A. W. TOZER
Aiden Wilson Tozer was born April 21, 1897, on a small farm among the spiny ridges of Western Pennsylvania. Within a few short years, Tozer, as he preferred to be called, would earn the reputation and title of a "20th-century prophet."
Able to express his thoughts in a simple but forceful manner, Tozer combined the power of God and the power of words to nourish hungry souls, pierce human hearts, and draw earthbound minds toward God.
When he was 15 years old, Tozer's family moved to Akron, Ohio. One afternoon as he walked home from his job at Goodyear, he overheard a street preacher say, "If you don't know how to be saved . . . just call on God." When he got home, he climbed the narrow stairs to the attic where, heeding the preacher's advice, Tozer was launched into a lifelong pursuit of God.
In 1919, without formal education, Tozer was called to pastor a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. That humble beginning thrust him and his new wife Ada Cecelia Pfautz, into a 44-year ministry with The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Thirty-one of those years were spent at Chicago's Southside Alliance Church. The congregation, captivated by Tozer's preaching, grew from 80 to 800.
In 1950 Tozer was elected editor of the Alliance Weekly now called Alliance Life. The circulation doubled almost immediately. In the first editorial dated June 3, 1950, he set the tone: "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."
Tozer's forte was his prayer life which often found him walking the aisles of a sanctuary or lying face down on the floor. He noted, "As a man prays, so is he." To him the worship of God was paramount in his life and ministry. "His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life," comments Tozer biographer James L. Snyder. An earlier biographer noted, "He spent more time on his knees than at his desk."
Tozer's love for words also pervaded his family life. He quizzed his children on what they read and made up bedtime stories for them. "The thing I remember most about my father," reflects his daughter Rebecca, "was those marvelous stories he would tell."
Son Wendell, one of six boys born before the arrival of Rebecca, remembers that, "We all would rather be treated to the lilac switch by our mother than to have a talking-to by our dad."
Tozer's final years of ministry were spent at Avenue Road Church in Toronto, Canada. On May 12, 1963, his earthly pursuit of God ended when he died of a heart attack at age 66. In a small cemetery in Akron, Ohio, his tombstone bears this simple epitaph: "A Man of God."
Some wonder why Tozer's writings are as fresh today as when he was alive. It is because, as one friend commented, "He left the superficial, the obvious and the trivial for others to toss around. . . . [His] books reach deep into the heart."
His humor, written and spoken, has been compared to that of Will Rogers--honest and homespun. Congregations could one moment be swept by gales of laughter and the next sit in a holy hush.
For almost 50 years, Tozer walked with God. Even though he is gone, he continues to speak, ministering to those who are eager to experience God. As someone put it, "This man makes you want to know and feel God."
"What God declares the believing heart confesses without the need of further proof. Indeed, to seek proof is to admit doubt, and to obtain proof is to render faith superfluous." The Knowledge of the Holy
"Without faith it is impossible to please God, but not all faith pleases God." Of God and Men
"The flaw in current evangelism lies in its humanistic approach. It struggles to be supernaturalistic but never quite makes it. It is frankly fascinated by the great, noisy, aggressive world with its big names, its hero worship, its wealth and its garish pageantry. To the millions of disappointed persons who have always yearned for worldly glory but never attained to it, the modern evangel offers quick and easy short cut to their heartís desire. Peace of mind, happiness, prosperity, social acceptance, publicity, success in sports, business, the entertainment field and perchance to sit occasionally at the same banquet table with celebrity - all this on earth and heaven at last. Certainly no insurance company can offer half as much." Born After Midnight
"Real faith invariably produces holiness of heart and righteousness of life." Man, The Dwelling Place of God
"To most people God is an inference, not a reality." Pursuit of God
"As one fairly familiar with the contemporary religious scene, I say without hesitation that a part, a very large part, of the activities carried on today in evangelical circles are not only influenced by pragmatism but almost completely controlled by it. Religious methodology is geared to it; it appears large in our youth meetings; magazines and books constantly glorify it; conventions are dominated by it; and the whole religious atmosphere is alive with it." God Tells the Man Who Cares
"Often acts done in the spirit of religious irritation have consequences far beyond anything we could have guessed. " Of God and Men
"Whence then does the true fear of God arise? From the knowledge of our own sinfulness and a sense of he presence of God." The Root of Righteousness
"What does holiness mean? Is it a negative kind of piety...No, of course not! Holiness in the Bible means moral wholeness - a positive quality which actually includes kindness, mercy, purity, moral blamelessness and godliness. It is always to be thought of in a positive, white intensity of degree." I Call it Heresy
"Our Lord told His disciples that love and obedience were organically united. The final test of love is obedience." The Incredible Christian
"So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theatres where fifth-rate "produces" peddle their shoddy wares with the full approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares to raise his voice against it." The Root of Righteousness
"The unattended garden will soon be overrun with weeds; the heart that fails to cultivate truth and root out error will shortly be a theological wilderness." Man, The Dwelling Place of God
"Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience." Of God and Men
"When we go to God with a request, there are two conditions we must meet:  we must pray in the will of God, and  we must be living lives pleasing to God." Does God Always Answer Prayer
"Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ." Paths to Power
"...the religion of today is not transforming the people; rather it is being transformed by people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender." The Price of Neglect
"...we have salvation without righteousness and right doctrine without right deeds." Of God and Men
"The need for solitude and quietness was never so great than it is today." Of God and Men
"When the followers of Jesus Christ lose their interest in heaven they will no longer be happy Christians and when they are no longer happy Christians they cannot be a powerful force in a sad and sinful world."
Who Put Jesus on the Cross
"The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is no true faith present. To attempt the impossible God must give faith or there will be none, and He gives faith to the obedient heart only." Man the Dwelling Place of God
"In that presence [presence of God], Isaiah found no place for joking or for clever cynicism or for human familiarity. He found strangeness in God, that is, a presence unknown to the sinful and worldly and self-sufficient human." Whatever Happened to Worship?
"It is scarcely possible in most paces to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God." Man the Dwelling Place of God