Knowing God Paperback – 17 Jan 2005
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A lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian existence. According to eminent theologian J I Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern scepticism and have joined the "gigantic conspiracy of misdirection" by failing to put first things first. Knowing God aims to redirect our attention to the simple, deep truth that to know God is to love His Word. What began as a number of consecutive articles angled for "honest, no-nonsense readers who were fed up with facile Christian verbiage" in 1973, Knowing God has become a contemporary classic by creating "small studies out of great subjects". Each chapter is so specific in focus (covering topics such as the trinity, election, God's wrath, and God's sovereignty), that each succeeding chapter's theology seems to rival the next until one's mind is so expanded that one's entire view of God has changed. Author Elizabeth Elliot wrote that, amid the lofty content, Packer "puts the hay where the sheep can reach it--plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God". Having rescued us from the individual hunches of our ultra-tolerant theological age, Packer points the reader to the true character of God with his theological competence and compassionate heart. The lazy and fainthearted should be warned about this timeless work--God is magnified, the sinner is humbled and the saint encouraged. --Jill Heatherly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A spiritual classic ... The truth he handles fires the heart. -- John Stott
Dr Packer's volume says it simply, says it best. -- Joni Eareckson Tada
Has the rare ability to deal with profound and basic spiritual truths in a practical and highly readable way. -- Billy Graham
This book is strong meat. To read and digest it is an experience no discerning reader is likely to forget. -- Church Times
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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.
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.
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!
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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