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Video: J. I. Packer on Taking God Seriously

Do You Know What You Believe?

In Taking God Seriously: Vital Things We Need to Know, J. I. Packer writes:

As the years go by, I am increasingly burdened by the sense that the more conservative church people in the West, Protestant and Roman Catholic alike, are, if not starving, at least grievously undernourished for lack of a particular pastoral ministry that was a staple item in the church life of the first Christian centuries and also of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation era in Western Europe, but has largely fallen out of use in recent days. That ministry is called catechesis. It consists of intentional, orderly instruction in the truths that Christians are called to live by, linked with equally intentional and orderly instruction on how they are to do this.

In the video below, Packer reflects on this “undernourishment” that many Christians suffer from, challenging us to take our faith and God’s Word seriously.

Taking God Seriously – J.I. Packer from Crossway on Vimeo.


January 7, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible Study,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life,Video | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | (5) Comments »


  1. Here speaks wisdom and experience. I may have my differences with J.I.Packer on doctrine – but he is bang on when he challenges everybody to be serious and clear about their christian faith – and its origins in the Bible. There is no purpose served in accommodating every view offered in the name of christianity just to placate the ‘majority’. It is not right to treat the faith like that – making God almost like a a tiny, model, mini-God subject to our whims and fancies – And that is what the church seems to be doing at the present.
    Well done, well said Dr Packer.

    Comment by David — January 7, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

  2. The basis of our lives is not so much the truth of the Bible or the doctrine of the church it is our life open and connected to God and flowing with the forgiveness, love and generosity of God. In that life we will ‘know’ Him in the flow of His Spirit as our life is given for others. Through our love others will ‘know’ Him as well.John 17:3, John 15:1-8, 1 John 3:14, 4:7.

    Comment by George Hartwell — January 10, 2014 @ 2:51 pm

  3. The “flow of the Spirit” referenced in the previous quote is not disconnected from the Scriptures inspired by the same Spirit. Without the anchor of the Scripture we are left with pure subjectivism which is why the church is where it is at now. Calvin said that our hearts are idol factories precisely because we will naturally drift without that Biblical anchor. The Biblical view of human nature forces us to abandon our opinions and our feelings. A romantic and overly optimistic anthropology creates subjectivism. Be aware of that.

    Comment by James Kray — January 11, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

  4. Quite so James. George, however would we ‘know’ and share the mind of God on any matter without the revelation of scripture ?
    The alternative is some form of direct revelation to you, and him and her, etc, etc. Whereas God has given his revelation in his written word and supremely in the ‘word made flesh’ – the Lord Jesus Christ. “All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for all aspects of the “christian life”.
    No doubt God’s powerful spirit is able to protect and direct our lives and works with his revelation in the Bible to shape us. So, on its own terms, the Bible IS a profound basis for the christian life.

    Comment by David — January 13, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  5. @ David – Your response to the quasi-emergent comment made by George was spot on. The farther we move away from the Reformation, the more it seems we need to be reminded that we rely on “Scripture Alone” as God’s truth. Georges comment is typical in the western church in that we have so emphasized the importance of our having a “relationship” with God which is both good and right, but in some respects we have utterly failed to convey that we cannot know God, His love, or His Spirit apart from His Word.

    I that, I would amend your final statement this way… The Bible is THE (not a)profound basis for the Christian Life.

    Comment by Peter Mahoney — January 16, 2014 @ 11:34 am

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