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Radical Conversion

By A.W. Tozer


      Let a man but become, as the early Methodists would have said, soundly converted, and certain things will begin to happen in his life. He will experience a wonderful unification of personality and a turning about of the whole life toward God and heavenly things. Though he will undoubtedly suffer from the inward struggle described in the seventh chapter of Romans, yet his direction will be established beyond any doubt and his face will remain turned toward the City of God. That word direction should have more emphasis these days, for the most important thing about a life is its direction. David hardly said anything more significant than this: I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. And the Hebrews' writer summed it all up in one sentence, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. An emotional conversion which stops short of Christ-orientation is inadequate for life and death, and, unless new help comes from some quarter, it may easily be worse than no religious experience at all. And just this would appear to be the source of our bad orientation. The original experience of conversion was not sufficiently radical to turn the life wholly to God and things eternal. Then when religious leaders found that they had on their hands half-converted persons who wanted to be saved but would not turn fully to God, they tried to meet the situation by providing a twilight-zone religion which did not demand too much and which did offer something. Better have them halfway in, they reasoned, than all the way out. We know now how bad that reasoning was.

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