Cecil Frazier
Cecil Frazier asked:

Chapter 3 commentary?

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Kate In our society - not just American, in my case, but also much of the world influenced by Christianity - we have a tendency to throw the phrase "knowing God" around flippantly. The homeless and needy need to "know God", the emotionally driven spiritualists "know God" from a religious experience, and many churches throw around the phrase in a way that does not encourage true intimacy and knowledge, but a cliche.

In Chapter 3, Packer talks about what it means to genuinely know God and discusses many of the barriers, tendencies, and truths of this narrow path. In many ways it is a chapter long thesis statement he takes apart throughout the rest of his book.

1. Knowing God does not narrow your world into a dour set of sufferings we have to stoically bear until we meet our Judge. (This idea was common in the 1800s and carried into our time)

2. Knowing God does expand your world, remove boredom, and set on fire a desire to love, honor, and obey Him. Without God everything is a bore; He alone can catch our imagination and claim our allegiance without disappointment. He has swept us into a cosmic epic played throughout the ages.

3. He is not a neighbor, peer, something unknowable or inanimate, but he is above us. To know Him means he first knew us.

4. Knowing God involves knowing God's Word, the Bible.

5. You can only know God if you know Jesus.

6. Knowing about God does not mean you know God.

7. Knowing God is a matter of personal dealing - each person has their own relationship

8. Knowing God is a matter of personal involvement - Mind, will, and feeling. Like really knowing people, you must involve all of yourself in knowing God. With God you can't hide though, and bits of you are broken before him. Sometimes it is a mind obsessed with doubt or the emotions unable to feel for good things after years of abuse. Knowing God means he will clean those wounds and they will heal in time, but it is not usually a comfortable process.

- On the emotional note he puts - There are two camps - extremes - either God is an emotional experience or you can't truly 'know God' if your emotions are too high. Both are self absorbed, one dependent upon their own feelings about God and the other on lofty thoughts. Like all things there is a balance. The things is when people are broken in one area they favor the other, like a crippled leg, because it hurts to heal.

After all of this what really matters as Packer wrote, "is not... the fact that I know God, but the larger fact... that He knows me."

To sum it up, "There is tremendous relief in knowing His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me , so that no discovery can disillusion him about me , in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me. "

The first time I read this I couldn't finish the book because this chapter was so absorbing. It answered questions I didn't know how to word and expressed my own self absorbed crippled state.

The rest of the book is just as beautiful if only because Packer constantly draws us back to Christ.
Amy Claros yes wow thank you this statment is truly true and wonderful
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