Tozer wrote the words contained in Finding Christ in Christmas, but he didn’t actually write the book. Someone pulled together quotes relating to Christmas and the Advent season from Tozer’s other writings. Thus there’s no flow of logical thought from one entry to the next, (at least, I didn’t pick up on it if it was there). Each is taken out of context, and some leave the reader hanging a bit. Whoever compiled these did not note what writings each of the entries comes from, so there is not a way to look up the context of the entry unless you google a phrase and find a reference online.
Despite those failings, the book contains some nuggets worthy of consideration. I’ve never found Tozer to be a warm, cozy devotional speaker. Rather, he makes us think with his incisive rhetoric. And that, to me, is what gives this book value.
Here are just a few samples:
Thousands each year find their desire for salvation and holiness becoming too acute to bear, and turn to the One who was born in a manger to die on a cross. Then the fleeting beauty that is Christmas enters their hearts to dwell there forever. For who is it that imparts such beauty to the Christmas story? It is none other than Jesus, the Altogether Lovely.
He sacrificed many pure enjoyments to give Himself to the holy work of moral rescue…He pleased not Himself but lived for the emergency; and as He was so are we in this world.
The Law was given by Moses, but that was all that Moses could do. He could only “command” righteousness. In contrast, only Jesus Christ produces righteousness. All that Moses could do was to forbid us to sin. In contrast, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin. Moses could not save anyone, but Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.
[On Isaiah 53:2 portraying the Messiah being “a root out of dry ground] Had Israel been like a young woman at the peak of her reproductive powers, the rising of such a prodigy as Jesus from within her might have had some logic in it; but He was born of Israel when her powers had waned and her strength had withered. By no stretch of fancy could anyone who knew Israel in that day have visioned Jesus as her offspring. Israel was dry ground —politically, morally and spiritually effete.
The theology of Christmas too easily gets lost under the gay wrappings, yet apart from its theological meaning it really has none at all.
Though we are keenly aware of the abuses that have grown up around the holiday season, we are still not willing to surrender this ancient and loved Christmas Day to the enemy.
Man is lost but not abandoned. Had men not been lost, no Savior would have been required. Had they been abandoned no Savior would have come.
In our mad materialism we have turned beauty into ashes, prostituted every normal emotion and made merchandise of the holiest gift the world ever knew. Christ came to bring peace and we celebrate His coming by making peace impossible for six weeks of each year. Not peace but tension, fatigue and irritation rule the Christmas season. He came to free us of debt and many respond by going deep into debt each year to buy enervating luxuries for people who do not appreciate them. He came to help the poor and we heap gifts upon those who do not need them. The simple token given out of love has been displaced by expensive presents given because we have been caught in a squeeze and don’t know how to back out of it. Not the beauty of the Lord our God is found in such a situation, but the ugliness and deformity of human sin.
The editors ended the compilation with the last quote, which, though convicting, ends the book on a note of condemnation. I wish they had ended with a quote of hope.
There are readings for December 1 – 25, and each day’s reading ranges from just a paragraph to little more than a page. So the selections are easily readable.
Despite the frustrations I mentioned, I found the book highly beneficial.
(Sharing with Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books, and Carole’s Books You Loved)
Thanks for bringing Tozer to the Advent table, Barbara.
Merry Christmas to you and all your dear ones. I’m grateful for the many occasions our paths have crossed over this past year …
Interesting selection, Barbara. Could make for a nice read during Christmastime.
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