The Counselor Review

Book Review: 

Tozer's style of writing is so clear and staight forward that you will easily imagine yourself sitting in church listening to him preach. He presents the Holy Spirit as a person, not a quality such as enthusiasm or courage. This person is a full member of the trinity, and as Christians, we should desire a close and transforming relationship with Him.

Tozer does not pull punches. He believes that the Holy Spirit will change us, just as the disciples were changed.. After Pentecost:
They had the illuminating knowledge that God was with them
They were filled with joy
They preached with power
They had authority
They were separated from the world
They delighted in prayer
They loved the Scriptures
A Spirit-filled church will exhibit these same qualities, seeking a knowledge of God, exhibiting joy, being useful to the community and influencing the society around them. Unfortunately Tozer says:
"Much of our Christianity is social instead of spiritual. We should be a spiritual body with social overtones, but most of our churches are social bodies with spiritual overtones."
Instead of being led by the Spirit, many Christians fall into one of these categories:
"Fun" Christians -- using Christianity as a form of entertainment
"Sunday" Christians -- going to church on Sunday, but living in a worldly way the rest of the time
"Comfortable" Christians --refusing to allow their faith to interfere with their own plans and routines
"Cultural" Christians --believing the cultural value of the church is good for them, but unwilling to allow the Spirit to change them
On the contrary, Spiritual Christians:
Want to be rid of their sins
Desire to know God
Hear God's voice
Sense God's presence
In spite of agreeing with Tozer about these and other fundamental points, I take issue with his understanding of how and when a Christian receives the Spirit. As a Lutheran, I believe the Holy Spirit is imparted at the time of baptism. Tozer maintains that the coming on the Spirit into the Christians' life is a second event, separate from conversion.
The Lutheran Ladies Connection received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.