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Knowing God

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  51,384 ratings  ·  1,296 reviews
For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. This edition is updated with Americanized language and spelling and a new preface by the author.

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Paperback, 286 pages
Published June 24th 1993 by InterVarsity Press (first published 1973)
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Amy Claros yes wow thank you this statment is truly true and wonderful
Julie Vena I took the following off Wikipedia. These are the names of the chapters so I hope that helps!
Part I: Know the Lord
1."The Study of God"
2."The People w…more
I took the following off Wikipedia. These are the names of the chapters so I hope that helps!
Part I: Know the Lord
1."The Study of God"
2."The People who Know their God"
3."Knowing and Being Known"
4."The Only True God"
5."God Incarnate"
6."He Shall Testify"
Part II: Behold Your God!
7."God Unchanging"
8."The Majesty of God"
9."God Only Wise"
10."God's Wisdom and Ours"
11."The Word is Truth"
12."The Love of God"
13."The Grace of God"
14."God the Judge"
15."The Wrath of God"
16."Goodness and Severity"
17."The Jealous God"
Part III: If God Be For Us -
18."The Heart of the Gospel"
19."Sons of God"
20."Thou our Guide"
21."These Inward Trials"
22."The Adequacy of God"(less)

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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely the most significant book I've read in the past year, and, next to the Bible, probably had the biggest impact on me of any book I've ever read. I don't even know what to say about it. I could detail/analyze the contents, but others have done that already, and better than I could; I think I'll just say that the Lord used Knowing God (in conjunction with a few other books) to re-calibrate my focus, adjust my priorities, and teach me some huge, huge lessons, at a time when I was in great ...more
If, like me, you were raised going to a Christian church, reading the Bible, and participating in Bible studies, you might think you know all there is to know about God. But the goal of the Christian shouldn't be merely to know about God. We must realize, first, how little we know God and secondly, why it's important to do so. In "Knowing God," Packer stresses the importance of really understanding who God is and attempts to excite and motivate the Christian to strive towards knowing Him better. ...more
Jonathan Terrington

"As clowns yearn to play Hamlet, so I have wanted to write a treatise on God. This book, however, is not it."

J.I. Packer begins this book by pointing out that there are two types of probable readers for his book. There are those who are on a journey or in the arena - rather, whatever metaphor you wish to use for actually exploring the notion of Knowing God - and then there are the balcony watchers. The 'balconeers' and travelers may think about the same concept, but there are two different ways
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Packer's dispensation of wisdom is matched only by the dispensation of tote bags at university open-days. His delivery of insight only matched by Amazon prime. The grounded-ness of his doctrine matched only by the groundy-ness of terribly made coffee.

Each chapter discusses something different about God as Packer unPACKs (see what I did there) potent biblical doctrines; doctrines of a very much varied and occasionally overlooked nature. I really enjoyed the way in which the author addresses the a
Early on in the book, I thought that I might give it 3 stars, because it didn't seem that groundbreaking, as far as what I was learning from it. I realized that that was a testament to the good teaching that I have received throughout the years. But as I heard more, some really good parts jumped out, and I came to value the book much more. I should read my paperback edition sometime, which includes the preface from 1993. Packer turned 93 soon before I finished.

Preface (1973)
feels like a clowns w
Becky Pliego
2018: When a Theology book touches the mind and the heart, it is worth reading.

2012: A Theology book that touches deep within your heart, brings you to your knees and makes you cry is worth reading/ listening at least once a year, every year.

I had read this book before but this time (August 2012), I am listening to this audio version which I am loving. The narrator, Simon Vance, does an amazing job, not to mention that he is British which is perfect because Packer is British as well. Each chapt
Mike Wazowski
There are three books every Christian ought to read once a year: the Bible (of course), John Bunyan's classic allegory Pilgrim's Progress, and Knowing God by J.I. Packer. In a remarkable 300 pages is given the portrait of the Creator of the universe and our relationship to Him. If you have ever wanted to know the One behind the intelligent design of the natural world (including the manner in which you are fearfully and wonderfully made), read this book. Believer, if you want to know your Abba Fa ...more
Barry Wallace
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I initially bought and read Knowing God almost 35 years ago. I was a new Christian, young and ignorant; but as is true of many young people, I had no idea just how ignorant I really was.

I don't think I can adequately express how thankful I am for Packer's book. It was a Godsend to me. It taught me not simply how to approach theology, but how to approach God himself. It shaped my heart and my mind in ways that I'm certain saved me from making even more mistakes than I did in my exuberant, youthfu
Andy Bonikowsky
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereads
Jan4-Feb6, 2021
Jan8-Mar20, 2020, starting the 28th reading, looking forward to it! Finished, always challenging and inspiring!
Jan 2, 2019... starting the 27th reading. Finished on Jan 27, all I can say is WOW, what a blessing!
Jan 13, 2018... reading for the 26th year. 20180204
(Feb 6, 2017... starting this book for the 25th year...20170418)
(Mar 30, 2016) ALMOST LIKE FIREWORKS. Just finished my 24th reading-- can't wait 'till next year again! For years I have considered the 22nd chapter (The Adequ
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My thoughts 30 years ago were: This is one of the best basic theology books available. Don't let the word "theology" make you think it's dry and boring because Packer writes in a fresh and inspiring manner. Every Christian should read this.

This time (2020) I read it through slowly with a new believer (one chapter a week over many months) and did not come away with the same enthusiasm. It is clear why this is a modern Christian classic because Packer combines theology with a deep love for God and
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: office
Aside from simply reading Scripture, this is the quintessential book on understanding the importance of knowing God, particularly in the way He has revealed Himself to us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Packer correctly identifies that as the ultimate priority for every person. This book gives the reader a detailed overview of who God is as seen in His Word, and how we ought to live in response as we seek to know Him more.
Aaron Ventura
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s a classic for a reason.
Talia DeBenedictis
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a book! Maybe this is premature, but likely my top recommended Christian book of the year! Really found this book impacting my spiritual life, my view of God and subsequently myself.

In the first chapter of the book, Packer quotes “A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him” yet encourages us to “turn each truth that we learn about God unto matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God”. I found this to be true as I learned a grea
Heather Wood
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for Christians.
I grew up in a church that made it a priority for us to learn the Bible thoroughly, and I went to Bible college, but I've learned that we need to keep reminding ourselves. Who God is, who we are, what the Gospel is and how it affects our lives. And one great way to do that is read books like this. Even with all my prior knowledge, I got so much out of this book- deeper understanding and new ways of looking at biblical passages and different theological
Abigail Hartman
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
An excellent work that I really should have read much sooner. Packer, in the pointed style of many solidly theological British authors before him, carries the reader through the nature of the Triune God; the attributes or perfections of God; and the work of God through justification, sanctification and glorification. I particularly appreciated his emphasis (certainly not excessive or unbalanced) on the work of the Holy Spirit, frequently overlooked, and on the gift of adoption and its implicatio ...more
Christian Barrett
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you have not read this Christian classic it needs to be on your next up list. This book is so good, Packer writes in a beautiful way that articulates the depth and beauty of God. I can’t say enough positive words about this piece of Christian history. It will be added to my rotation of books that I try to read at least once a year. Practically speaking, this book is a concise for the people systematic theology, and I’d recommend it to pastors, lay people, and non-Christians interested in the ...more
Andrew Pendleton
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though it was originally said of Jonathan Edwards, I feel that this can also be said of Packer in this book: his doctrine was all application, and his application was all doctrine. Therefore “Knowing God” is full of heart-searching application of amazing gospel truths and attributes of God. I especially appreciated and benefitted from his chapters on adoption and God’s guidance in the life of a believer.
Rachel Shearer
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have really struggled with reading apologetics and theology in the past year as I’ve gone through a period of deconstructing and reconstructing my faith. This book was such a blessing. It is so refreshing to read a Christian book where the author doesn’t make you feel like a failure of a believer for struggling with difficult concepts like God’s wrath. Packer wrote with grace and humility, and this is a book I’m sure I’ll regularly revisit.
Rachel {bibliopals}
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Favorite chapter was definitely 19 "Sons of God" speaking on being adopted as a child of God.

"Good parents never simply ignore what their children are saying, nor simply disregard their feelings of need, and neither does God; but often He gives us what we should have asked for, rather than what we actually requested."
Sam Crosbie
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have never come to a book with such high expectations as I did when I picked up this book. In all honesty I don’t think it quite met the expectation I had set for it. However, it was fantastic. Packer presents relevant and applicable truth in a clear and convicting way. The last four chapters are particularly exceptional. Definitely worth its 5 stars and a reread.
Knowlton Murphy
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful. I particularly loved Packer's points about adoption, about God's guidance, and his exposition of Romans 8 at the end. My theological and spiritual indebtedness to Packer not only remains, but increases. ...more
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After Piper's Desiring God, I somewhat dreaded this book, but I was happily surprised and challenged. This is a wonderful book which could easily be read as full of cliches, but if you actually stop to take the cliches seriously, it gets deep and very uncliched very fast. Here's a sampler:
"“Nor is it the spirit of those Christians-alas, they are many-whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing u
Josh Miller
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had always read that this book was a classic book that needed to be read. Now I know why! Packer lays out Biblical fundamentals that are important for every Christian to understand and hold on to for life. I am of the persuasion the reason many Christians are like ships tossed to and fro in so many areas of life is that they do not have Biblical doctrine as a bedrock of their lives. As Ephesians 4 states, they are "carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning cra ...more
Lili P
Oct 04, 2020 marked it as to-read
Stopped at 44%. Will probably come back to this later.
Catherine Gillespie
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, theology
Knowing God by J.I. Packer is one of THE best books on being a Christian that I have ever read. Although Packer’s writing style is accessible and engaging, the topics he deals with are deep and require lots of thought so this is not a book to be read quickly. I took months to read through it in little bits and got so much out of it that I scarcely know where to begin.

The book turns on the central thesis that in order to pursue the Christian life rightly, the Christian’s life focus must be to KNO
David Sarkies
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to David by: Holy Trinity Church
Shelves: christian
Helping the modern world understand God
30 June 2013

This is sort of one of those books that if you have been a Christian for a while you have probably stumbled across or even read. Well, I'm actually not quite so sure about that now because the book was published over 35 years ago and as is typical for our modern Western culture, the older it is the less relevant it becomes. Personally, I really don't think that this book is necessarily all that irrelevant because the teachings that it proposes
May 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
One of the best books on describing God and how much we need to KNOW Him as a crucial aspect of our worship of Him. There is today far too much heretical teaching even within churches, disabling us from worshiping an objective truth, leading us to worship a variety of different Jesuses instead.

It is crucial for any Christian to read books like this, and familiarise themselves not just with the Bible but with a variety of systematic commentaries and test the Word day-in, day-out.

JI Packer hits sh
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Knowing God is a modern Christian classic about the basics of Christian theology, yet it is written at a level that the public can understand. It is pastoral in tone, exhorting the believer to know God truly as He is, not as humans often misconceive. The book is especially good for someone who has never studied theology, but even the person who has will gain something.

Perhaps the most edifying portion of the book comes at the beginning, when Packer stresses the dangers of studying theology for i
Josiah Brown
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
J.I. Packer's plain explanation of the character of God is so easy to understand! He pointed things out to me right and left that I realized I didn't really know about God, or that I didn't really appreciate before. Packer shows clearly how all the things in his book are derived from scripture, and how the scriptures help us to understand and get to know God better. A great book, and one that has changed the way I look at the scriptures, and the Creator Himself. ...more
Ryan Trzeciak
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The highest priority of a person is to know God through Jesus Christ! This book discusses who God is, why we should know him, how to know him, and how knowing him is to impact every moment of every day. So much can be said about this book, but the last chapter, chapter 22, which seeks to plumb the depths of Romans 8, tied it all together with both encouragement, conviction, and exhortation to engage in this highest pursuit of mankind, knowing God!
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What do J. I. Packer, Billy Graham and Richard John Neuhaus have in common? Each was recently named by TIME magazine as among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

Dr. Packer, the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College, was hailed by TIME as “a doctrinal Solomon” among Protestants. “Mediating debates on everything from a particular Bible translation to the acceptabi

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“Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.” 210 likes
“Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you.” 154 likes
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