The Knowledge of the Holy Book Review & Summary

The Knowledge of the Holy Book Review & Summary
The Knowledge of the Holy Book Review & Summary

In an age where information is at our fingertips, it’s easy to assume we’ve grasped the fundamental nature of existence. However, A.W. Tozer‘s timeless classic, “The Knowledge of the Holy,” humbly reminds us that the infinite and eternal essence of God transcends human understanding. This thought-provoking book review delves into Tozer’s seminal work, exploring the divine attributes and character that have captivated readers for generations. Join us as we unpack the profound insights and spiritual discoveries that await in “The Knowledge of the Holy,” a book that continues to inspire and challenge believers to this day.

What is The Knowledge of the Holy?

“The Knowledge of the Holy” is a classic Christian book written by A.W. Tozer, a renowned American pastor and theologian. The book was first published in 1961 and has since become a spiritual classic, widely read and appreciated by Christians around the world.

Tozer’s primary concern in the book is to help Christians develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of God’s character, which he believes is essential for a vibrant and meaningful Christian life. He argues that a lack of knowledge about God’s nature leads to a shallow and superficial faith, whereas a deep understanding of God’s attributes can lead to a more profound and intimate relationship with Him.

The Knowledge of the Holy Book Summary

The Importance of Understanding God

Tozer’s central premise is that a proper understanding of God is essential for the Christian life. He asserts that “the first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.” This isn’t merely an abstract theological concern; Tozer argues that our conception of the divine has a direct and profound impact on how we navigate the complexities of the human experience.

“The man who has a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems,” Tozer writes. By cultivating a deeper appreciation for the majesty, power, and holiness of God, believers can find the clarity and perspective needed to navigate the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Conversely, Tozer warns that the creation of “an idol of the mind” – a distorted or diminished view of the divine – is as offensive to God as the idolatry of physical objects.

Exploring the Attributes of God

At the heart of “The Knowledge of the Holy” is Tozer’s examination of the various attributes of God. He explains that an “attribute of God is whatever God has in any way revealed to be true of Himself.” Through a careful and thoughtful analysis, Tozer guides readers in understanding the multifaceted nature of the divine.

The Sovereignty of God

One of the central attributes Tozer explores is the sovereignty of God. He asserts that God is the supreme ruler of the universe, possessing absolute authority and control. “To be sovereign, God must be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free,” Tozer writes. This understanding of God’s sovereignty has profound implications for the human experience, as it challenges the notion that we are the masters of our own destiny.

Tozer delves into the complex relationship between God’s sovereignty and human free will, noting that “man’s will is free because God is sovereign.” He explains that while God’s control over the universe is total and complete, He has chosen to grant individuals the freedom to make their own choices. This paradox lies at the heart of the Christian faith, and Tozer masterfully navigates the tension between these seemingly contradictory ideas.

The Holiness of God

Another key attribute Tozer examines is the holiness of God. He writes, “To be holy, He does not conform to a standard. He is that standard.” In other words, God’s holiness is not something that can be measured against an external benchmark; it is the very essence of His being. Tozer argues that this profound understanding of God’s holiness should inspire awe and reverence in the hearts of believers.

Interestingly, Tozer notes that the modern church has often struggled to convey the true depth and magnitude of God’s holiness. He observes that “the picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God, that is precisely what we see.” Tozer’s challenge is for believers to recapture a sense of the transcendent, otherworldly nature of the divine.

The Mercy and Grace of God

While Tozer’s exploration of God’s sovereignty and holiness may initially seem daunting, he also delves into the more comforting attributes of the divine – namely, His mercy and grace. Tozer writes, “Grace takes its rise far back in the heart of God, in the awful and incomprehensible, abyss of His holy being; but the channel through which it flows out to men is Jesus Christ.”

In this way, Tozer presents a balanced and nuanced understanding of God, one that encompasses both the majestic and the merciful. He encourages readers to take refuge in God’s grace, even as they tremble before His holiness. This delicate balance, Tozer suggests, is essential for a truly transformative relationship with the divine.

The Limitations of Human Understanding

Throughout “The Knowledge of the Holy,” Tozer repeatedly acknowledges the limitations of human understanding when it comes to the nature of God. He writes, “We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper ‘mystery.'” This humility in the face of the infinite is a hallmark of Tozer’s approach, and it stands in stark contrast to the bold certainty that can sometimes characterize modern theology.

Tozer’s willingness to embrace the mysteries of the divine is particularly evident in his reflections on the Incarnation. He writes, “The awful majesty of the Godhead was mercifully sheathed in the soft envelope of human nature to protect mankind.” In this statement, Tozer acknowledges the profound and paradoxical truth of Christ’s dual nature – fully divine and fully human – a mystery that continues to captivate and confound believers.

The Knowledge of the Holy Book Review

As readers immerse themselves in the pages of “The Knowledge of the Holy,” they may find themselves confronted with a vision of God that stands in stark contrast to the comfortable, domesticated conceptions of the divine that are all too common in modern Christianity. Tozer’s uncompromising insistence on a high view of God can be challenging, even unsettling, for those accustomed to a more palatable, user-friendly understanding of the divine.

Yet, it is precisely this challenge that makes Tozer’s work so vital and relevant in the contemporary context. In a world that often prioritizes individual comfort and self-fulfillment, Tozer’s emphasis on the transcendent, all-powerful nature of God serves as a much-needed counterpoint. By cultivating a deeper appreciation for the majesty and mystery of the divine, believers can ground their lives in a more robust and transformative faith.

Moreover, Tozer’s insights on the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human free will offer a valuable perspective on one of the most perplexing theological debates. By acknowledging the paradoxical nature of this relationship, Tozer encourages readers to embrace the tension, rather than seeking simplistic or reductive solutions.


As I reflect on “The Knowledge of the Holy” by A.W. Tozer, I’m struck by the profound impact this timeless spiritual masterpiece has had on my own faith journey. This classic book has inspired generations of believers, including myself, to deepen our understanding of God’s nature and cultivate a more intimate relationship with Him. Tozer’s remarkable ability to convey complex spiritual truths through lucid prose, keen intellect, and profound insight has left an indelible mark on my heart and mind.

As I navigate the complexities of modern life, I find myself returning to Tozer’s message again and again, and I’m reminded of its remarkable relevance. His words invite me to cultivate a high view of God, to see Him in all His glory and majesty, and to discover a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with the infinite and eternal divine.

But I’d love to hear from you – how has “The Knowledge of the Holy” impacted your life and faith? Have you found Tozer’s words to be a source of comfort, guidance, or inspiration? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below. Let’s continue the conversation and explore together how this timeless classic can continue to shape our understanding of God and our relationship with Him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *