A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary



High impact contemporary books for your spiritual maturity.

Key Boo​ks for the Deeper Life


by A. W. Tozer

Though relatively short, this appears to be Tozer’s most influential book and is considered a classic of 20th century spirituality. Tozer was a Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor in Chicago in the mid-twentieth century. Pursuit of the Holy focuses on instructing believers in the way of full surrender to God in Christ in order to find intimacy with him. Tozer emphasizes complete renunciation of anything that would come before God and highlights common pitfalls and failures in this area. Tozer also emphasizes the reality of experiencing God and regularly refers to other great Christians throughout history who did the same. He directs readers to faith and receptivity to the kingdom of God available to all. He also writes against the the intrusion of casual entertainment-oriented Christianity he saw springing up in America. In his chapter titled “The Gaze of the Soul” he encourages believers to practice a continuous inward gaze on God. He also advises readers to let go of every pretense and learn true humility. Amazon

SEASONS OF THE SOUL: Stages of Spiritual Development, by Bruce Demarest.

Excellent book on the different seasons we go through on the way to maturity, especially suffering or dry periods.  The author uses a general outline for the spiritual life of: orientation, disorientation and reorientation. He asserts that dry and painful times are normal for the Christian life and constitute disorientation. God will feel absent. Then in reorientation deep roots of bitterness, inferiority, superiority, mistrust and painful memories are transformed into healthy traits. The author quotes many Christian classics and the appendix has a short description of the process of growth taught by key historical figures. The whole book is a treasure trove of wisdom for spiritual growth, probably more so than any other contemporary book written at the popular/leadership level.

 Dr. Bruce Demarest was professor of theology and spiritual formation at Denver Seminary. Highly Recommended. Amazon

MANSIONS OF THE HEART: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth, by Thomas Ashbrook

This is probably the best discussion of the stages of spiritual growth in a contemporary book written at the popular/leadership level. Using contemporary language and illustrations the author uses the idea of the seven mansions of the soul from Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle as an outline for explaining stages of growth.  As the author explains the sever different stages of growth he also provides case studies of people in each stage. The case studies are very helpful and make this an excellent group study book. There is a study guide available.  The seven stages move from transformation on the surface to deep transformation.  Central to the process are times of dryness or suffering. As one grows they progress to greater reliance on the Holy Spirit and are able to achieve a quieter, more receptive inner life and Jesus lives through them.  Highly Recommended. Amazon

More Books for the Deeper Life


Paul, The Spirit and the People of God 

By Gordon D. Fee.

Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011, (originally published in 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers). 

Fee is one of the most respected biblical scholars over the last several decades. He has a Pentecostal background but the book is non-sectarian and does a superb job of communicating the New Testament theology of the Holy Spirit. (Click on image for Amazon site.)  Read more...

Paul the spirit and the people of God


AUTHENTIC FAITH: The Power of a Fire-Tested Life  

By Gary Thomas.
An excellent book with great stories that illustrate the way we grow and the value of testing. Very readable but also goes deep. (Click on image for Amazon site.)

authentic faith


The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality

By Evan Howard.

Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2008, 496 pages. This is a comprehensive textbook on spiritual formation. It is arguably the best historically orthodox, non-sacramental, text for spiritual formation and a remarkable and long-awaited achievement. It is evangelical in the broad sense of the word. There is much helpful discussion on human dynamics and processes. It could be criticized for being too light on the way of the Cross; that is, that it underrepresents the scriptural and historical emphasis on death to self. Hence, one could argue that it doesn’t challenge the narcissistic and conviction-resistant attitudes of our day. It can also be criticized for a lack of scriptural analysis and not making the scriptural foundations explicit. If one supplements this text to fill in the weaknesses (e.g. for the way of the cross see Bruce Demarest’s Seasons of the Soul) then one would have a fairly well-rounded set of texts. However, at this time there is no good text or work that fully develops the scriptural foundations of spiritual formation. (Click on image for Amazon site.)

Brazos introduction to Christian spirituality

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