counter create hit Knowing God - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Knowing God

Availability: Ready to download

For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. This edition is updated with Americanized language and spelling and a new preface by the author. Stemming from For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. This edition is updated with Americanized language and spelling and a new preface by the author. Stemming from Packer's profound theological knowledge, Knowing God brings together two important facets of the Christian faith: 1. Knowing about God and 2. Knowing God through the context of a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to transform and enrich the Christian understanding of God. Explaining both who God is and how we can relate to him, Packer divides his book into three sections: The first directs our attention to how and why we know God, the second to the attributes of God and the third to the benefits enjoyed by a those who know him intimately. This guide leads readers into a greater understanding of God while providing advice to gaining a closer relationship with him as a result.


Compare

For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. This edition is updated with Americanized language and spelling and a new preface by the author. Stemming from For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. This edition is updated with Americanized language and spelling and a new preface by the author. Stemming from Packer's profound theological knowledge, Knowing God brings together two important facets of the Christian faith: 1. Knowing about God and 2. Knowing God through the context of a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to transform and enrich the Christian understanding of God. Explaining both who God is and how we can relate to him, Packer divides his book into three sections: The first directs our attention to how and why we know God, the second to the attributes of God and the third to the benefits enjoyed by a those who know him intimately. This guide leads readers into a greater understanding of God while providing advice to gaining a closer relationship with him as a result.

30 review for Knowing God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Absolutely the most significant book I've read in the past year, and, next to the Bible, probably had the biggest impact on me of any book I've ever read. I don't even know what to say about it. I could detail/analyze the contents, but others have done that already, and better than I could; I think I'll just say that the Lord used Knowing God (in conjunction with a few other books) to re-calibrate my focus, adjust my priorities, and teach me some huge, huge lessons, at a time when I was in great Absolutely the most significant book I've read in the past year, and, next to the Bible, probably had the biggest impact on me of any book I've ever read. I don't even know what to say about it. I could detail/analyze the contents, but others have done that already, and better than I could; I think I'll just say that the Lord used Knowing God (in conjunction with a few other books) to re-calibrate my focus, adjust my priorities, and teach me some huge, huge lessons, at a time when I was in great need of those things happening. J.I. Packer is straight-forward, hard-hitting, and very, very wise -- and it's obvious that he writes from the standpoint of someone who really does know God in the truest sense possible here on earth. There are so many things in this book that I wish I could write about -- Packer's incredible exposition of each of God's attributes (for example, a quote on God's love: "So the love of God who is spirit is no fitful, fluctuating thing, as human love is, nor is it a mere impotent longing for things that may never be; it is, rather, a spontaneous determination of God's whole being in an attitude of benevolence and benefaction, an attitude freely chosen and firmly fixed"); his amazing, amazing explanation of propitiation and the atonement (so clear and plain and beautiful -- I honestly don't think I understood half of it all before); his reprimand to us for largely forgetting the Holy Spirit and overlooking his incredible role in our redemption ("Is it not a hollow fraud to say that we honor Christ when we ignore, and by ignoring dishonor, the One whom Christ has sent to us as his deputy, to take his place and care for us on his behalf? Ought we not to concern ourselves more about the Holy Spirit than we do?"); his wise, clear-sighted explanation of how we as Christians should think about the difficult things that happen to us ("Every single thing that happens to us expresses God's love to us, and comes to us for the furthering of God's purpose for us. Thus, so far as we are concerned, God is love to us---holy, omnipotent love---at every moment and in every event of every day's life. Even when we cannot see the why and the the wherefore of God's dealing, we know that there is love in and behind them, and so we can rejoice always, even when, humanly speaking, things are going wrong. We know that the true story of our life, when known will prove to be, as the hymn says, "mercy from first to last"---and we are content"); and his reminder of what will be the incredible fruit of those tough times, if we respond to them with faith ("This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another; it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast") -- but you really must read the book for yourself, because I can't do it any sort of justice. I guess if I tried to put down the summation of what I came away with, it would be this: All of the secondary things, all those good things that we/I spend so much time thinking and talking about (high moral standards, good relationships with people, our forays into history or economics or music or law or even theology) are all rubbish -- pure trash -- if they don't have as their foundation and driving-force a living, breathing, active knowledge of, and relationship with, God. We're so weak and stupid and forgetful, and we pour all our energies into "good things" and forget why we're even doing them in the first place. We don't know anything if we don't know our God. God is ultimately the only important thing. I don't know if I'm making any sense, but Packer sums it up beautifully: "What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance, and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God?" "Thus says the LORD: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.'" [Jer. 9:23-24]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    If, like me, you were raised going to a Christian church, reading the Bible, and participating in Bible studies, you might think you know all there is to know about God. But the goal of the Christian shouldn't be merely to know about God. We must realize, first, how little we know God and secondly, why it's important to do so. In "Knowing God," Packer stresses the importance of really understanding who God is and attempts to excite and motivate the Christian to strive towards knowing Him better. If, like me, you were raised going to a Christian church, reading the Bible, and participating in Bible studies, you might think you know all there is to know about God. But the goal of the Christian shouldn't be merely to know about God. We must realize, first, how little we know God and secondly, why it's important to do so. In "Knowing God," Packer stresses the importance of really understanding who God is and attempts to excite and motivate the Christian to strive towards knowing Him better. Theology is often downplayed and seems to receive little attention in many churches these days. But every professing Christian should have as a lifelong pursuit the subject of theology, which is simply the study of God. And as a student of God's Word, Packer says, the Christian must ask himself, "What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God, once I have got it?" Packer points out that one may know a lot about God and godliness, and still hardly know Him. Possessing a true knowledge of God will have an effect on and be evident in a person's life. Packer names four things that will be the result of knowing God: Great energy for God, Great thoughts of God, Great boldness for God, and Great contentment in God. In order to really know God, He has to speak to us and teach us about Himself. We must come to know God as He revealed Himself to the prophets and apostles as given to us in the Scriptures. The Westminster Catechism tells us, "The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man." With this in mind, Packer discusses why it is important to know who God is, what He is like, and God's relationship with and actions towards man. Packer discusses and explains the important doctrinal concepts of propitiation, regeneration, justification, and adoption -- doctrines of Christianity that set it apart from all other religions and belief systems. A favorite quote of mine from the book is this one: "To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the father is a greater...We do not fully feel the wonder of the passage from death to life which takes place in the new birth till we see it as a transition not simply out of condemnation into acceptance, but out of bondage and destitution into the 'safety, certainty, and enjoyment' of the family of God." Packer ends his book with a chapter on the adequacy of God. He expands on the ideas that God is adequate as our sovereign protector, benefactor, champion, and keeper. To the person who has come to trust Christ as his Savior and who has come into a personal relationship with God, He is all these things and more, and we need no other beside Him. For a more thorough discussion of this book, visit my blog: ImAllBooked.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    "As clowns yearn to play Hamlet, so I have wanted to write a treatise on God. This book, however, is not it." J.I. Packer begins this book by pointing out that there are two types of probable readers for his book. There are those who are on a journey or in the arena - rather, whatever metaphor you wish to use for actually exploring the notion of Knowing God - and then there are the balcony watchers. The 'balconeers' and travelers may think about the same concept, but there are two different ways "As clowns yearn to play Hamlet, so I have wanted to write a treatise on God. This book, however, is not it." J.I. Packer begins this book by pointing out that there are two types of probable readers for his book. There are those who are on a journey or in the arena - rather, whatever metaphor you wish to use for actually exploring the notion of Knowing God - and then there are the balcony watchers. The 'balconeers' and travelers may think about the same concept, but there are two different ways of doing so and Packer explains that he writes this book for the travelers rather than for those looking on academically into the subject of God. In that sense to critique this book as a 'guide book' of theology is in my view apt and it's a useful book, though as with any work of theology you must always test the use of scripture and the spiritual insight provided. The most powerful part of this book is the way that Packer so clearly sets out to explain two concepts that are crucial to the Christian faith. The first is that it is to be considered that the purpose of mankind is the worship of God, of the creator. The second is that God is not like a man. This second may seem like a simple statement, yet it is far more elusive than it would appear. Too often people make statements like 'I cannot accept a God who...' or 'I don't believe in a God who...' Frankly it doesn't matter if God is real whether you can or cannot accept a God who fits your particular paradigm: being God he is bigger than your paradigm. I suspect it's this concept that G.K. Chesterton references when he paradoxically states: “If there were no God, there would be no atheists.” These two concepts are so crucial because they set out the entire perimeter for the book. Packer sets off to basically use the first concept to explain why knowing God is so very important in terms of this notion of worship. He notes that there is a difference between knowing about someone and knowing them personally and it is the second - the intimate knowing of God that Packer writes this work about. The second concept is crucial because Packer refers to how God is not a man, but is spirit (or as scripture also references: light and love), to explain how an all-loving God can also be a God of judgement, wrath, jealousy and so on. Packer clearly explains further that the God in the Old Testament could appear to be different to the one in the new, but it is not God who changes - God does not change, but rather it is human perceptions of God that change: our position in relation to him. All up this is a work of theology that anyone on a journey to discovering more about God or trying to discover God should read in my opinion. You may find it useful if you are a balconeer, looking on academically at religion, but you won't get to the real heart of the book which is deep and insightful and has caused me to reflect on several views of God I had taken for granted. And taking anything for granted is not a great way to live life...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ezra

    Packer's dispensation of wisdom is matched only by the dispensation of tote bags at university open-days. His delivery of insight only matched by Amazon prime. The grounded-ness of his doctrine matched only by the groundy-ness of terribly made coffee. Each chapter discusses something different about God as Packer unPACKs (see what I did there) potent biblical doctrines; doctrines of a very much varied and occasionally overlooked nature. I really enjoyed the way in which the author addresses the a Packer's dispensation of wisdom is matched only by the dispensation of tote bags at university open-days. His delivery of insight only matched by Amazon prime. The grounded-ness of his doctrine matched only by the groundy-ness of terribly made coffee. Each chapter discusses something different about God as Packer unPACKs (see what I did there) potent biblical doctrines; doctrines of a very much varied and occasionally overlooked nature. I really enjoyed the way in which the author addresses the addressee. The goal of his writing always seems to be to instil greater devotion and love towards God via a greater and increasingly accurate view of God's character, and I certainly feel like I have grown in understanding and appreciation over the 18 months it took to get through it! It's a called a classic for a reason folks. Highly highly highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Early on in the book, I thought that I might give it 3 stars, because it didn't seem that groundbreaking, as far as what I was learning from it. I realized that that was a testament to the good teaching that I have received throughout the years. But as I heard more, some really good parts jumped out, and I came to value the book much more. I should read my paperback edition sometime, which includes the preface from 1993. Packer turned 93 soon before I finished. Preface (1973) feels like a clowns w Early on in the book, I thought that I might give it 3 stars, because it didn't seem that groundbreaking, as far as what I was learning from it. I realized that that was a testament to the good teaching that I have received throughout the years. But as I heard more, some really good parts jumped out, and I came to value the book much more. I should read my paperback edition sometime, which includes the preface from 1993. Packer turned 93 soon before I finished. Preface (1973) feels like a clowns wanting to play Hamlet meant to be more practical than theoretical Part I: Know the Lord Ch. 1: The Study of God The proper study of man may be man, but the proper study of God's elect is God. Westminster Shorter Catechism on God Ch. 2: The People Who Know Their God Ch. 3: Knowing and Being Known Marie Antoinette fever: absurdism ("nothing tastes") knowing is something that others allow us to do (we can't do it if they don't provide access) Ch. 4: The Only True God JIP takes 2CV (Second Commandment Violations) seriously. Ch. 5: God Incarnate 53: "Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the Incarnation." 58: Charles Wesley's "Let earth and Heaven combine": "Our God contracted to a span; / Incomprehensibly made man." 58–59: 2 Cor. 8:9 interprets the Incarnation better than John 1:14. 59: Phil. 2:7 and kenosis: laying aside (restraining) divine glory/dignity, not metaphysical qualities 59–60: Bishop Gore (1889) and kenosis 63: Christmas spirit: becoming poor so others may be made rich (see 2 Cor. 8:9) Ch. 6: He Shall Testify Trinity stuff Part II: Behold Your God! Ch. 7: God Unchanging Immutability Ch. 8: The Majesty of God Greatness Ch. 9: God Only Wise best means to achieve the best ends; Job Ch. 10: God's Wisdom and Ours Wisdom is a communicable attribute. We receive it through God's word, so we'd be foolish not to read it. Ecclesiastes Ch. 11: Thy Word is Truth Ch. 12: The Love of God good inclusion of discipline and sternness Ch. 13: The Grace of God God's Riches At Christ's Expense reference to Carnegie's How to Win Friends Ch. 14: God the Judge people prefer God as a father judgment overshadows everything in the OT, and the NT only intensifies with Christ as the judge ancient kings were judges because a judge has the highest authority 143: the final judgment isn't just a bogey to scare men into conformity to conventional behavior, but a revelation of God's moral character Ch. 15: The Wrath of God 151–52: wrath doesn't make God a monster: 1) God's wrath is always just, 2) those who receive wrath have chosen it reference to Edwards's sermon Ch. 16: Goodness and Severity Santa Claus severity comes when goodness is spurned Ch. 17: The Jealous God zeal to protect a relationship God's jealousy presupposes His covenant faithfulness. it's the motive for both wrath and mercy Part III: If God Be for Us... Ch. 18: The Heart of the Gospel pagan propitiation (Agamemnon) Dodd eliminated wrath (changes "propitiation" to "expiation") Ch. 19: Sons of God God as Father adoption rewards gospel = adoption thru propitiation See here for a great quote. Ch. 20: Thou Our Guide Scripture > inward sensation vocational choices The Holy Spirit will never guide you outside the bounds of Scripture. See here. Ps. 23: He leads me in paths of righteousness. God's guidance leads us into both light and darkness—way of the cross Ch. 21: These Inward Trials good navigation between antinomianism and sinless perfectionism "grace"; defeating sin growth in sanctification active, not passive concludes with a Newton quotation (ironically) Ch. 22: The Adequacy of God Romans (Luther, Calvin, Tyndale) Romans 8 law loaded gun analogy (Arminianism: Christ's work loaded the gun, but we have to pull the trigger) assurance

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    2018: When a Theology book touches the mind and the heart, it is worth reading. 2012: A Theology book that touches deep within your heart, brings you to your knees and makes you cry is worth reading/ listening at least once a year, every year. I had read this book before but this time (August 2012), I am listening to this audio version which I am loving. The narrator, Simon Vance, does an amazing job, not to mention that he is British which is perfect because Packer is British as well. Each chapt 2018: When a Theology book touches the mind and the heart, it is worth reading. 2012: A Theology book that touches deep within your heart, brings you to your knees and makes you cry is worth reading/ listening at least once a year, every year. I had read this book before but this time (August 2012), I am listening to this audio version which I am loving. The narrator, Simon Vance, does an amazing job, not to mention that he is British which is perfect because Packer is British as well. Each chapter is about 25 mins. average so it makes it easy to listen to one chapter a day. I would not read/listen more than one chapter a day, because this is the kind of book that deserves to be digested slowly. If you have not read/listen to this book, I would strongly recommend that you make it the next book you read or listen (yes, read it before the other 50 in your TBR list):)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike Wazowski

    There are three books every Christian ought to read once a year: the Bible (of course), John Bunyan's classic allegory Pilgrim's Progress, and Knowing God by J.I. Packer. In a remarkable 300 pages is given the portrait of the Creator of the universe and our relationship to Him. If you have ever wanted to know the One behind the intelligent design of the natural world (including the manner in which you are fearfully and wonderfully made), read this book. Believer, if you want to know your Abba Fa There are three books every Christian ought to read once a year: the Bible (of course), John Bunyan's classic allegory Pilgrim's Progress, and Knowing God by J.I. Packer. In a remarkable 300 pages is given the portrait of the Creator of the universe and our relationship to Him. If you have ever wanted to know the One behind the intelligent design of the natural world (including the manner in which you are fearfully and wonderfully made), read this book. Believer, if you want to know your Abba Father better, read this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barry Wallace

    I initially bought and read Knowing God almost 35 years ago. I was a new Christian, young and ignorant; but as is true of many young people, I had no idea just how ignorant I really was. I don't think I can adequately express how thankful I am for Packer's book. It was a Godsend to me. It taught me not simply how to approach theology, but how to approach God himself. It shaped my heart and my mind in ways that I'm certain saved me from making even more mistakes than I did in my exuberant, youthfu I initially bought and read Knowing God almost 35 years ago. I was a new Christian, young and ignorant; but as is true of many young people, I had no idea just how ignorant I really was. I don't think I can adequately express how thankful I am for Packer's book. It was a Godsend to me. It taught me not simply how to approach theology, but how to approach God himself. It shaped my heart and my mind in ways that I'm certain saved me from making even more mistakes than I did in my exuberant, youthful ignorance. We do ourselves a tremendous disservice, and our souls incalculable damage, if we casually dismiss the study of God. Or, as Packer put it in chapter one: "Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul." Another thing I realized was that theology was a two-edged sword--having on the one hand immense value, and on the other potentially damning dangers. Packer went on to issue a warning in that first chapter that probably needs to be trumpeted more often (and more loudly) than it is. "If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate and dismiss them as very poor specimens. For, as Paul told the conceited Corinthians, "Knowledge puffs up.... The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know" (1 Cor 8:1-2). "To be preoccupied with getting theological knowledge as an end in itself, to approach Bible study with no higher a motive than a desire to know all the answers, is the direct route to a state of self-satisfied self-deception." By the grace of God my goal is to do everything in my power to avoid self-satisfied self-deception. I know I haven't always succeeded, but I have no intention of giving up the fight. Those are just a few of the reasons that I'm thankful for Knowing God. If I could make it required reading for every new Christian, I would.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andy Bonikowsky

    Jan4-Feb6, 2021 Jan8-Mar20, 2020, starting the 28th reading, looking forward to it! Finished, always challenging and inspiring! Jan 2, 2019... starting the 27th reading. Finished on Jan 27, all I can say is WOW, what a blessing! Jan 13, 2018... reading for the 26th year. 20180204 (Feb 6, 2017... starting this book for the 25th year...20170418) (Mar 30, 2016) ALMOST LIKE FIREWORKS. Just finished my 24th reading-- can't wait 'till next year again! For years I have considered the 22nd chapter (The Adequ Jan4-Feb6, 2021 Jan8-Mar20, 2020, starting the 28th reading, looking forward to it! Finished, always challenging and inspiring! Jan 2, 2019... starting the 27th reading. Finished on Jan 27, all I can say is WOW, what a blessing! Jan 13, 2018... reading for the 26th year. 20180204 (Feb 6, 2017... starting this book for the 25th year...20170418) (Mar 30, 2016) ALMOST LIKE FIREWORKS. Just finished my 24th reading-- can't wait 'till next year again! For years I have considered the 22nd chapter (The Adequacy of God) as the best one I've ever read outside the Bible. It's kind of like the eight nights of the international fireworks show at San Sebastián every August. Each company starts off sort of slow, but for the next 20 minutes, the episodes crescendo into a deafening and beautiful display of color, rhythm, sound, and power! This last chapter of the book also builds up momentum until it seems to almost launch the soul up into the heavenlies as it attempts to describe the awesome glory of knowing God.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    Aside from simply reading Scripture, this is the quintessential book on understanding the importance of knowing God, particularly in the way He has revealed Himself to us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Packer correctly identifies that as the ultimate priority for every person. This book gives the reader a detailed overview of who God is as seen in His Word, and how we ought to live in response as we seek to know Him more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ventura

    It’s a classic for a reason.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    My thoughts 30 years ago were: This is one of the best basic theology books available. Don't let the word "theology" make you think it's dry and boring because Packer writes in a fresh and inspiring manner. Every Christian should read this. This time (2020) I read it through slowly with a new believer (one chapter a week over many months) and did not come away with the same enthusiasm. It is clear why this is a modern Christian classic because Packer combines theology with a deep love for God and My thoughts 30 years ago were: This is one of the best basic theology books available. Don't let the word "theology" make you think it's dry and boring because Packer writes in a fresh and inspiring manner. Every Christian should read this. This time (2020) I read it through slowly with a new believer (one chapter a week over many months) and did not come away with the same enthusiasm. It is clear why this is a modern Christian classic because Packer combines theology with a deep love for God and reverence for His word. But because of the emphasis on election and predestination I would not recommend this for every Christian, but only for those with a mature enough faith to sift through those ideas. On page 166, Packer writes, "The Bible could be called the book of God's wrath, for it is full of portrayals of divine retribution from the cursing and banishment of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 to the overthrow of 'Babylon' and the great assizes of Revelation 17-18 and 20." I have no problem acknowledging that the Bible teaches God's wrath. But it's unbelievable to say that the Bible could be titled that way. The example he gives of Adam and Eve in the garden is loaded with references to GRACE. When Adam and Eve sin, God does not destroy them. Instead He seeks them out. He takes away their ridiculous foliage and gives them new clothing. Yes, they suffer the consequence of their sinful choice by having to leave, but wrath is not the primary attribute of God displayed in the story. I appreciated many truths that Packer outlines in this book and underlined passages profusely, but came away with some reservations.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Talia DeBenedictis

    What a book! Maybe this is premature, but likely my top recommended Christian book of the year! Really found this book impacting my spiritual life, my view of God and subsequently myself. In the first chapter of the book, Packer quotes “A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him” yet encourages us to “turn each truth that we learn about God unto matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God”. I found this to be true as I learned a grea What a book! Maybe this is premature, but likely my top recommended Christian book of the year! Really found this book impacting my spiritual life, my view of God and subsequently myself. In the first chapter of the book, Packer quotes “A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him” yet encourages us to “turn each truth that we learn about God unto matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God”. I found this to be true as I learned a great deal about God by the theology study of scripture in this book which ultimately led me to know and be known by God deeper. The chapters in this book go through attributes of God such as His majesty, His wisdom, His word, His wrath, His goodness, His jealousy, etc. The final chapters discuss what it means to be a son and an heir of this God we have just discussed. By more deeply/accurately understanding (or learning for the first time!) how God has revealed Himself through the Bible changes how I view God and myself. It changes what I think about, what I pray and how I pray. Not like a light switch from reading this book, but slowly and expectantly the more I meditate on God’s word. I would highly encourage you to read this book! It is long and dense and has big words. Fortunately there are 22 chapters that are around 10 pages each. Read a chapter a week, a chapter a month! I found the most value when I read chapters in this book for the second time. Use this book to meditate on the nature of God and delight in being known by God!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wood

    I highly recommend this book for Christians. I grew up in a church that made it a priority for us to learn the Bible thoroughly, and I went to Bible college, but I've learned that we need to keep reminding ourselves. Who God is, who we are, what the Gospel is and how it affects our lives. And one great way to do that is read books like this. Even with all my prior knowledge, I got so much out of this book- deeper understanding and new ways of looking at biblical passages and different theological I highly recommend this book for Christians. I grew up in a church that made it a priority for us to learn the Bible thoroughly, and I went to Bible college, but I've learned that we need to keep reminding ourselves. Who God is, who we are, what the Gospel is and how it affects our lives. And one great way to do that is read books like this. Even with all my prior knowledge, I got so much out of this book- deeper understanding and new ways of looking at biblical passages and different theological concepts. This book is rock solid and readable, and you should read it and be reminded too.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Hartman

    An excellent work that I really should have read much sooner. Packer, in the pointed style of many solidly theological British authors before him, carries the reader through the nature of the Triune God; the attributes or perfections of God; and the work of God through justification, sanctification and glorification. I particularly appreciated his emphasis (certainly not excessive or unbalanced) on the work of the Holy Spirit, frequently overlooked, and on the gift of adoption and its implicatio An excellent work that I really should have read much sooner. Packer, in the pointed style of many solidly theological British authors before him, carries the reader through the nature of the Triune God; the attributes or perfections of God; and the work of God through justification, sanctification and glorification. I particularly appreciated his emphasis (certainly not excessive or unbalanced) on the work of the Holy Spirit, frequently overlooked, and on the gift of adoption and its implications. He also deals appropriately and frankly with the problem of assurance throughout. The book rings with praise and joy and the thrill of believing, and it encourages believers in the pursuit of the knowledge of God. "What makes life worth while [sic] is having a big enough objective, something which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance; and this the Christian has, in a way that no other man has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God?" (Knowing God, page 30)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christian Barrett

    If you have not read this Christian classic it needs to be on your next up list. This book is so good, Packer writes in a beautiful way that articulates the depth and beauty of God. I can’t say enough positive words about this piece of Christian history. It will be added to my rotation of books that I try to read at least once a year. Practically speaking, this book is a concise for the people systematic theology, and I’d recommend it to pastors, lay people, and non-Christians interested in the If you have not read this Christian classic it needs to be on your next up list. This book is so good, Packer writes in a beautiful way that articulates the depth and beauty of God. I can’t say enough positive words about this piece of Christian history. It will be added to my rotation of books that I try to read at least once a year. Practically speaking, this book is a concise for the people systematic theology, and I’d recommend it to pastors, lay people, and non-Christians interested in the God of the Bible.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Pendleton

    Though it was originally said of Jonathan Edwards, I feel that this can also be said of Packer in this book: his doctrine was all application, and his application was all doctrine. Therefore “Knowing God” is full of heart-searching application of amazing gospel truths and attributes of God. I especially appreciated and benefitted from his chapters on adoption and God’s guidance in the life of a believer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Shearer

    I have really struggled with reading apologetics and theology in the past year as I’ve gone through a period of deconstructing and reconstructing my faith. This book was such a blessing. It is so refreshing to read a Christian book where the author doesn’t make you feel like a failure of a believer for struggling with difficult concepts like God’s wrath. Packer wrote with grace and humility, and this is a book I’m sure I’ll regularly revisit.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel {bibliopals}

    Favorite chapter was definitely 19 "Sons of God" speaking on being adopted as a child of God. "Good parents never simply ignore what their children are saying, nor simply disregard their feelings of need, and neither does God; but often He gives us what we should have asked for, rather than what we actually requested." Favorite chapter was definitely 19 "Sons of God" speaking on being adopted as a child of God. "Good parents never simply ignore what their children are saying, nor simply disregard their feelings of need, and neither does God; but often He gives us what we should have asked for, rather than what we actually requested."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sam Crosbie

    I have never come to a book with such high expectations as I did when I picked up this book. In all honesty I don’t think it quite met the expectation I had set for it. However, it was fantastic. Packer presents relevant and applicable truth in a clear and convicting way. The last four chapters are particularly exceptional. Definitely worth its 5 stars and a reread.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Knowlton Murphy

    Very helpful. I particularly loved Packer's points about adoption, about God's guidance, and his exposition of Romans 8 at the end. My theological and spiritual indebtedness to Packer not only remains, but increases. Very helpful. I particularly loved Packer's points about adoption, about God's guidance, and his exposition of Romans 8 at the end. My theological and spiritual indebtedness to Packer not only remains, but increases.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    After Piper's Desiring God, I somewhat dreaded this book, but I was happily surprised and challenged. This is a wonderful book which could easily be read as full of cliches, but if you actually stop to take the cliches seriously, it gets deep and very uncliched very fast. Here's a sampler: "“Nor is it the spirit of those Christians-alas, they are many-whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing u After Piper's Desiring God, I somewhat dreaded this book, but I was happily surprised and challenged. This is a wonderful book which could easily be read as full of cliches, but if you actually stop to take the cliches seriously, it gets deep and very uncliched very fast. Here's a sampler: "“Nor is it the spirit of those Christians-alas, they are many-whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the sub-middle-class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves. The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor-spending and being spent-to enrich their fellowmen, giving time, trouble, care and concern to do good to others-and not just their own friends - in whatever way there seems need." And that in the context of a book that presents the traditional and time-honored view of God. The best thing about Packer, I think, is his prose, which is just surprising and very ... English: "How should we explain Jesus’ belief in the necessity of his death? How should we account for the fact that what drove him on throughout his public ministry, as all four Gospels testify, was the conviction that he had to be killed? And how should we explain the fact that, whereas martyrs like Stephen faced death with joy, and even Socrates, the pagan philosopher, drank his hemlock and died without tremor, Jesus, the perfect servant of God, who had never before showed the least fear of man or pain or loss, manifested in Gethsemane what looked like blue funk, and on the cross declared himself God-forsaken?" "To drive well, you have to keep your eyes skinned to notice exactly what it is in front of you. To live wisely, you have to be clear-sighted and realistic–ruthlessly so–in looking at life as it is. Wisdom will not go with comforting illusions, false sentiment, or the use of rose-coloured spectacles. Most of us live in a dream world, with our heads in the clouds and our feet off the ground; we never see the world, and our lives in it, as they really are. This deep-seated, sin-bred unrealism is one reason why there is so much little wisdom among us–even the soundest and most orthodox of us." Oh, Packer's an Anglican. Can you beat that? "The Puritans had to face these 'antinomian' ideas, and sometimes made heavy weather of answering them. If one allows it to be assumed that justification is the bee-all and end-all of the gift of salvation, one will always make heavy weather of answering such arguments. The truth is that these ideas must be answered in terms, not of justification, but of adoption: a reality which the Puritans never highlighted quite enough." I'm almost certain now that the Puritans were the Federal Visionists of their day and to the extent that we do not slow down the movement, it will result in similar consequences. I think the best description of him is that he does not mince words, yet is not vulgar. (I use that word in the older sense.) His sweet spot is when he talks about trusting in God and not over-realizing the eschaton in our sanctified lives: "We feel that, for the honour of God (and also, though we do not say this, for the sake of our own reputation as spiritual Christians), it is necessary for us to claim that we are, so to speak, already in the signal-box, here and now enjoying the inside information as to the why and wherefore of God’s doings. This comforting pretence becomes part of us: we feel sure that God has enabled us to understand all His ways with us and our circle thus far, and we take if for granted that we shall be able to see at once the reason for anything that may happen to us in the future. And then something very painful and quite inexplicable comes along, and our cheerful illusion of being in God’s secret councils is shattered. Our pride is wounded; we feel that God has slighted us; and unless at this point we repent, and humble ourselves very thoroughly for our former presumption, our whole subsequent spiritual life may be blighted." He is sometimes quite terrifyingly good: "Those who are new in the faith often advance into their new life joyfully certain that they have left all the old headaches and heartaches behind them. And then they find that it is not like that at all. Long standing problems of temperament, of personal relationships, of felt wants, of nagging temptations are still there—sometimes, indeed, intensified. God does not make their circumstances notably easier; rather the reverse. Dissatisfaction recurs over wife, or husband, or parents, or in-laws, or children, or colleagues or neighbors. Temptations and bad habits which their conversion experience seemed to have banished for good reappear. As the first great waves of joy rolled over them during the opening weeks of their Christian experience, they had really felt that all problems had solved themselves, but now they see that it was not so ... Things which got them down before they were Christians are threatening to get them down again." "Many are caught in these toils today. What help is needed here? we ask. The light shed by the truth of adoption on the ministry of the Spirit gives the answer. The cause of such troubles as we have described is a false, magical type of supernaturalism, which leads people to hanker after a transforming touch as from an electric impersonal power that will make them feel wholly free from the burdens and bondages of living with themselves and other people. They believe that this is the essence of genuine spiritual experience. They think the work of the Spirit is to give them experiences that are like LSD trips. (How unhelpful it is when evangelists actually promise this, and when drug takers equate their fantasies with religious experience! Will our age never learn to distinguish things that differ?) In fact, however, this quest for an inward explosion rather than inward communion shows deep misunderstanding of the Spirit’s ministry. ... [I]t is not as we strain after feelings and experiences, of whatever sort, but as we seek God himself, looking to him as our Father, prizing his fellowship, and finding in ourselves an increasing concern to know and please him, that the reality of the Spirit’s ministry becomes visible in our lives. This is the needed truth which can lift us out of the quagmire of non-spiritual views of the Spirit in which so many today are floundering. The last chapter on the adequacy of God captured me with its terrible beauty and there were many moments, usually scattered hither and thither throughout the book. Read it and look for the darkness of the cross, underlaid by the shining glory of adoption of sons of God. Once I read a theologian that pointed out how many Christians think of justification as the heart of the Gospel, when really adoption is the heart; Packer gets that without going crazy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Josh Miller

    Had always read that this book was a classic book that needed to be read. Now I know why! Packer lays out Biblical fundamentals that are important for every Christian to understand and hold on to for life. I am of the persuasion the reason many Christians are like ships tossed to and fro in so many areas of life is that they do not have Biblical doctrine as a bedrock of their lives. As Ephesians 4 states, they are "carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning cra Had always read that this book was a classic book that needed to be read. Now I know why! Packer lays out Biblical fundamentals that are important for every Christian to understand and hold on to for life. I am of the persuasion the reason many Christians are like ships tossed to and fro in so many areas of life is that they do not have Biblical doctrine as a bedrock of their lives. As Ephesians 4 states, they are "carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness..." This book is a book that really needs to be read multiple times in order to mine all of the truth contained therein. Although this book was written in 1973, Packer's truth mined from the Scriptures, fends off many of the misguided doctrine and thinking that pervades many churches today. In his three sections, he touches on these aspects of the Christian: 1. Know the Lord (meditating on God with the mind) 2. Behold Your God! (in awe of God with your entire being) 3. If God Be For Us (encouraging the heart to "take heart" in this life as a Christian) The last section so profoundly affected me. I commented to my wife that these chapters are some of the greatest chapters I have read of a Christian book outside of the Bible. Packer's proposal that the "highest blessing of the gospel" is adoption (compared to the doctrine of justification) made me look at the doctrine of adoption in a new light and was worth the entire time I put into reading the book! His chapter on "Thou Our Guide" really addresses the fallacious teaching that is rampant in many churches today regarding a "word of knowledge" or willy-nilly suppositions of the leading of the Spirit. The chapter entitled "These Inward Trials" will encourage the downtrodden Christian to look at their trials in a different light and encouraged me thoroughly! The last chapter "The Adequacy of God" gives the greatest concise overview of the book of Romans I have ever read along with a dissection of Romans 8. You really should read this book! Here are a few of the nuggets (there were many more) that I mined in my journey through this solid read: On meditation "Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God." Definition of God's love "God's love is an exercise of his goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, he has given his Son to be their Saviour, and now brings them to know and enjoy him in a covenant relation." Doctrine of grace moves us to love God MORE, not less "Those who suppose that the doctrine of God's grace tends to encourage moral laxity (final salvation is certain anyway, no matter what we do; therefore our conduct doesn't matter) are simply showing that, in the most literal sense, they do not know what they are talking about. For love awakens love in return; and love, once awakened, desires to give pleasure." God putting thorns in your bed "If you are a true believer, and he still puts thorns in your bed, it is only to keep you from falling in to the somnolence of complacency and to ensure that you 'continue in his goodness' by letting your sense of need bring you back constantly in self-abasement and faith to seek his face. This kindly discipline, in which God's severity touches us fro a moment in the context of his goodness, is meant to keep us from having to bear the full brunt of that severity apart from that context. It is a discipline of love, and it must be received accordingly. 'My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord' (Heb 12:5). 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statues.' (Psalm 119:71)" Central truths of 1 John 1) Thoughts of sonship as the supreme gift of God's love 2) Love to the Father and to one's Christian brothers and sisters as the ethic of sonship 3) Fellowship with God the Father as the privilege of sonship 4) Righteousness and avoidance of sin as the evidence of sonship 5) Seeing Jesus, and being like him, as the hope of sonship

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lili P

    Stopped at 44%. Will probably come back to this later.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Gillespie

    Knowing God by J.I. Packer is one of THE best books on being a Christian that I have ever read. Although Packer’s writing style is accessible and engaging, the topics he deals with are deep and require lots of thought so this is not a book to be read quickly. I took months to read through it in little bits and got so much out of it that I scarcely know where to begin. The book turns on the central thesis that in order to pursue the Christian life rightly, the Christian’s life focus must be to KNO Knowing God by J.I. Packer is one of THE best books on being a Christian that I have ever read. Although Packer’s writing style is accessible and engaging, the topics he deals with are deep and require lots of thought so this is not a book to be read quickly. I took months to read through it in little bits and got so much out of it that I scarcely know where to begin. The book turns on the central thesis that in order to pursue the Christian life rightly, the Christian’s life focus must be to KNOW God by searching the scriptures to understand His character and ways and then allowing that knowledge to inform your mind, will, feelings, commitments and identification. How well we know God impacts every aspect of our lives, from how we pray to how we respond to crises to how we interact with others. In the exploration of knowing God, Packer digs deeply and insightfully into a wide range of topics. I don’t know how anyone could fail to learn from or be challenged by this book. In reading it, I gained not only knowledge about God, but also encouragement and insight on how to pursue God more fully in my life going forward. I plan to add this book to my top reads for 2011, and would highly recommend it to you for your own reading or for a group Biblestudy. It is truly excellent and would be well worth your time. {Read more of my reviews at A Spirited Mind.}

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Helping the modern world understand God 30 June 2013 This is sort of one of those books that if you have been a Christian for a while you have probably stumbled across or even read. Well, I'm actually not quite so sure about that now because the book was published over 35 years ago and as is typical for our modern Western culture, the older it is the less relevant it becomes. Personally, I really don't think that this book is necessarily all that irrelevant because the teachings that it proposes Helping the modern world understand God 30 June 2013 This is sort of one of those books that if you have been a Christian for a while you have probably stumbled across or even read. Well, I'm actually not quite so sure about that now because the book was published over 35 years ago and as is typical for our modern Western culture, the older it is the less relevant it becomes. Personally, I really don't think that this book is necessarily all that irrelevant because the teachings that it proposes are pretty much as old as Christianity itself, though what Packer was trying to do was to bring the spiritual aspect of our relationship with God back into the modern world in which we live. In a way the things that he says in this book are probably more relevant now than they were back then. However, there are a few things that I do need to discuss, and one of them is his chapter on idolatry. Okay, there have been numerous books written about the modern nature of idolatry, and he does explore it here, but one of the things that I do question is his reaction against religious art. He seems to think that religious art is a bad thing, however I am quite the opposite. I believe religious art has its place, and in the medieval world, where pretty much 90 percent of the population were illiterate, it was even more important. I believe religious art has its place, however, like all things, it needs to remain in this place. Packer's concern here is the act of using religious art in the act of worship rather than having it as simply an expression of our love for God. In a way, if we were to outright ban religious art, then we should also get rid of all of our hymns and songs because, in the same way, these songs are not of the Bible, and unless we only sing the Psalms, by singing a modern hymn we may be breaching the second commandment. Packer explores almost all aspects of Christianity here, and in a way relates it to how we as modern middle class Christians respond to it. Mind you, here in Australia, as is probably the case in Europe and England, Christianity is simply something that middle class people (and not all of them by a long shot) simply do because that is what they have been doing all their lives. However, as he argues, if we are to be truly Christians, we should be doing a lot more. Many of us simply live what can be said to be 'safe' Christian lives, that is we go to church, and we hang around our Christian friends, and rarely, if ever, go out of our way to actually live our Christian lives. In fact, many of us hide behind the walls of the church and keep our contact with non-Christians to a minimum, and if we do interact with them, it is usually through either holier than thou type of talk, or fear-mongering fire and brimstone sermons. Rarely, if ever, do we actually try to get alongside them and actually work with them. Packer's exposition of the patriarchs is quite interesting because he looks at each of them and shows us how God moulded them through their flaws. This leads to his conclusion in saying that the Christian life is not easy, and for those who go into it believing that it is are fooling themselves, and those preachers who preach a rosy painted version of Christianity are simply fulling a church of people who really don't understand what it means to follow Christ. Once again I am not talking about being a goody-too-shoes. God does not care if you are sleeping with your girlfriend/boyfreind, in a de-facto relationship. Marriage as become such a farce that as far as I am concerned, as long as everybody knows that you are living as if you were married (without the ceremony) then you are basically married. Mind you, even then the ceremony itself pretty much comes down to a form of crass ritualism that can be done without. No, being a Christian is living a selfless life and willing to live with integrity, honesty, and a rejection of materalism. To stand up and fight for the weak and the oppressed, and be willing to spend your time to live with, befriend, and provide comfort to those society has rejected. Look at what Jesus says about those who show kindness to the weak, infirm, cripple, and imprisoned. Many of us wrap ourselves in our middle class cloaks, put our money in the plate, and then go home to our nice comfy beds, and in the morning go to work and proceed to rip off, abuse, and mock those that we have power over (and some of us even do that within the church congregation as well). It is what he said about the patriarchs (though the chapter on Guidance was thought provoking as well, but I have written about that elsewhere, except to say that we in the Western world spend more time asking God if the decision we are going to make is the right one than rather making that decision and going and doing it, as they tend to do elsewhere in the world) is that each of them had flaws, and as we see through their lives, God works through them, through their struggles, and their challenges, to make them into the people that he wants them to be. I'll pick Joseph (the dude with the technicoloured dream coat) as an example, namely because some preacher said that nothing bad is said about Joseph in the Bible. That, my friend, is rubbish. He was a conceited little child that rubbed his brothers' faces in the fact that he was his dad's favourite, which is why he ended up as a slave (and later a prisoner) in Egypt. God had a plan for him (and we never know the result of this plan until after the fact, so don't try second guessing God, just go out and do it) and for this plan to work, God had to iron out the rough spots. One thing, though, I will finish on, and that is something that I discussed with my friend tonight. We spoke a bit about the idea of guidance, and one thing that we know from the Bible is that none of the characters in the Bible ever forfeited their destiny because they made the wrong decision. The whole thing about us here in the Western World is that God has given us the freedom to make these decisions, so instead of uming and ahhing, and wasting your time asking God whether it is the right decision, simply make the choice because despite what choice you make, your destiny will not be forfeit.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jacky

    One of the best books on describing God and how much we need to KNOW Him as a crucial aspect of our worship of Him. There is today far too much heretical teaching even within churches, disabling us from worshiping an objective truth, leading us to worship a variety of different Jesuses instead. It is crucial for any Christian to read books like this, and familiarise themselves not just with the Bible but with a variety of systematic commentaries and test the Word day-in, day-out. JI Packer hits sh One of the best books on describing God and how much we need to KNOW Him as a crucial aspect of our worship of Him. There is today far too much heretical teaching even within churches, disabling us from worshiping an objective truth, leading us to worship a variety of different Jesuses instead. It is crucial for any Christian to read books like this, and familiarise themselves not just with the Bible but with a variety of systematic commentaries and test the Word day-in, day-out. JI Packer hits sharply on applied theology in this book - he himself describes a Christian as two analogical types: A, who is walking the path; and B, who is observing the one walking the path, clearly knowing the direction which A is walking whereas A him/herself doesn't have the 'sight' of B. In many ways, we are filled with so much theological 'knowledge', yet fail to learn how to apply it - much like Jonah, much like Balaam when filled with the Holy Spirit. Packer encourages us to apply the Word, and in doing so we learn more about Him, and the more we learn about Him, the more we want to apply the Word. A wonderful upward cycle.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Knowing God is a modern Christian classic about the basics of Christian theology, yet it is written at a level that the public can understand. It is pastoral in tone, exhorting the believer to know God truly as He is, not as humans often misconceive. The book is especially good for someone who has never studied theology, but even the person who has will gain something. Perhaps the most edifying portion of the book comes at the beginning, when Packer stresses the dangers of studying theology for i Knowing God is a modern Christian classic about the basics of Christian theology, yet it is written at a level that the public can understand. It is pastoral in tone, exhorting the believer to know God truly as He is, not as humans often misconceive. The book is especially good for someone who has never studied theology, but even the person who has will gain something. Perhaps the most edifying portion of the book comes at the beginning, when Packer stresses the dangers of studying theology for its own sake. I have known some who have made this mistake, and it has pierced them through with many sorrows, tossing them from system to system, causing them to doubt, and even leading them to heterodoxy or heresy. Do check your motives before you study theology.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josiah Brown

    J.I. Packer's plain explanation of the character of God is so easy to understand! He pointed things out to me right and left that I realized I didn't really know about God, or that I didn't really appreciate before. Packer shows clearly how all the things in his book are derived from scripture, and how the scriptures help us to understand and get to know God better. A great book, and one that has changed the way I look at the scriptures, and the Creator Himself. J.I. Packer's plain explanation of the character of God is so easy to understand! He pointed things out to me right and left that I realized I didn't really know about God, or that I didn't really appreciate before. Packer shows clearly how all the things in his book are derived from scripture, and how the scriptures help us to understand and get to know God better. A great book, and one that has changed the way I look at the scriptures, and the Creator Himself.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Trzeciak

    The highest priority of a person is to know God through Jesus Christ! This book discusses who God is, why we should know him, how to know him, and how knowing him is to impact every moment of every day. So much can be said about this book, but the last chapter, chapter 22, which seeks to plumb the depths of Romans 8, tied it all together with both encouragement, conviction, and exhortation to engage in this highest pursuit of mankind, knowing God!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.