By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation…which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. (Psalm 67:5,7)

Whether one acknowledges that there could still be such a thing or not, the fact remains that in some way many considered A.W. Tozer “a twentieth-century prophet.” I bring this up because nearly universally evangelical notables from J.I. Packer to Ravi Zacharias to Chuck Colson to James Montgomery Boice to Tony Evans to Jack Hayford to Bruce Wilkerson have said things along that same line. My point here is not to comment on the work of said men, it is to point out they are influential – like it or not – within the Church of our Lord. This actually speaks quite loudly in and of itself.

However, with the increasingly man-centered pragmatic methods of church growth growing nearly exponentially it becomes quite obvious these men were not listening to what God was saying through Tozer, to whom they paid such lip service. Any way you look at it this would be hypocrisy in the eyes of the Lord. In my short piece Got Faith I talk a bit further about trying to do a Supernatural job in our own strength and this current love affair with “contextualizing the Gospel” to supposedly make it “more relevant” to this pagan and allegedly postmodern culture.

But in this devotion A.W. Tozer of which Colson said, “[Tozer] challenges every sort of spiritual pretension,” clearly shows they weren’t listening when he tried to warn them of this fallacy that he called “a moral blunder”:

“Some earnest persons try to reason that since there is no stillness in this mechanized world, we must learn to get along without it. This is the summation of their reasoning: we cannot hope to bring back the still waters and the quiet pastures where David once led his sheep. This rat race of civilization is too noisy for us to hear the still, small Voice, so we must learn to hear God speak in the earthquake and the storm.”

“And if modern evangelism is geared to the tumult and the agitation of the time, why should anyone complain? Does it not represent an honest effort to be all things to all men that any means some should be saved? The answer is that the soul of man does not change fundamentally, no matter how external conditions may change! The aborigine in his hut, the college professor in his study, the truck driver in the bedlam of city traffic have all the same basic need: to be rid of their sins, to obtain eternal life and to be brought into communion with God.”

“Civilized noise and activities are durface phenomena, a temporary rash on the epidermis of the human race. To attribute sound values to them and then to try to bring religion into harmony with them is to commit a moral blunder so huge as to stagger the imagination, and one for which we shall surely be paying long after this frenetic extravaganza we call civilization has ended in tragedy and everlasting grief!” (A.W. Tozer, Renewed Day by Day, October 21)