The short readings certainly enlighten us on the thinking about the Christian faith of other times and provide an interesting contrast to devotional writings of our time. The tone of these classic pieces is generally more reverent, even fearful toward God. Absent is the emphasis on how God caters to us. Instead, the stress is on what we can do to please and honor Him.
Missing too is the fear of turning off a skeptical audience by portraying God as absolutely holy and righteous – even angry at sin. Note, for example, this bit from American Reformation writer Jonathan Edwards’ (1703-1758) sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (Rob Bell, writer of Love Wins, would have a heart attack!):
“The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight. You are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince." – p. 100.
(Of course Edwards doesn’t stop there but goes on to explain that in His very act of holding the sinner above the flames of hell and not letting him go, God is expressing mercy by giving the individual the opportunity to repent.)
The back-matter of From the Library of A. W. Tozer begins with a one-paragraph bio of each writer. As well it has a list of books from which the writings are excerpted and an author index of where to find each writer's selections.
The short readings make this book perfect for daily devotional use. The organization of the pieces in topics make it a good resource of ideas and quotes for teachers or preachers. The clear citations make for easy identification of the complete books from which these writings are taken should the reader be interested in reading the full-length works.
Christians of all varieties and generations, whether or not they are familiar with A. W. Tozer, will find much to think about in this rich collection.