Today is J.I Packer’s 90th birthday! Packer is perhaps one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Like C.S. Lewis before him, he has spent a lifetime popularizing complex theological ideas and reaching a diverse audience through winsome writing alive with passion and charisma. The author of many classic books on the Christian life and theology, the 90-year-old theologian continues to inspire Christians across the theological spectrum.
In honor of his birthday, we’re sharing some of our favorite Packer quotes. Be sure to share your favorites—just hover over an image to reveal sharing options. And let us know the impact Packer has made on your own Christian life or ministry.
“I need not torment myself with the fear that my faith may fail; as grace led me to faith in the first place, so grace will keep me believing to the end. Faith, both in its origin and continuance, is a gift of grace.”
“Whatever else in the Bible catches your eye, do not let it distract you from Him.”
“How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.”
“He that has learned to feel his sins, and to trust Christ as a Saviour, has learned the two hardest and greatest lessons in Christianity.”
“Real spiritual growth is always growth downward, so to speak, into profounder humility, which in healthy souls will become more and more apparent as they age.”
“Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”
“For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God. Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption.”
“A God whom we could understand exhaustively, and whose revelation of Himself confronted us with no mysteries whatsoever, would be a God in man’s image, and therefore an imaginary God, not the God of the Bible at all.”
“We are only living truly human lives just so far as we are labouring to keep God’s commandments; no further.”
“The purpose of the church is to make the invisible kingdom visible through faithful Christian living and witness-bearing.”
“Good works begin with praise, worship, and honoring and exalting of God as the temper of one’s whole waking life.”
“Any theology that does not lead to song is, at a fundamental level, a flawed theology.”
“Prayer to God as Father is for Christians only.”
“Catechesis is the church’s ministry of grounding and growing God’s people in the Gospel and its implications for doctrine, devotion, duty, and delight.”
“The pursuit of holiness is thus no mere private hobby, nor merely a path for a select few, but a vital element in Christian mission strategy today. The world’s greatest need is the personal holiness of Christian people.”
“A deepening sense of one’s sinfulness remains a touchstone of the genuine Christian life.”
“What we often feel in ecstatic moments in this world—’I don’t ever want this to stop’—will be the constant thought of our hearts in that world. We shall think it, knowing that in fact it never will stop.”
“My advice to a new husband is nothing more than ‘husbands, love your wives.’ And ‘love your wife as Christ has loved the church.’ Never forget that you are Christ’s representative in serving your wife.”
“The Puritan ethic of marriage was first to look not for a partner whom you do love passionately at this moment but rather for one whom you can love steadily as your best friend for life, then to proceed with God’s help to do just that.”
J.I. Packer has dedicated his life to helping Christians connect to and study the Bible. If you’re looking for more help with your Bible study, take our free 10-day course! Learn more about this free training, or sign up below right now.