Wednesday, September 20, 2006

J.I. Packer, Regent College, and the Basics

While in Christian History this morning at Regent College I heard that J.I. Packer would be speaking at Chapel. I was pretty stoked. After reading Knowing God last year I began to develop a strong appreciation for Packer. So, of course, I was expecting something revelatory from Dr. Packer. Well, it was the case, just not how I was thinking.

Dr. Packer's message was fairly simple. He didn't delve into an arcane avenue of Puritan theology; nor did he provide some unexepected exegesis on a passage in Romans, instead he talked about what it means to "finish well" in our walk with Christ. He offered a fine maxim regarding this spiritual sojourn, "Let Christ fill your horizon". It may sound like spiritual immaturity but I was initally bummed because of the message's accessibility and obviousness.

After thinking about it I realized that this message came from someone who had taught at a number of seminaries, who was trained at Oxford, and is one of the most respected theologians in the world today. In that context the message opened uncharted vistas. J.I. Packer had, so to speak, seen it all and he was still championing the same message, "Let Christ fill your horizon". Unexpectedly, this afternoon I learned volumes: in our walk with Christ there will be nuanced 'trinket' theology that often steals our attention from Jesus Christ, Dr. Packer reminded me of the "one thing that I need" that is, to "Let Christ fill my horizon".


MattMissyKamps said...

Hey man, good stuff. I enjoy hearing tidbits from your walk at Regent. Thanks.

Bryan Halferty said...

Hey thanks, yeah it was really good for me.

mrteague said...


I like the "trinket theology" comment. All too true. Sometimes "new" is more appealing that "True." Dig it.