Friday, February 28, 2020

Book Review: The Christian Book of Mystical Verse

About the Book:

"... some of the best devotional verse the English language affords..."
While the term "mystic" may have connotations that reach beyond traditional Christian thinking, it actually refers to a common spiritual experience that unites anyone who has fellowship with God.
The poems in this book were hand-picked by Tozer and follow a logical pattern, going in line with the very nature of salvation itself and the death of Jesus on the cross, man's contemplation of his own sin, redemption, communion with God, awaiting the return of Christ, and celebrations of eternal fellowship with God in Heaven.
Both intimate and exhilarating, The Christian Book of Mystical Verse is a book for anyone who seeks to worship God the Father, and who finds the rich language of Christians of old a great help in that endeavor.

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Christian Book of Mystical Verse compiled by A. W. Tozer. This collection includes hymns and prayers, but the majority of it is lyric poetry. Most selections are not written in easy-to-read, common speech; however, the effort to read slowly and experience the text is worth the effort. Many of the poems contain exuberant praise that serves as an uplifting reminder of the greatness of God.

The Christian Book of Mystical Verse is divided into fifteen topical sections and The Prayer of Quiet was my favorite section. This collection did not include some of the well-known poets I expected, but I enjoyed being introduced to new-to-me authors such as Frederick William Faber whose beautiful poetry featured often. Some of my favorite poems were: The Greatness of God by Frederick William Faber, Prayer for Purity by Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf, My God! Silent to Thee! By Thomas Moore, and In Immanuel’s Land by Anne R. Cousin.

Perhaps you’re wondering about the word “mystical” in the title. A. W. Tozer explains in his introduction: “The word ‘mystic’ as it occurs in the title of this book refers to that personal spiritual experience common to the saints of Bible times and well known to multitudes of persons in the post-Biblical era. I refer to the evangelical mystic who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead… He [or she] exists in a world of spiritual reality.” (Pg. 16)

I recommend The Christian Book of Mystical Verse: A Collection of Poems, Hymns, and Prayers for Devotional Reading compiled by A. W. Tozer to any Christian believer who enjoys lyric poetry.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

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