Tozer edited a book of Christian poetry he called The Christian Book of Mystical Verse (you really need to get this book; I know I’ve said that before, but this time I really mean it). In his introduction, he tries to explain why he used the word “mystic” in the title. He acknowledged that there were some called “mystics,” who tended toward the “bizarre and prodigious”‘; these kinds of individuals whose psychic disposition tended toward the occult should not be considered “mystics.”

Tozer explains that a “mystic” is one who partakes in the “personal spiritual experience” which saints of Biblical and post-Biblical times enjoyed. He is speaking, he explains, of “the evangelical mystic who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead” (vi). The source of theology for the mystic is “no less and no more” than what is found in the Bible; fellowship in the same commitment to truth that the reformers and Puritans enjoyed.

So how does the mystic differ from other Christians? Tozer answers, “Because [the mystic] experiences his faith down in the depths of his sentiment being while the other does not. He exists in a world of spiritual reality. He is quietly, deeply, and sometimes almost ecstatically aware of the Presence of God in his own nature and in the world around him. His religious experience is sometime elemental, as old as time and the creation. It is immediate acquaintance with God by union with the Eternal Son. It is to know that which passes knowledge” (vi).