A. W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God: debunking the secular-sacred dichotomy

A. W. TOZER writes beautifully. I hadn't fully appreciated him when I first read him in 2004 (I was 16). Fortunately my father had one of Tozer's books in his meager collection.

Yesterday morning, I reread parts of Tozer's The Pursuit of God: Human Thirst For the Divine. The final chapter is entitled The Sacrament of Living. He writes, "One of the greatest hindrances to internal peace which the Christian encounters is the common habit of dividing our lives into two areas—the sacred and the secular."

Citing the Bible as his basis, Tozer argues that the dichotomy between the sacred and the secular does not exist. Assuming that it does is not only wrong but dangerous. He cites Jesus Christ as a counter-example to such error:

"The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is our perfect example, and He knew no divided life. In the presence of His Father He lived on earth without strain from babyhood to His death on the cross. God accepted the offering of His total life, and made no distinction between act and act . . . As He moved among men He was poised and restful. What pressure and suffering He endured grew out of His position as the world's sin bearer; they were never the result of moral uncertainty or spiritual maladjustment."

The calling of every believer, he says, is "to lift every act up into a living kingdom and turn the whole life into a sacrament."

Tozer goes on:

"Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything."
Tozer's statements are restrained yet powerful. He doesn't mince with words. His language is metaphorical and poetic, but his points are practical and scriptural. That he did not receive formal theological training is a pleasant surprise. He is yet another example that God can use someone without PhDs for His purposes.

What Tozer mentioned about the non-existence of the sacred-secular dichotomy has direct implications on my career: that, as a would-be doctor, every thing I do must glorify Him, and He will give me the grace to do that.

One thought on “A. W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God: debunking the secular-sacred dichotomy”

  1. Very straight to the point and timely for me. Thank you for this and congratulations for passing the licensure exam.

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