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Taking God Seriously

Vital Things We Need to Know

Author J. I. Packer
Narrator Arthur Morey
Runtime 5.75 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Release Date March 11, 2013
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)

Best-selling author J. I. Packer, one of the most influential evangelicals of our day, has put together what may become a Christian classic on the vital truths of the faith. Serving to nourish the church worldwide, Packer makes accessible the things we need to know in eight essential areas. This concise book also helps us guard against liberalism by pushing Christians to know their faith so they can explain it to inquirers and sustain it against skeptics. Here is a call to a discipleship in mere Christianity—the business of taking God seriously.

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Description

Best-selling author J. I. Packer, one of the most influential evangelicals of our day, has put together what may become a Christian classic on the vital truths of the faith. Serving to nourish the church worldwide, Packer makes accessible the things we need to know in eight essential areas. This concise book also helps us guard against liberalism by pushing Christians to know their faith so they can explain it to inquirers and sustain it against skeptics. Here is a call to a discipleship in mere Christianity—the business of taking God seriously.

Customer Reviews

7 Reviews Add Review
Getting Serious About Theology
Taking God Seriously by J. I. Packer is a series of discussions about different areas of doctrine and how Christians should take them seriously. Areas such as doctrine, baptism and repentance are discussed in some detail and suggestions on how to get serious about them are given.

There does seem to be a lot of references to the Anglican church's issues especially with one of the major issues of today – homosexuality, which seems a bit strange but these issues are faced by most other churches around the world. His opinions and information seems to be quite helpful and will hopefully find the church in general in a better position in years to come as Christians get more serious about God, His church and doctrine.

The narration was quite good, although it did seem a bit monotone at times but it is a book on doctrine so it went with the content of the book.

This book is an interesting insight in doctrine and challenges to it in today's church and the importance of getting serious about different areas of doctrine.

This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 5/27/2013)
Not Quite Recommended
The type of person for whom this book might be recommended is just the type of person to whom this book—and, to a degree, its author—might prove a stumblingblock. In many ways J.I. Packer is the very person I'd choose to help me teach basic doctrine. He's a fantastically clear writer who drives home sound, conservative doctrinal points. He knows Protestant theology well and communicates it even better.

But that's just it—his clarity on Protestant theology makes his apparent acceptance of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox errors that much more liable to confuse people. I love and recommend other Packer books (<i>A Heart for God, Knowing God, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God,</i> and who can forget <i>The Collected Blurbs of J.I. Packer</i>), but those books don't promote the same confusion.

In this book, for example, Packer glosses over the what he calls "partial" disagreements between Reformation and other churches. But he zeroes in on one disagreement that he regards with special seriousness: the debate over homosexuality. In chapter 3, Packer argues that the acceptance of homosexuality destroys Christian unity. but that had me wondering why it's Roman Catholic and evangelical disagreements over the Gospel don't get the same treatment. That topic is the one about which Paul pronounced an anathema (Gal. 1:8).

Chapter 5 reveals more than other chapters the genesis of this book, talks Packer gave to Anglicans in Canada. His discussion of Anglicanism and the Anglican episcopate is, on the one hand, a laudable example of taking doctrine seriously. But I still think that the kind of person to whom I might otherwise give this book doesn't need to hear about Anglican bishops and doesn't need to hear quite so much about the Anglican debate over homosexuality.

At the end of his discussion on homosexuality Packer brings up the possibility of separation, only to (mostly) dismiss the idea—without bringing up any Scripture passages. He didn't repeat Christ's advice to the church at Sardis, "Strengthen what remains" (though that's his position); and he didn't repeat Paul's command to the church at Thessalonica, "Withdraw from those who walk disorderly." If we're not going to mine Scripture for guidance with regard to professed Christians who accept homosexual unions, how much better are we than they? They're ignoring clear passages, and so is Packer.

There is interesting historical theology in the book, good material on baptism and the Lord's Supper. And I liked this quote in chapter 2: "All gifts are given to be used, and not to use them is to quench the spirit." But it's hard for me to imagine to whom I might recommend this book. It is, frankly, a little odd. It bears too strongly the marks of its origin in talks to Anglicans; I had trouble picking up a unifying thread.

<i>Thanks to Christian audio for a review copy of this book.</i>
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 5/20/2013)
Not what I expected it to be...
Taking God Seriously by J. I. Packer was not at all what I expected it to be.

I have read a couple of other Packer books. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I have read from him in the past, so when this new book became available through christianaudio, I was happy to listen to it in order to write a review.

Having read these other books by Packer, I was expecting this book to deal with big thoughts of how we need to take God seriously. I was ready to soak in some over-arching themes on the importance of really listening to God and doing what He says.

My first surprise came when he started talking extensively about issues in the Anglican church. Not only did I not know that Packer was Anglican, I had also never seen him refer to any current denominational issues. This book contains numerous references to current issues that are plaguing the Anglican church and many other churches in the world today. Much of this book felt like an address to others in the Anglican church to ... well ... take God seriously.

The next surprise that this book delivered was related to the content. Sure, he addressed some issues that I expected, like repentance, but he also addressed some issues that I didn't expect, like church, baptism and communion. Even though I didn't necessarily agree with everything he said, I also didn't find myself disagreeing with anything he said either. I found the information landing on very common ground and very Biblical, at the same time. But what made this surprise content really enlightening was that while I was listening to it, I found myself realizing that I hadn't been taking Baptism or Communion as seriously as I should, and that the question of taking God seriously couldn't really be dealt with until these issues were addressed.

If you've never encountered a book by J.I. Packer, this is a great place to start. He has a straight-forward, no-nonsense style of writing that I find refreshing. He doesn't beat around the bush, he goes straight to the point, and he brought this direct style of writing, which I've normally encountered in his theological works, into this current, culturally relevant book.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/23/2013)
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