Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Knowing God

I just finished reading the book Knowing God by J.I. Packer. The book jacket claims that this work has sold over 1 million copies, and it is endorsed by the likes of Billy Graham. This book impressed me with its clarity and depth, its care and tone, its respect and style. I have not encountered a book of such logical thinking and such clear direction of the tenets of Christianity since I read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I find these two works to be in a class together.

Knowing God started out as a series of articles for a publication called Evangelical Magazine in 1973 that were then compiled together for the book. The work is divided into three main sections, Know the Lord, Behold Your God!, and If God Be For Us .... I am convinced that after reading this book, and to be clear, it is not necessarily a light or quick read, you will understand your faith and the unpinnings of Christian scripture and theology at a much deeper and richer level.

Packer wrote that people have gotten into the practice of following private religious hunches rather than learning of God from his own Word, and that we must change the perception of God as some sort of celestial Santa Claus. He expanded on the difference between people who know their God and people who know of God. Those who know God have great energy for God, have great thoughts of God, show great boldness for God, and have great contentment for God. The activity of knowing God involves:
  • Listening to God's word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it, in application to oneself.
  • Noting God's nature and character, as his Word and work reveals it.
  • Accepting his invitations and doing what he commands.
  • Recognizing and rejoicing in the love that he has shown in approaching you and drawing you into this divine fellowship.
Highly recommended reading that is as relevant and practical and basic and important today as it was when it was written nearly 40 years ago.