Optimism is not Hope

The world is full of pessimists, people who see little chance for a light at the end of our world’s dark tunnel. In such an atmosphere, the optimist stands out as a voice for possibility in the midst of despair. He is likely to be hailed as a visionary or denounced as a romantic. While he…

Behold, our God!

We are not autonomous; we exist for God. Therefore, it is important that we know what He is like so we can adequately relate to Him and worship Him. In the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a popular seventeenth-century Christian teaching manual, ‘God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power,…

Lessons from Knowing God by J.I.Packer

Over the past several weeks, I have been reading the classic book Knowing God by J.I. Packer together with hundreds of people (over 800!). The idea was initiated by Tim Challies, a Christian pastor who blogs here. Actually, I have had this book since June 2012, but I never went beyond the first few chapters. Reading it in community with others,…

Marks of Revival, by J.I. Packer

The church needs revival. But how would we recognize it? What would a revived church and society look like? Here we can benefit from the wisdom of the great Christian writer and theologian, J.I. Packer. In the article below, he considers five universal signs of genuine revival. May this be of help as we pray and…

Why we need the Puritans, by J.I.Packer (Part 4 of 4)

The present chapter is, I confess, advocacy, barefaced and unashamed. I am seeking to make good the claim that the Puritans can teach us lessons that we badly need to learn. Let me pursue my line of argument a little further. It must by now be apparent that the great Puritan pastor-theologians – Owen, Baxter,…

Why we need the Puritans, by J.I.Packer (Part 3 of 4)

The foregoing celebration of Puritan greatness may leave some readers skeptical. It is, however, as was hinted earlier, wholly in line with the major reassessment of Puritanism that has taken place in historical scholarship. Fifty years ago the academic study of Puritanism went over a watershed with the discovery that there was such a thing…

Why we need the Puritans, by J.I.Packer (Part 2 of 4)

In what ways can they do this? Let me suggest some specifics. First, there are lessons for us in the integration of their daily lives. As their Christianity was all-embracing, so their living was all of a piece. Nowadays we would call their lifestyle holistic: all awareness, activity, and enjoyment, all ‘use of the creatures’…

Why we need the Puritans, by J.I.Packer (Part 1 of 4)

(This is an excerpt from the author’s book, A QUEST FOR GODLINESS: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, published by Crossway) Horse Racing is said to be the sport of kings. The sport of slinging mud has, however, a wider following. Pillorying the Puritans, in particular, has long been a popular pastime both sides…