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Thinking Well

By A.W. Tozer

      The creative religious thinker is not a daydreamer, not an ivory tower intellectual carrying on his lofty cogitations remote from the rough world; he is more likely to be a troubled, burdened man weighed down by the woes of existence, occupied not with matters academic or theoretical but the practical and personal. The great religious thinkers of the past were rarely men of leisure; mostly they were men of affairs, close to and very much a part of the troubled world. Neither will the sanctified thinker of our times be a poet gazing at a sunset from some quiet secluded spot, but one who feels himself a traveler lost in a wilderness who must find his way to safety. That others will later follow the path he makes will not be primary in his thinking. Later he will understand this, but for the time being he will be all engaged hunting the way out for himself. To think well and usefully a man must be endowed with certain indispensable qualifications. He must, for one thing, be completely honest and transparently sincere. The trifler is automatically eliminated. He is weighed in the balance and found too light to be entrusted with the thoughts of God. Let but a breath of levity enter the mind and the power to do creative thinking instantly goes out. And by levity I do not mean wit or even humor; I do mean insincerity, sham, the absence of moral seriousness. Great thoughts require a grave attitude toward life and mankind and God.

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