Friday, June 13, 2008

A Passion for God Redux

I just got back into town from the PCA General Assembly and am a bit surprised by the reaction to what was, in essence, a three paragraph book note.

Suffice it to say that I certainly didn't say everything that Dorsett wrote about Tozer (or his relationship to his wife; for a longer review see here). I was simply offering my strongest reaction to the book, one that related to my own struggles as a biographer: when I wrote about Robert Lewis Dabney, the 19th century Presbyterian theologian and agressive defender of slavery and segregation, I had to reconcile this massive, sinful blind spot with his theological stance (with which I agreed). Such blind spots led me to look for a more subtle and nuanced approach to Dabney. Dorsett tries to offer such nuance by highlighting this apparent contradiction.

It is interesting to me that Dr. Piper picked up on my blogspot, simply because he was in my mind when I wrote the post--unlike Tozer (apparently, from Dorsett's biography), Piper honestly admitted his own struggles as a husband and parent while desiring to delight and love God (as I heard him do a few weeks ago at the Gospel Coalition meeting). In my own mind, Piper serves as a better model of a biblical pursuit of and passion for God in this regard than Tozer himself.

In the end, all historical figures--and living ones as well--are only useful as they point us to Christ; all are flawed because of their innate and continuing depravity; and this is because there is only one true hero, Jesus himself.

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