Chapters 1 and 2: Knowing God by J. I. Packer

 

Chapter 1 – The Study of God

Packer says that our motives for increasing in theological knowledge must be sound and uses Psalm 119 to say that our goal should be knowledge of God, not knowledge about God and that this in turn will lead to godliness. Earlier this week I listened to a Mark Driscoll podcast and he said that “Information + Obedience = Transformation”. Basically a punchier way of saying what Packer does when he states that having all the right answers, on their own, leads only to a state of “self-satisfied self-deception.”
It’s a trap that is all too easy to fall in to.

Chapter 2 – The People Who Know Their God

Packer begins by doubting that many believers could say that they have “known God” and to be honest, he lost me at that point – not that I don’t understand him, I do, but that my faith does not fall in line with his argument. I can recall a continuing line of times, seasons and events in my walk with God – some as recent as this past week – in which He has made himself powerfully, mysteriously and undeniably known and present. Through these I have “known Him”.
However, equally there are times when I have seemed to exist purely on the fumes of knowledge about Him, rather than the fuel of the Spirit Himself. These times have been dry and tough and tiring because I was working mainly from confidence in myself.
Packer’s main thrust in this chapter seems to be to make a distinction between knowledge and knowing, and in this he does a good job – a further developing his main idea.

J.

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