I love J.I. Packer. He has encouraged me in many ways and at pivotal moments in my spiritual journey. In my last year of undergraduate work at Texas A&M University, I was given a copy of his classic, Knowing God, by my roommate. Sadly–and tellingly for that part of my journey–I chose not to read it because it was not published by “Convention Press” (of the Southern Baptist Convention). Two years later I devoured it and have worn out that original edition copy, always enriched and helped with every reading of it.
During my MDiv studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Dr. Packer delivered to the students and faculty three lectures on biblical inerrancy. By that time, I was already largely convinced, but his presentations—as well as the regrettable response by many of my professors—helped confirm in my mind the trustworthiness and authority of the written Word of God.
A few years later, when researching covenant theology for my PhD dissertation, Dr. Packer graciously loaned me his personal copy of Witsius’ Economy of the Covenants, which, in 1988, simply could not be found. His encouragement and counsel helped steer my research in ways that never would have happened otherwise.
He also preached in the church I now serve during a time when we were undergoing biblical renewal as I was trying to lead the congregation to embrace the full authority of God’s Word regarding its teachings on the gospel and the nature of the church. His message and personal ministry were very helpful.
So, I thank God for J.I. Packer and his long, useful ministry of preaching, teaching and writing. I look forward to his new book, due to be released next month by Crossway, called, Weakness is the Way.
Here is a moving promotional video that gives a glimpse into the life and heart of this dear, humble, useful servant of our Lord.