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Knowing God Paperback – July 24, 1993
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A lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian's existence. According to eminent theologian J.I. Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern skepticism 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 Eliot 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 faint-hearted should be warned about this timeless work--God is magnified, the sinner is humbled, and the saint encouraged. --Jill Heatherly
"Week by week and day by day, Packer gives advice that is sure to motivate and inspire readers to reach for more in their quest to unite with God. A fine read for any devoted Christian." (James A. Cox, Library Bookwatch, December 2009)
"This is a book that urges us to know about God and then to know God in Jesus Christ. It is a book that serves up real meat―a thought-provoking call to apply ourselves to knowing who God is and to develop a close relationship with Him." (East Central Illinois Baptist Association, February 13, 2008)
"Something must be said for the staying power of a book like J. I. Packer's Knowing God. With some of the language and rhetoric updated, the foundational elements of the book are as powerful and strong as ever." (Chris Wise, The Christian Manifesto (thechristianmanifesto.wordpress.com), February 26, 2008)
"Packer was magisterial in substance, but adopted the tone of a fellow traveler. He convinced us that the study of God 'is the most practical project anyone can engage in.'" (Christianity Today, October 2006)
"If I can't put the Bible on this list, I'll choose a Packer book instead. Every national and world leader must seek to know the nations and world in which they serve. And in order to know this world and its people, we must first know the God who shaped and molded us all. Packer simply and powerfully re-introduces us to God: his attributes, actions, and, most important, his grace." (Joshua DuBois, "My Top Five," Christianity Today, September 2014)
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Top Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book because I have been looking for "deep" Christian books that are neither full of fluff (like a lot of the recent self-help style Christian books), or too full of theology to grasp (thick, boring tomes that most Pastors can't even finish). I found that Knowing God fits nicely into this category. Packer's thoughts about God are deep, yet concise. He includes a lot of scripture to support his perspective, which indicates that it is not written for a "new" or "baby" Christian, and he also includes some historical and academic material as well. I liked the fact the he quotes many sources which enabled me to write down the titles to other books which go deeper into subjects of interest to me.
Overall, I recommend this book to Christians who have a firm grasp of their faith, and are looking for guidance on how to grow a deeper relationship with God. One of the keys is gaining a better understanding of God, and this book offers an excellent starting point for that journey.
Packer is a humble man, after hearing him speak a few years ago, I know his heart is in a great place. This book does put a strong emphasis on pre-destination, and if that is not up your alley it may rub you the wrong way. Overall this is a classic theological book for the 20th century, one that will be remembered long into the future.
This is the only devotional-type book that I have ever enjoyed. While it was fairly devotional in content, Packer put Theology into it. He doesn't just put milk in the content, but also adds meat to it. I love it when he talked about such things as the atonement, election, etc. These are topics that most devotional writers will not even touch, because they are "too controversial". But, Packer tackles the issues with tenacity.
I love the chapter on the Grace of God. That was my very favorite chapter. Packer talked about how most Christians today really don't believe in the grace set forth in the Word. He also quotes a bunch of hymns that the Puritans wrote. This just shows how amazing they really were. This is a great read for someone wanting to study the attributes of God.
Being a Christian my whole life and attending Bible studies and summer camps, I have been just knowing about God rather than knowing God. But Packer successfully helped me to know God by revealing how glorious and majestic He is and how He sent His son to die for me in order for me to be adopted into His family. I think my favorite part of this book was his first section (I know the Lord; chapter 1-6), The Majesty of God (chapter 8), God only Wise (Chapter 9), God's Wisdom and Ours (Chapter 10), God the Judge (Chapter 14), The Wrath of God (Chapter 15), Goodness and Severity (Chapter 16), and the last section (If God be for us; chapter 18-22).
I would highly recommend this book to any Christian as Packer unfolds the characters of God but, not only that, he helps you wanting to know God more than when you picked up his book.