Christian Contradictions

Darkness and Light

Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897 – 1963) was a minister of the Christian and Missionary Alliance who served for almost five decades in the United States and Canada. He spent thirty-one years at Chicago’s Southside Alliance Church, whose congregation increased tenfold under Tozer’s preaching. Among his many books are The Pursuit of God, Knowledge of the Holy, and Success and the Christian. In this passage he talks about the paradoxical nature of genuine Christianity.

A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge. And all the while he may be confounding his critics by his unbelievable practicality: his farm may be the most productive, his business the best managed, and his mechanical skill the sharpest of anyone in his neighborhood.1


1 A. W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1955), 156.

About the author

Chris Castaldo (PhD, London School of Theology) is the lead pastor at New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of Talking with Catholics about the Gospel and coauthor of The Unfinished Reformation.


  1. One might say that from God’s perspective paradox is normal and earthly expectations are actually paradoxical.

  2. I have always felt at the bottom of the faith there is a paradox. Save you life to lose it. Embracing the paradox seems to be the only way to see clearly through what the enemy tries to blind us with.

  3. Yahoo!!

    Let’s hear it for A.W. Tozer! Tozer! Tozer! Tozer! Tozer!

    He seemed to have his fingers on the pulse of Christianity.

    Great article Chris

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