The Gospel Coalition

A. W. Tozer:
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.

For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.

We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.

-A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1978), 1.


Justin Taylor

June 25, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Brian, the essays in the Weight of Glory were all written in the 40s and 50s. Tozer's book came out in 1961.


June 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM

The quote i am referring to is in The weight of glory


June 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM

It was CS Lewis who responded to this quote by saying that it is a far more important thing about us what God thinks about us.

Josh Donegani

June 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I agree to some extent. Our perspective on God significantly changes how we think, live and interact in the world. But reality is not determined by our view of it. A clouded vision doesn't mean a clouded sky...

Surely the most important thing about us is what comes into God's mind when he thinks about us.

It's not about what you know. It's not even about who you know. It's about who knows you.


June 25, 2012 at 01:29 PM

Thanks for the clarification that Lewis was not responding to Tozer. I got my dates wrong and who CS Lewis was responding to wrong. In any event, Lewis did say the following in The weight of Glory:
"I read in a periodical the other day that the fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it is related to how He thinks of us."
I do think both quotes are spectacular and very significant. Maybe I'll send them both in on the Desiring God contest this week!