When Lyle W. Dorsett, A. W. Tozer’s biographer and a fan of his writings, confessed to his friend a three-decades-long habit of reading Tozer, his friend told him he might be getting into a rut. To that friend and us Dorsett replies in the “Foreword” of From the Library of A. W. Tozer:
“…one cannot get into a Tozer rut. His writings first and foremost point readers to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures in ways that are refreshing. Second, Aiden W. Tozer points us to the writings of men and women throughout church history who have been personally and intimately acquainted with our glorious God because they have learned to truly praise and worship Him” p. 9.
James Stuart Bell has done Dorsett, other Tozer fans, and all who enjoy Christianity’s classic devotional writings a favor by compiling this collection. The authors span hundreds of years from Saint Augustine (354 - 430) to G. Campbell Morgan (1863 - 1945). There are over 200 entries by 35 writers taken from over 90 books. The entries are short – most are one to two pages – organized within eight topics that reflect the major themes of Tozer’s life and writings: 1] Worship: the Chief End of Man; 2] Prayer and Contemplation; 3] Exhortations and Prophetic Words; 4] Our Counselor: the Holy Spirit; 5] Jesus Christ: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King; 6] Practicing the Presence of God; 7] On Christian Doctrine; and 8] On Living the Christian Life.
The breadth of writers Tozer loved and quoted may surprise some. Lyle Dorsett in his biography of Tozer says:
“Ironically Tozer incurred heavy criticism from some Protestants by being too irenic and charitable toward Roman Catholics. From their perspective, Tozer erred by celebrating the writings of early church mothers and fathers such as Julian of Norwich, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, and Michael de Molinas to mention a few. These writers, according to some of his critics, were not ancestors of the church universal – they were Roman Catholics. Tozer handled these naysayers the same way he dealt with negative comments from his frequent references to Ante-Nicene Church Fathers or moderns such as Thomas Merton. These saints, from Tozer’s angle of vision, knew the Lord intimately and he learned from their writings about drawing closer to Christ – even if he did not agree with everything they believed” - A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A. W. Tozer, Kindle Location 2074.
And so we have in this collection Roman Catholic writers as well as many well-known Protestants like Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, George Mueller, John Bunyan, Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis and others.