Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God Paperback – February 16, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Whether you consider yourself a Calvinist, an Arminian, or somewhere in between, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God will stimulate your thinking about evangelism and increase your desire to join God in his work. It is easy to see why InterVarsity Press has republished this book as one of its "IVP Classics." (Todd Sauve, 1340mag Books (1340magbooks.com), April 2009)
"A short but exceedingly powerful book. Packer shows that rather than precluding evangelism, God's sovereignty provides the most powerful incentive and support for it. . . . [C]ontains impressive depth and contains a thorough and satisfying treatment of the subject." (Discerning Reader)
"I've often recommended this book to faithful Christians who are confused about how they are to think about prayer, missions, giving―any area in which our efforts could be wrongly pitted against God's own necessary action. Packer introduces us to clear truths, handles Scripture with exemplary care, and supplies us with just the right amount of illustrations and application." (From the foreword by Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.)
About the Author
J. I. Packer is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He has preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as general editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and theological editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and has written numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation & Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The first chapter, Divine Sovereignty, makes the case that all believers adhere to a confidence in God's absolute sovereignty. Packer calls the average Christian's prayer life to the witness stand, and the testimony is irrefutable. If you are inclined to question this last sentence, just read the chapter and form your own opinion: it's only seven pages long.
Next, in Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility, Packer shows that these two poles of activity (divine and human) comprise not a paradox, but an antinomy: the assertion of two statements which seem to be contradictory, but both of which are logically necessary: "An antinomy exists when a pair of principles stand side by side, seemingly irreconcilable, yet both undeniable" . Packer goes on to show, with plenty of examples, that both divine sovereignty and human responsibility are taught in Scripture. His advice regarding how to handle the conflict between the two is wise:
"What should one do, then, with an antinomy? Accept it for what it is, and learn to live with it. Refuse to regard the apparent inconsistency as real; put down the semblance of contradiction to the deficiency of your own understanding; think of the two principles not as rival alternatives but, in some way that at present you do not grasp, complementary to each other. Be careful, therefore, not to set them at loggerheads, nor to make deductions from either that would cut across the other (such deductions would, for that very reason, be certainly unsound)" [28-29].
In his chapter entitled, Evangelism, Packer answers four questions in the light of the foregoing. "What is evangelism? What is the evangelistic message? What is the motive for evangelizing? By what means and methods should evangelism be practiced" ? The bulk of the book is found in this chapter, and it is excellent. Packer fully delivers on the promise to deal with the questions, and in doing so he faithfully and powerfully represents the biblical gospel.
The final chapter, Divine Sovereignty and Evangelism, demonstrates that, far from being a damper on our evangelism, a good understanding of God's sovereign role stokes the flames of our passion to tell the message. God's sovereignty is, in fact, a guarantee of our success in evangelism.
Without being disrespectful or polemical, Packer has dismantled the typical Arminian concerns regarding the doctrines of grace, as regards evangelism. This book is not a "gotcha!" to be used to win a debate; rather, it is a powerful, positive, pastoral accounting of what must remain a divine mystery: God's absolute sovereignty, and our undeniable responsibility to evangelize.
1. Packer does not skirt the main issue. He deals with what he calls the "antinomy" - that is, two clear truths standing in apparent contradiction to one another. He humbly shows that Scripture, far from being contradictory, reveals truth that is sometimes irreconcilable for finite beings to exhaustively comprehend. Packer holds divine sovereignty and human responsibility together in tension, without letting one outweigh the other. This is the ground of the book.
2. Packer gives one of the best summaries of the gospel I've ever read. Without watering it down one bit, he simplifies the message to four main heads (namely, God, Sin, Christ, Summons to Repentance and Faith). In his usual style, he peppers in Scripture explaining it clearly along the way. In this, Packer is both explaining the gospel to future evangelists, but he's also demonstrating to those same individuals how to explain it to others. Simply brilliant!
3. The theology of this book, namely that God is sovereign (King) and that God is also righteous (Judge) is helpful for many areas of Christian living. The question of how God can hold sinners accountable and without excuse when he himself is the sovereign Potter, forming the clay as he purposes is applicable to other areas, like prayer. We are responsible to pray and petition God, and the fervent prayers of the righteous avail much, but God has an immutable decree that governs all. The Christian can have great confidence that their prayers lead to powerful results, not despite God's sovereignty but because of it. The sovereignty of God doesn't stifle prayer, but encourages it. Just so, the fact that almighty God sends laborers to his harvest gives great confidence of reaping a harvest.
My favorite thing about this book is watching how Packer does theology. He says elsewhere that theology is "for doxology and devotion" - that is, for the theologian to rejoice in worship and go deep in faithful obedience to their God. He does it here, even while dealing with one of the most difficult theological problems. As a loyal servant, he tethers himself to the Scripture and applies it with remarkable practicality for soul-winning. Far from saying one's Calvinism should preclude evangelism, he allows his meaty theology to have hands, feet, and a mouth to share the good news to a dying world.