Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God Alone
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2011 6:50 pm
The Messenger, April 7, 2011
Knowing God: Series Introduction
By JOHN K. JONES
Special to The Messenger
Soli Deo Gloria starts a new series today. We will be examining the book “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer.
J.I. Packer is a board of governors’ professor of theology at Regent College. He holds both master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees from Oxford University. He is a preeminent evangelical theologian who is respected by pastors from many different denominations. He stands squarely in the Reformed and conservative evangelical Anglican traditions.
“Knowing God” is Packer’s best-known work. Since its publication in 1973, it has declared to over a million readers all around the world the wonder, glory and joy of knowing things about God and knowing God personally and intimately. In the book, Packer explores God’s character as He has revealed it in the Bible, along with the proper responses to that character. He writes for those “in the game” of the Christian life, not those from outside who hurl criticism from “the cheap seats.”
The Christian should spend his or her life in the pursuit of knowing about God and knowing God intimately. Ignorance of God’s ways and of the way to commune with Him underlies many of the church’s problems today.
As Packer writes in the preface, Christians have become “conformed to the modern spirit.” We are prone to “great thoughts of man” and “small thoughts of God.” We get things backwards.
Christians are also “confused by the modern skepticism.” We are in denial of God’s direct and complete control of the world because of our “skepticism about both divine revelation and Christian origins.” We doubt God’s Word because of the onslaught of skeptical, liberal teaching.
This reality is tragic because only the knowledge of God can adequately prepare us for the problems we face in life. Layoffs, plant closures, injury, illness and the other trials we face seem to be insurmountable. It is through knowing Him that we grow in Christ’s likeness and courageously endure life’s setbacks and tribulations.
Read a chapter from Packer’s book with us each week. Read our thoughts in these articles. Write your own thoughts in a journal, on a blog or in a letter to the editor. Walk the ancient paths with us and find rest for your soul.
(An inexpensive copy of the Christian classic “Knowing God” may be purchased from Intervarsity Press at www.ivpress.com. Additional sources are available at http://www.jipackeronline.com/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._I._Packer, http://www.theopedia.com/J._I._Packer, as downloaded on 3/22/2011.)
Editors’ note: John K. Jones is a deacon at Grace Community Church (PCA) in Troy, where he and his family attend. Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16, ESV