John Piper has written an entire article declaring the value of “Read[ing] Old, Dead Theologians 15 Minutes a Day.”
Having passed in 1963, A.W. Tozer hasn’t been gone long, but he certainly fits the criteria.
I love reading Tozer for what I describe as the “pearlistic” quality of his work. He is often defined as a mystic and due to that trait, some of his prose require a few passes to fully understand. But, much like C.S. Lewis, once you’ve mined Tozer’s original intent, you find yourself marveling at the unusual beauty and clarity that he brings to any given concept.
Tozer’s book, Born After Midnight, is a collection of fairly unrelated devotionals. But his overall purpose is captured in the title and in this delectable quote from the first chapter:
“It has been the experience of countless seekers after God that, when their desires became a pain, they were suddenly and wonderfully filled. The problem is not to persuade God to fill us, but to want God sufficiently to permit Him to do so.”
The depth of relationship with God that we long for and admire in New Testament apostles like Paul and John, cannot be acquired in the clear, easily navigated, comfortable “daylight” hours. Rather, it is often in the dark, in the wilderness, in the lonely spaces that we are suddenly filled by God.
Tozer’s book walks the reader into the painful corners of life, and without minimizing them at all, refines them in order to reveal their necessity. While pain never seems appealing, Tozer paints it in such a light as to reveal its value and the ultimate revival that can come from patient endurance and prayer.
Anyone who has ever felt the press of suffering, or the cried out that life seems unjust, or queried how God could possibly work their circumstances for good, must read this book.