Taking God Seriously – A Review

J. I. Packer. Taking God Seriously: Vital Things We Need to Know. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013. 176 pp. $8.09.




            J. I. Packer is well-known and well-respected as a theologian. Thus, when he chooses to write, addressing issues of the modern church, he is worth reading. Packer’s work is rich in doctrine, at times deep, and often convicting.


            Packer’s work shows his deep concern for the state of the church, especially in the west. Through a series of chapters (that were apparently once separate papers or addresses), Packer challenges Christians to take faith, doctrine, Christian unity, repentance, the church, the Holy Spirit, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper seriously. These chapters are deep, serious, and thoughtful. 


            Readers wanting to think about church issues in a fairly deep way will find this book enjoyable. However, not every reader will be fascinated. Packer is part of the Anglican Church, and his book is clearly addressed to his denomination and its specific struggles. There are things that Packer will put forward which participants from other Christian denominations will disagree with.


            Besides the general solid thinking in this work, Taking God Seriously contains some important thoughts from Packer regarding the Anglican Church’s struggle over the issue of homosexuality. Packer sounds a Scriptural call for his denomination to cling tightly to the word of God and not to compromise based on cultural pressures. This, of course, is something that many denominations need to consider.


            I would recommend Packer’s work to readers, with the understanding that it is not always an easy read. The thoughts in the book are solid, but the text reads more like a paper than like a popular-level book.


            I received a free audio copy of this book from ChristianAudio.com as part of their reviewers program. The quality of the recording is up to ChristianAudio’s high standards. However, the reader’s voice may be a bit too soothing.