Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Review: J.I. Packer. A Quest for Godliness.

I cannot imagine anyone more qualified to write on the Puritan vision for godliness than one of the eminent theologians of our day, the revered J.I. Packer. With lucidity and skill, Packer takes the reader through a brief history of the Puritan life and purpose. And yet this work is not strictly an historical work. Much of the genius of this book is in Packer's ability to take the reader into the inner workings of the Puritan mind.

Like a expert mechanic, Packer opens up the hood and shows the student the "engine" and its component parts within the Puritan worldview. Subjects such as the conscience, revivalism, preaching and the sermon, spiritual gifts, the Lord's Day, and marriage and family are all addressed with thorough documentation.

One of the special features of this work are the copious quotations from the original source writings themselves. In each and every chapter, Packer brings the reader into a close-encounter with the very men he calls the "Redwoods" of Christian theology. (Foremost among them are Owen and Baxter, over whose works Packer demonstrates thoroughgoing mastery). New readers in this field will find that, having completed this book, they have already met a few of the Puritans first-hand.

Rev. Matthew Everhard, Pastor, Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Brooksville Florida.

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