I was reading a book by AW Tozer this morning titled, “This World, Playground or Battleground?” and wanted to share some quotes from it for you. =) Keep in mind, this was written in the 1950s-1980s, so things have gotten even worse since he wrote them. I highly recommend this book for your home library!
Chapter One: Today… men think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight; we are hear to frolic. We are not in a foreign land; we are at home. We are not getting ready to live, but we are already living… this changed attitude toward the world …is having its effect upon Christians… their conduct gives them away…Jesus does not require them to give up their fun… the worship growing out of such a view of life is as far off center as the view itself – a sort of sanctified night club…
Chapter Four: To many Christians, Christ is little more than an idea, or at best an ideal… millions of professed believers talk as if He were real and act as if He is not. Our actual position is always to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk…many of us have become extremely skillful in arranging our lives so as to admit the truth of Christianitywithout being embarassed by its implications…pseudo faith always arranges a way out in case God fails… true faith…is either God or collapse. Those of pseudo faith will fight for their verbal creed, but flatly refuse to allow themselves to get into a predicament where their future depends upon that creed being true.
Chapter Seven: …the right kind of men…have already died to the allurements of this world…free from the compulsions that control weaker men. Much that the church…is doing today, it is doing because it is afraid not to do it!
Chapter Seventeen: …the error …is the notion that everything written in the Bible applies indiscriminately to everyone. This is a great mistake… God’s word is addressed to those who stand in a special relationship toward Him under the terms of redemption. Just as the Gentile nations could not claim the covenant promises that God had made with Israel, so the assurances and promises made to repentant and believing persons cannot be applied to those who are neither believing or repentant.
Chapter Nineteen: …many of our hotly defended beliefs are no more than reactions to what we consider false doctrines… grace is twisted out of it’s moral context and made the cause of lowered standards of conduct in the church… could it be that the deep cause behind all this frightened defensive action…is the failure of so many leaders to have a true spiritual experience of their own?
Chapter Twenty-four: Within the last quarter of a century, we have actually seen a major shift in the beliefs and practices of the evangelical wing of the church so radical as to amount to a complete sell out – and all this behind a cloak of fervent orthodoxy. With a Bible under their arm and a bundle of tracks in their pocket, religious people now meet to carry on “services” so carnal, so pagan, they can hardly be distinguished from the old vaudeville shows of earlier days.
Chapter Twenty-seven: A world of confusion and disappointment results from trying to believe without obeying…we are not likely to see among us any remarkable transformations of individuals or churches until the Lord’s ministers again give to obedience the place of prominence it occupies in the Scriptures.
Chapter Thirty-six: it is well… to know what to do with the difficult passages… those seeking after God will major on the… verses they can understand and wait for clearer light on the short passages they find difficult. If I do not know what a difficult passage means, I can at least know what it does not mean…the fact that I am not able to explain a passage does not obligate me to another an explanation that is obviously phony.
Chapter Thirty-seven: (a scenario) A church…follows it’s traditions without much thought for whether or not they are Scriptural…then the leaders notice a lack of spiritual power among the people and become concerned about it…the answer is…pray…but nothing happens…what has gone wrong? Simply this – neither the leaders nor the people have made any effort to obey the Word of God…prayer is never an acceptable substitute for obedience. The act of committal to Christ in salvation releases the believing man or woman from the penalty of sin, but it does not release him or her from the obligation to obey…
Chapter Thirty-eight: is about idolatry. Rather than quote from it, I will summarize. He points out some of our modern day idols or gods:
- the businessman (success)
- service clubs
- superstition (chain letters, white magic)
- the unconverted theologian
And a couple more of my own:
- musicians and music
- athletes and sports
- movie stars