A.W. Tozer’s impact for the kingdom of God is immeasurable. His sermons touched thousands through the years; his books—including The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy—reached millions and continue to sell. Yet few really knew this quiet, intensely private, deeply spiritual man.
Esteemed biographer Lyle Dorsett digs deep into the childhood, spiritual conversion, family life, and ministry of Aiden Wilson Tozer, who began life as a Pennsylvania farm boy with limited religious upbringing.
Dorsett doesn’t hide the realities of Tozer’s marriage and career. Instead he reveals Tozer as a flawed man whose one goal, until his death in 1963, was to grow closer to God regardless of the cost.
Don’t miss this detailed exploration of A.W. Tozer, whose life and work encourages, chastises, and energizes us today.
"I've Had a Lonely Life" 15
"A Deep Strain of the Country"
Early Years in Rural Pennsylvania (1897-1912) 23
"I Heard His Voice--Ever So Faintly"
Called to Surrender, Preach, and Marry (1912-1918) 41
"I Got My First Awful, Wonderful, Entrancing Vision of God"
Discovering God's Will (1918-1928) 57
"It May Be a Good Thing I Never Went to Seminary"
The Chicago Years (1928-1941) 83
"A Growing Hunger after God Himself"
Ministry of the Deeper Life (1941-1958) 111
"I Do Not Believe There Is Any Color Line in the Kingdom
Toronto and Beyond (1958-1963) 145
"If My Fire Is Not Large It Is Yet Real"
A Note on Sources 175
Bibliography of A.W. Tozer's Works 177
Appendix 1: "Restoring Dignity to Christian Worship" 179
Appendix 2: "The Decline of Godly Leadership" 185
A. W. Tozer was one of the great spiritual giants of the past
century, and he comes to life again in the pages of this masterful
biography by Lyle Dorsett. Here we see how the jewels from
Tozer’s pen were refined in the crucible of his life. This is
a book that will bring every Christian closer to
-Timothy George, Founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, Senior Editor of Christianity Today
Lyle Dorsett has done it again. I found myself absorbed with this realistic biography of A.W. Tozer, a man whose writings have blessed us all. In these pages we are invited to walk with a man who passionately pursued God, but at the same time had obvious faults, particularly in his relationship with his family. Tozer’s life also introduces us to the various battles that the church was fighting in the forties and fifties, and how evangelicals responded to them. This book encourages us with the reminder that God uses imperfect but God-focused people to bless His church and strengthen the saints. Read this book and you’ll find yourself recommending it to your friends.
-Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Pastor, Moody Church, Chicago
Lyle Dorsett has performed a great service in producing this fascinating new biography of A. W. Tozer, a simple, self-educated Midwesterner who began his working life in an Akron, Ohio, rubber factory. It tells the remarkable story of how this young man came in contact with the literature of Christian devotion, absorbed it deeply, and then, with a uniquely engaging style (half Jeremiah, half Mark Twain), passed along his discovered insights to countless soul-hungry Americans. Two of his many works, The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy, remain classics today. A Passion for God will be an essential companion to all who wish to tap into a remarkable spiritual legacy.
-Glen G. Scorgie, PhD, Professor ofTheology, Bethel Seminary San Diego, Author of A Little Guide to Christian Spirituality (2007)
Lyle Dorsett's biography of my grandfather, A.W. Tozer, is the complete source for anyone who would like to learn about and understand the person, heart, and passion of Dr. Tozer. For my first ten years of life I was able to know him as a grandfather. As time went by I began to learn of and understand his public life and his place among Christians. The more I knew the more I realized I had only pieces of the story. Dr. Dorsett has provided that and more in this wonderfully detailed look into Dr. Tozer's life and ministry.
-Paul Tozer, Grandson of A. W. Tozer
From Moses to Peter and Luther to Spurgeon, even the most
gifted and accomplished servants of the Lord have had their
blemishes (don’t we all?), and we can learn from them. This
book introduces us to some of the more private aspects of Dr.
Tozer’s life and ministry and, while it may disturb some, it should
also encourage each of us to examine our own lives and aim for
-Warren W. Wiersbe, Author, Former pastor of Moody Church, Chicago
As with so many, A. W. Tozer's writings were a fiery landmark in my spiritual growth and my love for God. Lyle Dorsett's magnificent A Passion for God recalls and rekindles those fires. This is a fascinating and pleasurable and profitable read!
-R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church in Wheaton
Lyle Dorsett captures the heart of the man whose life was totally focused on his pursuit of God. The opinions and feelings of his contemporaries, of those in his churches, or of even his own family, all took second place to his overwhelming passion to know Christ. Through this carefully researched and objectively written book, we have an intimate and unbiased look into the life of a man whose writings have resonated with God seekers around the world. A sidelight of the book is an inside look at the history of the Christian and Missionary Alliance through a man who catapulted the name of the Alliance around the world through his writings. In Dorsett's writings we see Tozer, first and foremost a man of prayer, a man oblivious to this world, a man with an earnest desire to seek and know God above all else.
-Janet Kuhns Howard, Missionary with Christian and Missionary Alliance in Indonesia and member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Board of Directors
For those who hunger to know the Lord in a deeper way, Lyle Dorsett's masterful account of A. W. Tozer's spiritual journey will encourage, inspire and challenge. This book is simply a must read for serious Christians.
-John Woodbridge, Research Professor of Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School