If you hang around at the reformed circles long enough, I’m pretty sure you would have either heard of J. I. Packer or even read his book Knowing God. But if we limit our knowledge of Packer only to Knowing God, then we are surely short-changing ourselves.
This book gives readers a full-orbed view of what Packer wants christians to know about Christian living. As with every book in this series. This book is good for the head (knowledge) and for the daily living. Sam Storms gives readers a good one volume introduction to the thoughts of Packer, highlighting especially his teachings for christian living.
Before reading this book, I have not read any of Packer’s book, though I certainty have heard of him many times within the evangelical and reformed circles. But having read this book, I’m certain Packer will be one of the authors I’ll be spending substantial time reading up on.
Storms first introduces the subject of the book to the readers giving a brief summary of the life and contribution of Packer and reveals interesting facts on Packer’s life, like how he still writes every one of his books using the typewriter! After a quick introduction, Storms moves to the most crucial doctrine of the Christian life for Christians – the atonement. I agree with Storms that this is the most fundamental doctrine for any christian to understand, that we are made right with God, because of the sacrifice and death of Christ. Without it, we have not reference to God either than Him as our Creator and our Judge.
Next Storms moves to very relevant topics for christians like the bible and holiness. I have found the chapters on holiness, sanctification and indwelling sin most helpful for me personally. They help me not only understand my own christian life but also what Packer has to say about them. I have benefited from the summary of the teachings of Packer by Storms. It has pushed me to read Packer’s book on holiness too.
I especially like how Storm ends the book on how we can end well in our Christian lives. This, I thought was a well apt ending for the book and for Packer’s writing. Thus far, the last book written by Packer talks about how we as christian always live and serve in weakness. I like how Storms highlights Packer’s insights on 2 Corinthians for christians to serve and end well, and this is also another book I hope to read in the future.
All in all, this has been a great introduction and summary of J. I. Packer, I’ve benefited much from Storms’ summary and has gone away with a much deeper appreciation of Packer. Perhaps now the next thing I’ll be waiting for would be the systematic theology book that Packer will, God willing, finish in the future.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review