This was last week’s Worship Quote of the Week. I’ve heard the first sentence of this quote referenced by pastors and worship leaders numerous times, and yet have never heard anybody reference the quote in fuller length. Here it is in all its glory, quoted within its context. If ever I can find time to read books outside of my “required” list for the classes I’m taking at Southern, Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy is certainly up at the top of this list!
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, 1961), 1. Reissue (1998)