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Knowing God Paperback – July 24, 1993

4.8 out of 5 stars 481 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

Review

"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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press; 20th Anniversary ed. edition (July 24, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083081650X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830816507
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (481 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First, I must admit that Knowing God is the first book by Packer that I have read. Luckily, I was not disappointed. Considered a modern Christian classic by many, Knowing God lives up to its reputation. In it Packer presents a balanced view of God - who He is, what He is like, what He has done for us, and what He expects from us in return. I had a pretty good understanding of some subjects before reading this book, but found myself learning a lot as Packer challenged me to dig deeper into the Bible, and apply my faith in order to get a clearer picture of God.
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.
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Format: Paperback
After the recommendations of many people I respect, I picked up this book with the intention of finding out what everyone was talking about with J.I. Packer. This book does not dissapoint, and really transcends generations with a clear picture of evangelical theology, and for those who believe, God. Packer carefully makes his way through all aspects of the divine, and makes a strong argument for why to believe, and what God is really like. It would be interesting to give this book out as a tool to introduce someone who did not believe in God, to the whole concept.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a tremendous book on the attributes of God by a tremendous theologian. My favorite part is when Packer quotes the Puritans. He quotes them a lot, too. The Puritans are an often forgotten group, except for the negative things that happened. Packer shows that the Puritans were amazingly following after God and His statues.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book. I have used it in no less than three different Bible studies. By now, my copy is bent and worn from use and I have grown a great deal through studying with it. I would recommend this book highly, particularly if you are looking for a book to go through as a group. Packer's book has been used to introduce thousands to the theological study of God's word. Indeed, it was the first Christian book I read as a youth that engaged my mind in a meaningful way. "Knowing God" is theological - and completely grounded in the Bible - but it is also very readable and includes suggested questions at the end of each chapter. There is something in this book for both mature and beginning Christians.
The book is divided into three parts. The first concerns (roughly) how we can know God, the second speaks of the attributes and character of God, and the final reflects on the Christian life and the way in which knowing God affects that life. Buy it and read it.
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Format: Paperback
Packer's Knowing God is a modern classic, focusing on both the theology and the spirituality of knowing and loving God. Packer lives up to his name in that he "packs" his book(s) with incredible truths, yet he writes with a smooth prose in easily digestible chapters. This book covers the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but especially focuses on the character and attributes of God and their relevance and application to our spiritual lives. This is probably the best popular treatment of "theology proper" written in the past century and deserves to be read by any Christian. This would be a great book to give a young and hungry Christian who is beginning to be discipled. Few things are more important to one's long-term spiritual health than having a high view of God. This book goes a long ways to helping us lift our gaze upwards. Buy all means, buy this book.
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