Tozer posits that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us,” and that a right conception of God is absolutely necessary not only for systematic theology but also for practical Christian living. He laments the fact that the Church has lost the true concept of the holiness and majesty of God and “has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men.” He then sets out to address the question of what God is like, immediately acknowledging that God is not exactly like anything or anyone that we can know in our limited human experience and understanding, but stating that “We learn by using what we already know as a bridge over which we pass into the unknown.” He goes on to suggest that the question is best reframed and examined by asking what God has disclosed about Himself that can be comprehended by men who approach the task with reverent reason.
For the purpose of this book, Tozer defines an attribute of God as “whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.” Words such as trait, characteristic, and quality, he explains, though necessary when talking of created beings are inappropriate when thinking of God. An attribute is not a part of God’s character, or a quality He possesses, but quite simply how God is.
After a discussion of the mystery of the Trinity, Tozer embarks on a detailed examination of eighteen attributes of God, among them infinitude, omniscience, transcendence, goodness, mercy, and sovereignty. He guides us to a clear understanding of what each attribute means, and shows that none is a definitive picture of God and none is dependent upon any other; rather, they are all facets of His unitary being, an essential oneness.
The book concludes with a final chapter reiterating the imperative necessity of having a clear and right concept of God, and pointing out that although this knowledge seems difficult to attain, it is available to all who will follow Christ devotedly and seek Him wholeheartedly.