I’m not a big biography reader. I know many friends and have heard from plenty of others the importance of reading biographies, especially of Christians in the history of the faith to see their story and how they lived their lives for Jesus. I get all of this. I just don’t like biographies. But I have been incredibly pleased and have enjoyed the Theologians on the Christian Life series from Crossway. I have now read three of books in this series, and have thoroughly devoured and highlighted heavily each of these books. Most recently I have read Packer on the Christian Life. Along with not reading many biographies, I have not read any books by J.I. Packer. I know. I know. Give me a break. I’m planning to read Knowing God later this month.
In case you are like me, J.I. Packer is one of the most well-known and respected evangelicals of the 20th Century and continues to have an impact on many lives even today as he is now in his eighties. He has written and spoken on just about every theological topic, and in Packer on the Christian Life, author Sam Storm walks through many topics and areas of the Christian life looking at J.I. Packer’s personal life and faith as well as bringing in many of his thoughts from books and other scholarly writings.
While looking at Packer’s life, Storms says, “The Christian life for Packer can largely be summed up in the single word, piety, which in his writings is typically used as a synonym for godliness and holiness. Today the word spirituality is more commonly seen, and Packer himself is often found using the two interchangeably” (Kindle Loc. 400). Godliness and holiness. While reading and after finishing this book and looking back over my notes, I can see that much of Packer’s personal life and writings shows both of these words. Every aspect of the Christian life for Packer must consider Godliness and holiness and are we growing in both. Are we becoming more Godly and more Holy in the name of Christ?
I had planned to read Knowing God at the end of the summer, but I am very thankful that I read this biography of J.I. Packer’s life and his writings first. Packer on the Christian Life reveals the life and considers the writings of Packer while walking through important areas of theology and the Christian life. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all Christians to want to know how to pursue God more fully and grow deeper in their pursuit of holiness. I am appreciative to Sam Storms for this book, and I am more appreciative to J.I. Packer for his passion for Christ and pursuit of holiness in all that he has done in his life in order to bring others to know Him more.