My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A friend of mine asked, "Dude, are you really going to critique J.I. Packer?" He has a point. J.I. Packer is a giant of our time when it comes to Christian theology. His masterpiece Knowing God was one of the first books I read as a new believer in 1994 and shaped my faith immensely in those early years and impacts me today. There is no way that I am qualified to offer criticism to Packer's latest work Taking God Seriously but thankfully, unless him being Anglican bothers you, there isn't much I could say negatively about the book anyway. It is a must read for any Christian who is concerned at all with the current state of things in the worldwide church. Taking God Seriously is TIMELY, it is THEOLOGICAL, and it is THOROUGH.
First, it is timely. J.I. Packer has a lifetime of experience studying the Bible and theology as well as a vast knowledge of the trajectory of the church. His book hits the nail on the head and deals with the most current issues boiling over in most denominations in the 21st century. Taking God Seriously is a voice that the church needs right now. It's an important call and an urgent plea for the church to swim upstream instead of coasting downstream in the current of postmodern thought.
Second, it is theological. All you have to do is take one look at the chapter headings and it is clear what Dr. Packer has in mind when he says that we need to take God seriously. Taking God Seriously is deep but brief in it's approach and is broken down into the following eight chapters:
Taking Faith Seriously
Taking Doctrine Seriously
Taking Christian Unity Seriously
Taking Repentance Seriously
Taking the Church Seriously
Taking the Holy Spirit Seriously
Taking Baptism Seriously
Taking the Lord's Supper Seriously
Packer makes no bones about it, how seriously we take God in our lives is connected intricately to how seriously we take our own theology. We cannot please God and ignore theology. That is not an option.
Third, it is thorough. Packer leaves no stone unturned as he deals with everything from homosexual marriage to the way we view or own baptism personally. Although this book is a short book by theology standards, it covers everything it needs to cover and is very accessible to laymen as well as clergy.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels that they need to take God more seriously. I know that I need help constantly in this area and am sure I will refer back to this book for that guidance.
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