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4.7 out of 5 stars
Knowing God
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 December 2002
This book will take you a long time to get through, but it is worth it. The title says it all; offering a theology and practical explanation of what it means to know God, and to get to know him better, Packer dissects the ideas behind evangelical theology and some of its competitors.
The main focus is that to know God's Word- the Bible- is the way to know God; but he talks about all the central issues of theology on the way- the Trinity, our relationship with God as Christians, and so on.
My only complaint is that it's impossible to remember everything in the book! Touted sometimes as theology for the layman, I'd agree- but don't expect a pageturner, it's solid stuff. Perhaps it is worthy of an annual read- it certainly couldn't do any harm. While taxing my brain (and my memory!), it warmed my heart as it reminded me of how I could know God personally.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2010
This book was the first Christian book I ever read, except for the Bible, and still the most helpful years (and a bit of a book habit) later.

The writer clearly, thoroughly, and with many references to scripture, explains what it means to know God and how we can know him better. He clearly and non judgementally explains where people and churches may go wrong sometimes and helps point us in the write direction, explaining some of the more difficult but fundamental pieces of scripture.

The book is well written and easy to read in a grammatical sense, enabling it to be read much faster than you would expect, but also deeply challenging at times on a personal level. However, the challenging parts were frequently coupled with reassuring reminders that we are all imperfect and we are forgiven, so every chapter was ended on a good note.

If you are Christian and looking to get to know God better, or are confused about some church practices, or 'unchurched', and would like to know more then I would strongly recommend this book.
This book may also be useful for anyone with questions about the Christian faith or non Christians but may be a little meaty for some. "Christianity Explored" by Rico Tice may be more suitable for those looking for a shorter explanation of the Christian faith.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2001
This book is sensational. It deals with all areas of Christian theology in a way that makes them accessible to the contemporary reader. Unlike many books it seeks not just to build up the reader's knowledge, but their relationship with a personal God who is seeking to know personally the people he has created.
Packer takes us through the great news of the cross, where as God's son, fully human and fully divine, Jesus died to take the punishment that was due for us.
He also deals with many issues that face the church today: the role of the Holy Spirit, the status of the Bible as God's word and means of speaking to us, to name but two.
If only I could remember and act upon all I read in this book! It thoroughly increases the reader's biblical understanding.
A must read for all those seeking to know God better!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2011
This book is renowned as a 'modern Christian classic', although having first been printed in 1973 it is rapidly becoming a classic in the the fullest sense of the word. That being said, its contents are a treasure-trove for the Christian, somehow managing the considerable feat of both explaining the basics and working out the fine detail in one very powerful work.

Based on a collection of essays, the twenty-two chapters do have a self-contained feel to them: although Dr. Packer's work builds up a picture of God as a whole, yet the book does not proceed through a single-threaded development.

The work is divided into three broad sections, one on the knowing of God, the second on God himself, and the third on the implication of God as he is. Particularly powerful is the treatment given to God as judge, God's wrath, God's Goodness and Severity and God's Jealousy; none of which are popular topics but all of which are treated with clarity and a deep sense of purpose.

Throughout this work Dr. Packer reveals himself to be an extraordinarily gifted and orthodox theologian with a rock solid understanding of what the Bible actually teaches. I have no hesitation in recommending this book widely to Christians of types and at all stages within their study of the scripture as I am confident they will not be misled by this time-tested work.

The version I refer to in this review is the new Audio version narrated by Simon Vance. The narration is clear and a pleasure to listen to, with Mr. Vance excelling himself yet again. At 9.5 hours it may be a little long for one sitting, however the episodic nature of the work lends itself brilliantly to being spread over a few memorable sittings.

This review was made possible by the christianaudio reviewer's programmed who provided the review copy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2008
This is a superbly written book by a great theologian. It is truly worth its weight in gold. Each chapter is a three course spiritual meal which can be feasted upon again and again and digested at leisure. Having not read it for fifteen years, on rereading it I realized how poor and superficial many of the books I had read during the intervening time. Of the 3-4 thousand books I own, I would include this one in my top three. May it be read widely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2011
It seems almost superfluous to review this classic work which has been in print since 1973. In his foreword to the second edition Packer acknowledges he sees himself as a catechist rather than as a systematician so I view this book as representing his attempt to catechise the church in its fundamentals. This is no dry catechism but a warm, God-loving, mind challenging call to lifelong commitment to the Triune God.

It is not a light book. It is a solid book but, like Ryle, Packer is eminently readable. The chapter on Knowing and Being Known was particularly helpful in explaining what it means to know one who is far greater than ourselves involving all the relational complexity of being invited to be a covenant partner with God. Packer is excellent on the atonement as The Heart of the Gospel and on The Adequacy of God to be our all and our comfort in this vale of tears.

Many of the chapters contain masterful mini-expositions of Bible passages. A study guide is included though I think only groups of diligent readers would use this. It has some value for the individual.

This is a book I wish I had read years ago. The hype was warranted. I have certainly benefitted from reading it this year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2011
Knowing God is a book that every Christian ought to read. It covers almost all areas of Theology, as one dives into loving and delighting in God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. It is a book that we lead you to worshiping and adoration of Our God and Lord. It is a book that we make you fell on your knees before God in prayers and devotions. It is a book that will lead a person to know God,as one who is first know by God. It is a book worth selling you bed to get a copy.

In Christ Jesus,

Prayson
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2010
This book is certainly among the most influential in my Christian experience. It is not theology for theology's sake - it is what theology really should be: not a mere academic discipline, but the knowledge and study of God. It challenges the modern trend of thinking great thoughts of man and small thoughts of God, and assumes that even Christian minds have sometimes been shaped by modern materialism. Other reviewers are perhaps right: it does take time to read. However, my experience was exactly like John Stott's: it caused me to draw aside in wonder at the living God, and sheer gratitude to Him. Yet other reviewers have commented critically on the style - and I am sure some of that comment is justifiable.

There are very few books that I have read that I keep coming back to both for quotation and practical help purposes more than twenty years after I first have read them. This book is in that category. It deserves its classic status richly.
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on 19 August 2010
This book is superbly biblical and has some great correctives that the church in our culture needs to hear. Packer is a man who has been granted much godly insight and wisdom into the spiritual condition of the Church and its needed remedies and it is a privilege for us to have him.

Of particular note in this book is his chapter on God's guidance - how do we discern God's will. He gives a helpful corrective against much of the excesses that can arise from overly relying on supernatural guidance to make decisions.

Also the sections that deal with God's attributes of wrath, judgment and jealousy are fabulous. He gives a clarion call for the church to stop watering down these great truths and awakens us to their glory and necessity rather than painting God solely as a big Michelin Man who is just here to encourage people.

There is also a good bit dealing with the danger of the Keswick/second blessing theology which tends to neglect the reality of indwelling sin in the believers life and give unrealistic and unbiblical hopes as to the degree of sanctification that the believer should experience.

A classic that is well worth the time - devotional and doctrinal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This was one of the first books I read when I embarked on my journey in Christ. I recommend it to all who need to change their lives for the better.
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