“The Knowledge of the Holy” – A.W. Tozer

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy book series is an interesting one. The author, Douglas Adams, was a brilliant and hilarious writer who referred to himself as a “radical atheist”. This viewpoint more than just spills, it pours into his writing. The Hitchhikers series is marked by Adams attempts to show the universe as huge, nonsensical, and almost entirely random. An example is Adam’s answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything: 42.

But, despite Adam’s best attempts, it would be impossible to write a story that is completely random and shows that nothing makes sense while still making it a story that anyone would read. Throughout the books there is a sense of destiny and a guiding hand; despite all the failures and ridiculous situations that arise, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect just keep plugging along through the universe, protected by their trusty towels and their guidebook stamped by the comforting motto, “Don’t Panic”.

Space is big. Like…really, really big. But the thing is, compared to God, it’s almost nothing at all. God made the universe. All of it, and everything in it. And that mammoth act of creation wasn’t an exhausting, herculean task. It simply was God being God.

The nature of the universe, and of the God behind it, is such that we can learn from it, and in learning from it we learn about God. Science and math have rules that are consistent (in fact, Adams makes a reference about math done in restaurants following different rules than math done outside of restaurants to further the ridiculousness of his story). Because those rules are consistent and unchanging, we can move towards understanding a creator-God that is also unchanging and consistent. But, no matter how much we gather from the world around us, we will never fully understand an infinite being like God. That is why Augustine made one of my favorite quotes:

If you understood him, it would not be God.


While we can’t fully comprehend God and His immenseness, He has revealed Himself to us, through the world around us and through His divine, direct revelation found in the Bible. We have available to us many lifetimes worth of material to study who He is and how we can approach and relate to Him.

Many books have been written on the attributes of God, but few are as approachable, engaging and brilliant as Tozer’s classic The Knowledgee of the Holy. In this short book Tozer examines various aspects of who God is and how we can better understand Him.

The greatness of God rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. To fear and not be afraid – that is the paradox of faith. 

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

On the one hand, its simple to have faith. We just believe, and we act on that belief. But at some point we have to ask the question, what is it that I believe in? I believe in God—great, even the demons believe in God. But the heart of sin is, at least on some level, a theological error. It is a belief in something about God that isn’t true. Satan believed that, as great as God was, Satan could be greater. Satan had too low of a view of God’s greatness. Adam and Eve believed that, as good as God was, there was more good things apart from Him. They had too low of a view of God’s goodness. And we do the same things, day in and day out. Our sin is rooted in false beliefs about God.

To battle the lies of sin, we need to take the time to consider the truth. Who God is; more than just a perfunctory, surface-level statement of “god”; is hugely important in our development as His children. Take the time to seek out the truth about our awesome, sovereign Lord and Savior.

Because man is born a rebel, he is unaware that he is one. His constant assertion of self, as far as he thinks of it at all, appears to him a perfectly normal things. He is willing to share himself, sometimes even to sacrifice himself for a desired end, but never to dethrone himself. No matter how far down the scale of social acceptance he may slide, he is still in his own eyes a king on a throne, and no one, not even God, can take that throne from him.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

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