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 greaterWe 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 , and we need no other beside Him.For athorough discussion of this book, visit my blog ImAllBooked.com 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 , some really good parts jumped out, and I came to value the book muchI 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 , some really good parts jumped out, and I came to value the book muchI 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 Hamletmeant to bepractical than theoreticalPart I Know the LordCh 1 The Study of GodThe proper study of man may be man, but the proper study of God s elect is God.Westminster Shorter Catechism on GodCh 2 The People Who Know Their GodCh 3 Knowing and Being KnownMarie 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 GodJIP takes 2CV Second Commandment Violations seriously.Ch 5 God Incarnate53 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 qualities59 60 Bishop Gore 1889 and kenosis63 Christmas spirit becoming poor so others may be made rich see 2 Cor 8 9 Ch 6 He Shall TestifyTrinity stuffPart II Behold Your God Ch 7 God UnchangingImmutabilityCh 8 The Majesty of GodGreatnessCh 9 God Only Wisebest means to achieve the best ends JobCh 10 God s Wisdom and OursWisdom is a communicable attribute We receive it through God s word, so we d be foolish not to read it.EcclesiastesCh 11 Thy Word is TruthCh 12 The Love of Godgood inclusion of discipline and sternnessCh 13 The Grace of GodGod s Riches At Christ s Expensereference to Carnegie s How to Win FriendsCh 14 God the Judgepeople prefer God as a fatherjudgment overshadows everything in the OT, and the NT only intensifies with Christ as the judgeancient kings were judges because a judge has the highest authority143 the final judgment isn t just a bogey to scare men into conformity to conventional behavior, but a revelation of God s moral characterCh 15 The Wrath of God151 52 wrath doesn t make God a monster 1 God s wrath is always just, 2 those who receive wrath have chosen itreference to Edwards s sermonCh 16 Goodness and SeveritySanta Clausseverity comes when goodness is spurnedCh 17 The Jealous Godzeal to protect a relationshipGod s jealousy presupposes His covenant faithfulness.it s the motive for both wrath and mercyPart III If God Be for UsCh 18 The Heart of the Gospelpagan propitiation Agamemnon Dodd eliminated wrath changes propitiation to expiation Ch 19 Sons of GodGod as Fatheradoptionrewardsgospel adoption thru propitiationSee here for a great quote.Ch 20 Thou Our GuideScripture inward sensationvocational choicesThe 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 crossCh 21 These Inward Trialsgood navigation between antinomianism and sinless perfectionism grace defeating singrowth in sanctificationactive, not passiveconcludes with a Newton quotation ironically Ch 22 The Adequacy of GodRomans Luther, Calvin, Tyndale Romans 8lawloaded gun analogy Arminianism Christ s work loaded the gun, but we have to pull the trigger assurance 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 waysAs 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 farelusive 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 discoveringabout 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 Packer s dispensation of wisdom is matched only by the dispensation of tote bags at university open days His delivery of insight only matched byprime 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 byprime 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 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. 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 evenmistakes 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 evenmistakes 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 trumpetedoften andloudly 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 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 year20170418 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 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 year20170418 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 Sebasti n 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 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 listenthan 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 For overyears, 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 , Christianity Today voted this title one of the topbooks 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 faithKnowing about God andKnowing 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 It s a classic for a reason.