Does Category 1 copy Tozer?

NCFCA Mar 15, 2010

Recently, I’ve hypothesized that whoever wrote the original NCFCA Apologetics questions (whoever you are, I’d love to meet you for an interview) may have, to a large extent, duplicated the Table of Contents of A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy.

I don’t know if it’s true or not. But when you compare the topics in Category 1 definitions to Tozer’s chapters, you come up with some intriguing correlations:


# ———Category——————-Tozer Chapters

1. The trinity——————-4. The Holy Trinity
2. The omniscience of God——-10. The Divine Omniscience
3. The omnipotence of God——-12. The Omnipotence of God
4. The omnipresence of God——14. God’s Omnipresence
5. The transcendence of God—–13. The Divine Transcendence
6. The immanence of God———[NO CHAPTER]
7. The eternality of God——–7. The Eternity of God
8. The immutability of God——9. The Immutability of God
9. The infinite nature of God—8. God’s infinitude
10. The holiness of God———21. The Holiness of God
11. The righteousness of God—-[NO CHAPTER]
12. The justice of God———-17. The Justice of God
13. The sovereignty of God——22. The Sovereignty of God
14. The mercy of God ———–19. The Mercy of God
15. The grace of God————18. The Grace of God

Here are the arguments for and against:

For:
-13 out of 15 is an odds-defying coincidence

-Although many names for these doctrines exists, the ones by Tozer match almost perfectly with the topics –right down to the “of” clauses rather than the normal English possessive (“Justice of God” instead of “God’s Justice”)

-Complicated language from Tozer’s chapters are consistently corrected in the same manner (“The Holy Trinity” v. “Trinity”; “God’s Infinitude” v. “The Infinite Nature of God”)

-The topics that are missing chapters suggests that the author(s) added them for correlation and contrast (“transcendence” v. “immanence”; “righteousness” v. “justice”)

-Cat.1 SA 5 quotes Tozer’s first chapter, Why We Must Think Rightly About God, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Against:
-13 out of 15 is not 15 out of 15 which is what we’d expect to find if the author(s) were referencing Tozer.

-While many names for the doctrines may exists, the ones used are the most common and therefore the most logical choice. Using an “of” clause instead of a possessive may be better explained by the author(s) looking for continuity in the topics, rather than a grammatical influence from Tozer.

-Tozer’s complicated language isn’t corrected in the same manner, as the provided examples prove.

-The extra topics (or missing chapters, depending on how you look at it), don’t point to an insertion as much as they serve to highlight the other topics not included in the category: Self-Existence, self-sufficiency, wisdom, faithfulness, goodness, and love –all of which provide correlation and contrast to the other topics.

-SA 5 actually misquotes Tozer’s first chapter, strongly suggesting that his book was not used by the author(s).

My jury is still out on this, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Whatever the conclusion is, students and coaches should know that Tozer’s book can help a student come to grips with at least 19 of the 31 Category 1 topics. That’s not bad for a book that’s just over 100 pages and costs less than $10.

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