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J.I. Packer: A Biography by Alister E.…

J.I. Packer: A Biography

by Alister E. McGrath

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Alister McGrath has written an appropriately low-key biography of a man who has had a quietly revolutionary effect on 20th century evangelicalism. Packer's life story is not that of a straightforward ascent to ever-greater fame and acceptance. There were clearly some very frustrating periods in his life as his particular approach came to be marginalised within evangelical Anglicanism. The story of the 1960s separation between Anglican and free-church evangelicals and the impact it had on him is particularly poignant, as he had done so much to encourage cooperation.

As always, one of the interesting things about reading biography is a refreshed perspective on your own time. One example was the account of the obsession during Packer's university days with the old-style Keswick view of Christian life as victorious conquest of sin. Packer's rediscovery of the Puritans led him to challenge this with a more realistic and biblical view of Christian living that acknowledged the ongoing struggle with sin. It made me wonder whether today's evangelicals have blind-spots of a similar scale ...
  stephenochilds | Jan 18, 2010 |
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