Thursday, July 03, 2008

Knowing God

I just recently finished reading J.I. Packer's classic "Knowing God." I bought the book for a theology class in college, but don't remember reading it very carefully at the time. (I didn't do much reading for class in college at all.) I'm glad God brought me back to it now. It really is a terrific book. If you can get your hands on a copy, I would especially recommend reading these three chapters:
  • Chapter 18 - "The Heart of the Gospel" - probably the best defense of and explanation of the doctrine of propitiation I've ever read. Says Packer, "The basic description of the saving death of Christ in the Bible is as a propitiation, that is, as that which quenched God's wrath against us by obliterating our sins from his sight." (p. 189)
  • Chapter 19 - "Sons of God" - the doctrine of adoption. "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." (p. 207) "... were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption through propitiation, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that." (p. 214)
  • Chapter 22 - "The Adequacy of God" - basically a commentary on Romans 8. A taste: "... the cross was not an isolated event; it was, rather, the focal point in God's eternal plan to save his elect, and it ensured and guaranteed first the calling (the bringing to faith, through the gospel in the mind and the Holy Spirit in the heart), and then the justification, and finally the glorification, of all for whom, specifically and personally, Christ died." (p. 265)

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