Tuesday, March 21, 2006

In Review: J.I. Packer's Knowing God

I just finished J.I. Packer's classic Knowing God. Through the process of reading KG I found my prayer life beginning to change, or be redirected to God and away from any misconceptions that had snuck in. It was a bit of a tour de force of accessible theology covering attributes of God from mercy to wrath, goodness and severity. For those wanting some foundational theology, which is often like broccoli to a child--challenging to swallow-- but simultaneously rich and deeply biblical, it's perfect.

While remaining accessible Packer illuminates the great depths of God's personality, as revealed in Scripture. Both Packer's intelligence and his ability with the pen are clear throughout, though it is never put on display. Besides the Bible, Packer draws from Puritan theologians and many hymnists (Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley to name a few) in so doing he reminds us that to be good theologians we don't have to quote secular philosophy or parade an academic guise.

For anyone interested in 20th century evangelicalism, a clear and concise theology, or desiring a greater understanding of God's character, this would be a good place to start.

Here's a quote to leave you with:

For it is often the case, as all saints know, that fellowship with the Father and the Son is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is heaviest" (97 Knowing God).

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