Powerful Biblical Doctrine
J.I. Packer is a brilliant biblical scholar. One fo the great voids of modern Christianity is the lack of biblical doctrine among Christ's followers. This 'book' will give you a clear understanding of much of the biblical doctrine. Knowing God better/deeper will produce a stronger faith. Listen to this to add depth to your Christian walk.
A Classic for Good Reason
Knowing God by J. I. Packer is one of those books that is often recommended as a modern classic, and for good reason. In what is often considered Packer’s signature work, he helps believers to understand several important attributes of God. Unlike some other authors, Packer is not writing about God’s attributes to merely fill our heads with theological concepts, but is instead challenging believers to allow their understanding of the person of God to lead them to greater devotion and holiness.
There is much to love about this book, which explains why so many people have recommended it to me for so many years. Packer takes his readers deeply into many characteristics of God that are often neglected. A reader who works through this material will certainly come away with a deeper understanding or at least a deeper appreciation of the God of the bible.
One particular area that I enjoyed was Packer’s handling of the word propitiation. In explaining what God has done for us to satisfy his wrath and atone for our sins, Packer unpacks the theological concept of propitiation in a thorough and accessible way.
I listened to a free audio copy of this work provided for me through the reviewers program at ChristianAudio.com. Simon Vance has just the right reading voice, accent and cadence, to bring to life Packer’s work.
Helps to bring you back to God Himself.
Speaking from the point of view of an average listener, this book is helping me to reestablish many principles of my christian life. Basically: bringing me back to Christ as the center of my christian life. Not anything else.
theology - yes; audio - no
Packer writes this book not as a treatise on G-d, but his own admission, even though its length greatly suggests such. Packer considers this to be a series of small studies concerning G-d, as separate messages, but provided a whole in this audio book edition, narrated by Simon Vance.
Vance provides a husky voice, presented in a discussion format. Vance does an excellent job at proper intonation, inflection, and authentic reading. Small groups will identify will with the narration, but find struggle keeping up with the material. In truth, this book, in itself, is evidence that audio books will never replace traditional format books (to be read, that is, not necessarily printed). Greatly complex, this book is not suited well for audio, despite the narrator's best attempts.
+4 for talented narration
+4 for popular reading
-3 for complexity found in narration
SG recommends the print edition, for sure, but not the audio, unless one has a doctorate in Theology.
Christian Audio provided a copy of the audio for reviewing purposes.
Read this review and more at scriptedgenius.com.
Good & comprehensive, though very lengthy
This is my personal review on Knowing God audiobook by J.I Packer, as part of christianaudio reviewer program
Knowing God is a book by J.I Packer that focuses on explaining the true God in biblical manner. Often in this modern world, our concept about God has diminished or simply been clouded by current trends, society, culture, and many more.
Some people find it hard nowadays to see the true God such as His real characters and what He approves and disapproves. Some even believe they have known God really well and close, where in fact, they haven’t.
J.I Packer explains from the Bible about God and He covers almost everything you can imagine about God – such as His Grace, His Wrath, His Sovereignity, and many more.
It’s a good book for new Christians but also a good book for Christians in general. Knowing God in practice is of course not as easy as it may sound. Even with 9.5 hours long, this audiobook cannot simply cover everything about God and we can never uncover 100% about God as He is simply way beyond our knowledge and brain to understand. However, this book does cover many foundational doctrines about God and in biblical truth. There are a few minor interpertations that I disagree but they are pretty minor (such as the author mentioning that it was a volcanic erruption that hit Sodom and Gomorrah – which was never mentioned directly in the Bible, etc).
The audiobook is narrated by Simon Vance and in general, being read wonderfully. It can be monotonous at times, but this is not a “story telling” kind of book, so it’s understandable. The book is unfortunately, not the type of book you can just read or listen to in one whole swoop as there are lots of things to grasp slowly. It’s then recommended to read/listen to this book by chunks and ponder them before you continue on to the next chapters.
Published on http://www.writeforgod.com/knowing-god-by-j-i-packer.html
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The first time that I read J.I. Packer’s Knowing God I was a first-year seminary student. The book was a required text for my systematic theology course. As I listened to this audiobook I was reminded of how I felt back then—this book doesn’t read like a textbook. But that’s what you have with Packer’s Knowing God, a top notch systematic theology work that is not only readable, but hard to put down (or in this case, hard to hit pause on the iPod).
While Packer doesn’t hit every subject under the heading of systematic theology, he does touch on a number of topics beyond the doctrine of God. Packer helps the reader (or listener) think through such subjects as God’s revelation through Scripture, the Trinity, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and soteriology (the doctrine of salvation).
When I read a book or listen to an audiobook I am always looking for that “worth-the-price-of-admission” factor. Not every book has it, but the best ones often do. For Knowing God it is Section Three, Chapter 18: The Heart of the Gospel. Packer tackles the the term propitiation, a word that can scare readers. But Packer not only unpacks the term, he explains the whole concept in such a way that provides the reader with a better sense of how atonement relates to the gospel. Chapter 18 is certainly worth the price of admission. (Apparently others felt the same way. The chapter was included in In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement by Packer and Mark Dever.)
As an audiobook Knowing God is an easy listen. The length of the chapters lend themselves to be manageable track lengths. The narrator (Simon Vance) does a good job of giving a voice to Packer’s text, one that keeps the listener engaged.
[Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from christianaudio.com as part of their christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.]
Foundational Book for the Christian
I have nothing but positives regarding Packer’s Knowing God. As mentioned above, the chapter on idol worship (ch. 4) is worth the rest of the book by itself. I first read this book a couple years after becoming a believer and was deeply impacted by it. If you are to know God at all, you need to quickly realize that you cannot know Him. Rather, He, God, allows Himself to be known by you. Furthermore, you will learn that it was not you who sought God, but He who sought you. These are glorious truths that will bless and comfort the child of God.
The audiobook, read by Simon Vance, was done so with the gravity that each chapter, sentence, and word carries inherently with it. One need not listen long to know that what you are hearing is profound. At times, the chapters got long, and I would not suggest listening to for longer than a chapter or two. Doing this will keep your mind fresh and focused on the deep truths you are encountering. This is even truer if this is the first time you have stumbled upon this book.
If you have never read Knowing God and you enjoy reading, pick this book up. It made the list of the 5 books every Christian must own and read for a reason. It has impacted my walk with Christ as well as my understanding (or knowledge of my lack) of God in ways that I am sure I don’t quite get as of yet. This is a book that you will want to periodically read over and over for the rest of your life. In the six years since I first read this book, I have read it four times and each time I do, I discover something new or find myself saying, “So that’s where that conviction originated.” Drink deeply from the pen of J.I. Packer—you can hardly find a living author with more depth.
A must listen for everyone
Thank you Christian Audio Reviewers program for the opportunity to review this GREAT Christian classic!
Knowing God by J.I. Packer, InterVarsity Press, 1993, 286 pages.
Reviewed by Derek R. Iannelli-Smith
Time Magazine listed J.I. Packer as one of the top 25 evangelicals and described him
“an Oxford-trained theologian, claimed the role informally with his 1973 book, Knowing God, which outlined a conservative Christian theology deeper and more embracing than many Americans had encountered. It did real justice to hard topics such as suffering and grace.”
In summary, Knowing God is 286 page study on theology. What is theology, Theopedia states that theology, “(from the Greek theos - God - and logos - word or reason) is reasoned discourse concerning God. More specifically, Christian theology is the rational study and understanding of the nature of God and doctrines of the Christian faith based on the God's revelation of Himself, chiefly found in the Bible.”
This would accurately describe Packer’s work. Packer states, “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.”
The book is divided in three sections, I. Know the Lord, II. Behold Your God! III. If God Be For Us . . .
I like how one reviewer stated,
“New and maturing Christians will find this book useful yet challenging, and may find it helpful to work through it with a mentor. More mature Christians will also be fed by its teachings. Some readers may be challenged by the theological vocabulary that Packer uses, but this is another opportunity to learn and grow. Knowing God will help the reader understand biblically who God is and who we are in Jesus Christ. This book is not only relevant to today’s Christian, it is an essential read.”
I read this book early on in my Christian walk and was impressed, and now 14 years later it made and even deeper impact. Two sections impacted me this time around, Chapter 4 on Idolatry and Chapter 20 on Grace. Why?
Idolatry is a topic that has not been discussed well in many Christian circles. The pendulum swings back in forth from liberalism to extreme fundamentalism. Packer’s expositional handling of this topic is highly recommended and one that I would recommend all of us who use the terminology of idolatry need to be reminded of.
The section on grace is one that is needed and I remember thinking to myself as I read this, how it reminded me of a body of believers I was associating with sometime ago. They had some fuzzy thinking about grace and how I wished I could have remembered that this was out there and an invaluable resource we could have studied the topic together and been reminded correctly of the true definition of grace. Packer’s discourse reminded me of an another author who also spoke of grace.
"Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate." — Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
The narrator for the audiobook from christianaudio.com did a great job with inflection, tone, pace, and it was easy to stay engrossed in the material.
It was great to review this book again and I was struck by the relevancy, the soberness, and the truth in which this book almost 30 yrs. old spoke. It was a very discerning work and I highly recommend it for those who want to love God with all their mind.
Knowing God... As He has Revealed Himself
Who is the God of the Bible? In a time where bestselling books on this subject are more speculation and introspection than devotion and exegesis, J.I. Packer’s Knowing God offers a refreshing look at God as revealed in the Bible.
The book, much like John Piper’s Desiring God, has shown over the last few decades that it is still relevant because it communicates timeless truth firmly founded on the Bible. The book is reflective and deep, bridging theology and devotion into a single piece that anchors its readers to the Word.
Complimenting Knowing God’s content is a narrator with an English accent. Since Packer himself is English, it was only fitting to have Simon Vance do the reading. You may recognize his voice, and I recognize him as a man of good taste, as he has provided narration for The Religious Affections (Edwards) and The Cross of Christ (Stott), too.
I will definitely point believers to Knowing God to discover more about the God we worship, not just to know intellectually, but personally as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from ChristianAudio as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Dense but interesting and thought provoking
Knowing God is a theological treatise of sorts. Packer is clearly well versed in scripture and well read in a variety of theologians and biblical scholars. He does a good job of laying out many of the tenants and concepts of fundamentalist theology. His book makes complex ideas and concepts accessible to the average believer. But this book is best listened to and digested in small bites rather than trying to digest it all at once. Regardless of where you fall on the theological spectrum, Knowing God will challenge your thinking and broaden your understanding of a variety of topics. If you endeavor to listen to this thought-provoking book, put on your boots and prepare to wade through complex ideas. Packer will often take you down a rabbit hole to show you where it ends up.
While I personally do not agree with everything Packer says in his book, it is helpful in thinking through what I do believe.
Simon Vance is the narrator and does a good job. His voice is clear and smooth and is not distracting at all from the material at hand. Thanks to christianaudio Reviewers Program for the opportunity to listen to and review this book.