Friday, January 28, 2011

The Books #4: Knowing God by J. I. Packer

Knowing God by J. I. Packer should be required reading for all Christians. It has impacted me more than words can express. A good summary of why Packer wrote this book is found at the beginning of the book. He says, "The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father" (17).

As it seems like most of these books, I first read this book while I was in college. What so impacted me about this book was when Packer unpacked the difference between knowing about God and knowing God. I think for so long, I had been pursuing knowing about God. I was studying Him as if He were a textbook. But God is so much more than that. Yes, He should be studied. Yes, I needed to learn more about Him. But as a believer in Him, my objective in life is to know Him personally. Not just about Him, but Him.

And this should change the way I look at everything in life. The majority of the book is his attempt at unpacking the vastness of the greatness of the character of God. No matter what Packer writes (or any other person), God cannot be defined by words and paper and ink. However, He has revealed Himself to us so we should do our best to understand what we can about that which He has revealed to us.

This book humbles the heart. If you need to be humbled, pick up this book and take a long look at the character of God. And I pray that His character is not just a textbook to you. I pray you not only learn about God, but that you grow to know Him personally!

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