Profiles: J.I. Packer

Lately, I’ve been asked about a lot of writers and if I thought they were any good. I don’t claim to be an expert or anything but I do read regularly and intentionally. Most of the people asking me about authors are asking about “iffy” authors who have had some theological issues or perhaps the asker just was questioning some things. So I thought I would offer over the next few weeks a few profiles on some of Christianity’s greatest living authors and some of their most enduring works. 

Instead of starting with one of the bigger names like John Piper or John MacArthur (who you should read anyways especially Desiring God by Piper and Ashamed of the Gospel by MacArthur), I wanted to begin with a name that many know but few have actually treasured his works. J.I. Packer was born in England and has spent the last 40 years as a professor at Regent College in Vancouver, BC. Packer was the General Editor of the ESV Bible, which millions use as their daily Bible today. He has fought the good fight in crucial times on the inerrancy of Scripture, gender roles and sexual identity, and reformed theology. 

Not everything Packer has stood for has been ideal though. J.I. Packer has been a proponent of the ecumenical movement (yet never at the cost of orthodoxy as he claims) and has held questioning views of creationism.  While I do not agree with everything Packer has taught or written, he has been a sound teacher over his many years of training and educating the next generation of theologians and has made a great impact for Christ. 

One thing that comes out in his writings is his heart. Yes, the man is a scholar, but more than that, he is a man who deeply loves His Savior and wants the church to love Him as well despite the culture surrounding it. Just watch this introduction to one of his most recent works. 

He has written some of the most influential works of the last century. Here are some of the books you should read from J.I. Packer. 

"Fundamentalism" and the Word of God

Knowing God (His most popular book)

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

Concise Theology

Growing in Christ

**Like when reading any theologians and pastors, a careful eye and critical mind should be used in reading Packer’s writing.**

- Dean

Dean Lentini