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Chasing Truth

By A.W. Tozer


      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. Another qualification is courage. The timid man dare not think lest he discover himself, an experience to him as shocking as the discovery that he has cancer. The sincere thinker comes to his task with the abandonment of a Saul of Tarsus, crying, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Thinking carries a moral imperative. The searcher for truth must be ready to obey truth without reservation or it will elude him. Let him refuse to follow the light and he dooms himself to darkness. The coward may be shrewd or clever but he can never be a wise thinker, for wisdom is at bottom a moral thing and will have no truck with evil. Again, the effective religious thinker must possess some degree of knowledge. A Chinese saying has it, Learning without thought is a snare; thought without learning is a danger. I have met Christians with sharp minds but limited outlook who saw one truth and, being unable to relate it to other truths, became narrow extremists, devoutly cultivating their tiny plot, naively believing that their little fence enclosed the whole earth. An acquaintance with or at least a perception of the significance of what Kant called the starry heavens above and the moral law within is necessary to right thinking. Add to this a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, a good historic sense and some intimate contact with the Christian religion as it is practiced currently and you have the raw material for creative thought. Still this is not enough to make a thinker.

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