Previously I talked about how we can desire to be like God, and that part of our problem with trying to be like Christ is that we lack the imagination. The late A. W. Tozer speaks to this issue well in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy. In it he shares with us that, “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 emphasis on how we conceive of, or imagine God to be is in stark contrast to the emphases on doing that is in the church today. In the preface he laments how in his present culture (true also in ours) that the verse, “Be still and know that I am God” carries very little weight. We are so busy with our lives running about and trying to be productive, that we forget to truly live. We fall to the sin of busyness.
He does not say it directly, but speaking in the same spirit of his book, I would continue and say that a man can never be greater than his greatest thought. The, “mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God.” If we do not conceive of God as he is, if we have an error in our understanding of who He, then the same level of error that we have we will have error in the entirety of our lives.
The book is focused on the character and attributes to God. Even though he does not continually quote Scripture, his writing is imbued with a knowledge and references to the truth found in Scripture. He does not pretend to be writing theologically, for his goal is to write to the common man in order to capture their imagination and cause them to worship.
It is also short, and divided up into short sections. It is a must read of the classics. You could instead, as he even mentions, read the works of Augustine, but those take much more focus in following, and are much longer. If we are going to make crowns in the image of the ones we hope to one day have, then we need to know who the true crown maker is.
In the end I must also say that ultimately we need to know Scripture. But A. W. Tozer references the spirit of the Scriptures and is very beneficial to our imaginations as we go forth in our service of the king.