jaffray was a man of authority; his whole bearing bespoke it, and everyone who knew him felt it unmistakably. Toward the powers of darkness he took a stern, condemning attitude, and in the name of God he was always saying, “Let my people go!” Such facts as I have I now present to interested readers. I am certain that the power and drive of this unusual man will be felt by all who read what is written here. It is possible that the very attempt to bring a life so long and a character so rich and varied into the narrow compass of a small book may serve to focus attention upon him and allow his voice to be heard again, that voice which has been temporarily silenced by death. One word should be added concerning the treatment of the material before me. I have sought to capture the spirit of Jaffray, to present him as a real human being. For this reason I have not given too much care to dates nor to mere chronological sequence. I have not tried to write a history of Alliance missions in the Far East, but to write the story of a person, and a person is always greater than anything he or she has done. I believe the facts set forth here will be found to be accurate, but my aim has been to show the man above and beyond the facts. How well I have succeeded is for others to judge. I wish here to acknowledge the courtesy of Christian Publications for permitting me to quote from After Fifty Years and With Christ in Indo-China. I am also indebted to G. Ricordi and Company for permission to use the poem, Go Down Moses. To the large number of Mr. Jaffray’s friends and coworkers who so patiently submitted to my long cross-examinations and answered so cheerfully my endless prying questions, I also express my sincere thanks. A.W. Tozer Chicago May 1, 1947


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06

Wingspread: A. B. Simpson: A Study in Spiritual Altitude

Any man who has reason to hope (or to fear) that someone may someday write the story of his life would do well to pray that he may not fall into the hand of an enemy, a disciple, a rival or a relative. Of all men, these make the poorest biographers. Their relationship to the subject places them where they cannot see him as he actually is, so the picture they paint, however interesting it may be, is never true to the original. Our enemies seldom know us well enough to write about us. The person they think they know—and hate—is not the person we are. For that reason an enemy is likely to draw a caricature, and not a true likeness. He is sure to sketch in his prejudices and animosities, and may casually leave upon the forehead little careless projections which could not be proved to be, but might easily be mistaken for, horns. A disciple will usually do as poor a job, from an artistic point of view, as an enemy, though for an altogether different reason. Instead of horns he may, with as little fidelity to the facts, sketch in a harp, but the result will be no better in the end. “Leave the warts in,” said Lincoln when about to sit for his portrait, and to the everlasting credit of the artist he had the courage to do it. But true disciples never see warts, or if one is called to their attention, they will argue that it is only a callous anyway, caused by a halo that had slipped down. George Washington has the misfortune to be respected by everybody and loved by nobody. Parson Weems saw to that. He wrote a life of Washington that fixed a great gulf between him and every downright American from that day forward. The pretty boy with the cherry cheeks, the innocent little hatchet and the sententious manner of speech which Weems gave to the world can never excite the affections of sincere men and women. But I wonder whether Lincoln’s warts and his uncurried hair may not have created a secret bond of sympathy between him and two generations of American boys. No one wants a hero who is too perfect. And where is that man who can write a fair biography of an acknowledged rival? It is not in human nature to do it. No matter how valiantly we may try, we cannot force ourselves to say all the good that ought to be said about a man when we know that every feather we put in his cap we must first take out of our own. That is why it is hard to get a fair appraisal of a public figure by a contemporary in his own field. Our relatives know us better than anyone else does, but they are not safe biographers nevertheless. In the first place they are likely to be stone blind with pride and affection, (not to mention their uncomfortable habit of referring to us by little nicknames we hoped had been forgotten). The knowledge that one of their own blood and kin has actually attained to eminence acts like a draught of heady wine rendering them incapable of anything like sober judgment. By a well-known law of the human mind they praise themselves in their illustrious relative, so that what we get is a lot of left-handed boasting that does not come within shouting distance of the truth. The best biographer comes from a far country. He can see the subject as he is, and being free from the handicap of a close personal relation, he will, if he have a fair amount of intelligence and enough patience to make himself familiar with the facts, be in a position to present a reasonably accurate picture of what he sees.


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07

Wingspread: A. B. Simpson: A Study in Spiritual Altitude

Albert Benjamin Simpson was God's man. From inauspicious beginnings in Bayview, Prince Edward Island, Canada, he rose to prominence through Presbyterian pastorages in Hamilton, Ontario, Louisville, Kentucky, and New York City.

But God had other plans for Simpson. He resigned from his comfortable pulpit to launch a ministry aimed at reaching the world's lost multitudes.

Wingspread is Simpson's story—a story of one of God's chosen leaders, written by another man of God, A. W. Tozer. It will captivate and challenge you, inspiring you to rise up and attempt something great for God.


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08

Men Who Met God: Twelve Life-Changing Encounters

A. W. Tozer's Men Who Met God is a compelling overview of seven biblical figures who had the awesome experience of walking and communing with God in some fashion—in the coolness of the afternoon, through a burning bush, through personal discussion, or in another divinely inspired method. 

Originally preached as a series of sermons by A. W. Tozer at Southside Alliance Church in Chicago, this compilation will do what Tozer's sermons were known to do: enlighten the mind and cut to the heart.

May you be moved toward God as you see how men of old encountered his Awesome Presence.


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09

Pursuit Of God (Tozer Classics Series)

The depth, clarity and completeness of this message has made THE PURSUIT OF GOD an enduring favourite. 'The writings of Tozer shake me from slumber, inspire grand thoughts of God and expose the compromise in my heart.' - Steve Green. AUTHENTIC CLASSICS The AUTHENTIC CLASSICS range brings together some of the best-loved books of the last six decades at a price you can afford! The series provides stories of hope, practical guidance and solid teaching from internationally acclaimed Christian authors. Paperback.


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10

On the Trail of A. W. Tozer: A Biography

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones said of A. W. Tozer: “His books have whetted my appetite, but having heard him now actually in the flesh I see that even his books do not do him full justice.” This book is a synthesis of the three main biographies of A. W. Tozer (1897–1963) written with a warm appreciation of the subject but also not overlooking some of the flaws of this great man of God in an evaluation of the various roles he fulfilled in life as a preacher, pastor, writer, theologian and a father and husband. Tozer’s main pastorate at Southside Alliance church in Chicago and his final years at Avenue Road, Toronto, are considered more fully. Among his literary work considered are the two main classics, The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy as well as two separate chapters devoted to his first two books: the biography of A. B. Simpson (Wingspread), who was the founder of The Christian & Missionary Alliance, and the biography of Robert Jaffray (Let My People Go), who was a missionary in Indo-China for the C&MA.
Tozer said that the best biographer comes from a far country. The author is certainly from a far country in distance and also in time because in the year in which Tozer died he was just a teenager. But despite the lapse of some 50 plus years since Tozer’s death, this 20th-century “prophet” still has much to say to the Church of the 21st century and it is the hope of the author that readers will be encouraged to “take up and read” A. W. Tozer.


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