This book offers a full and balanced portrait of a diligent and faithful theologian. But because J. I. Packer's theology has always been pastoral, practical, catechetical, and eminently readable - instead of recondite, esoteric, or merely academic - it is appropriate that this welcome volume is itself down-to-earth, accessible, and reader friendly. Leland Ryken, as a veteran student of the Puritans, is the ideal author to write about the most influential Puritan of our time.
-Mark A. Noll,
Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
This book is a fascinating, insightful, and, to my mind, precisely accurate portrait of the same Jim Packer whom I have known for more than thirty-five years. What a joy to read this book and be challenged by Packer's remarkable life!
Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary
Without a doubt, this is now the definitive, most up-to-date biography of J. I. Packer, and it deserves high praise. With the sensitivity, wisdom, and sheer humanity that a fine biographer needs, Leland Ryken allows us to see the life, mind, and heart of this quiet but highly influential man. Traversing the notoriously complex and hazardous terrain of UK and US evangelicalism with impressive sure-footedness, Ryken not only helps us understand the man and his context, but ourselves as evangelicals.
Director of Union and Senior Lecturer, Wales Evangelical School of Theology
A friendly portrait of a great evangelical, the man behind the headlines, full of insight into Packer's genius as a brilliant communicator of the Reformed faith.
Tutor and Latimer Research Fellow, Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford
It is such a pleasure to read Leland Ryken's biography of Dr. Jim Packer. Personally, I have been deeply blessed by Dr. Packer's writing and teaching ministry for over fifty years since, as a student, I picked up "Fundamentalism" and the Word of God. I can also testify that his Knowing God was most often nominated by my seminary students as a work that profoundly influenced them. To be able to read about the man himself and to understand how God gifted and shaped him has been a moving and edifying experience. This is a good book about a great man.
Former Archbishop, Sydney, Australia; Former Principal, Moore College
J. I. Packer is chief among the cadre of impressive British thinkers who have had a shaping influence on evangelical Christianity in North America over the past half-century. Indeed, his influence girdles the globe, and it shows no sign of abating as this great theologian approaches his tenth decade. This new biography builds on earlier Packer studies, but it offers distinctive insights into the humanity and ministry of a life lived well, with grace abounding and wisdom from above.
Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School
For evangelicals, J. I. Packer stands as one of the foremost theological leaders of this generation. His writings have illuminated the minds of countless Christians with the clarity of the Bible's teaching. He has answered our questions, provoked our thinking, expanded our understanding, and always pointed us to Christ. I'm so glad that Crossway has produced this biography of the man behind the words.
-Phillip D. Jensen,
Evangelist and Bible Teacher, Two Ways Ministries
Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for nearly 50 years. He has authored or edited over fifty books, including The Word of God in English and A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society's annual meetings and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.