J. I. Packer's Knowing God is a towering work of understanding God as He has revealed Himself to humanity. In my opinion this should be required reading for all Christians at some point in our lives: it has opened my eyes to aspects of God and His relationship with us that where unknown to me. I have come away with a much richer understanding of what I believe and a better understanding of how to talk about my faith and belief. After reading this book (and pondering and going back to reread...) I have been able to clear away a lot of confusion in my faith which has allowed me to continue growing instead of being stalled on for any number of reason for which I could find no clarification. For example I would particularly recommend the chapter on God's attribute of Love, which helped untie the knots I had gotten into listening to others, reading works that, alas were not grounded well in scripture ("let's cut his out and redefine this...") and hearing sermons from priests and pastors who have decided to get along with the world rather than face the tide of counter current. I feel much more confident being in the world without succumbing to the world. As a point of reference, I have given copies of this away, just randomly, as someone has shown and interest, and now have repurchased this book maybe 4 times. That's not only how good I think it is, but shows how interested others are when they see and hear about it.
This profoundly written work answers questions about God and Christ Jesus that are fundamental to those who have spent some time inspecting thier faith for weak spots. Furthermore, Packer does not take the easy road only applying the scriptures that support his perspective as he includes inconsistent biblical perspectives and forms solid and logical conclusions. This book is a must read for those looking to solidify their faith by knowing why they believe, building foundational knowlege they can share with others.
The aim of Knowing God is precisely that, for the reader to come to know God as He is presented in the Bible, and by God Himself. Each chapter focuses on a different attribute of God, and quite often extends into how that attribute relates to us and His plan of salvation.
As a whole, this is an excellent book. There is no greater desire than to know God better and more intimately. All of the information presented within these pages is Gospel-centered and Bible-based, and deserves to be studied fully.
However, I often felt like I was reading the same thing again and again. There were sections that I felt could have been shorter, or areas that I felt would have been better referenced for further individual study than elaborated, only to end up repeating ideas and scriptural references. I think it made the book feel much longer than it actually is, and maybe even a little disjointed at times.
All of that said, I did take much away from reading this book. Anything that moves you to be closer to God deserves a read. To close on a positive note, my favorite chapters come toward the end of the book, chapters twenty and twenty-one. These two chapters focus on how God communicates with and guides us, and the dangers of the preaching of Gods grace without His wrath, respectively. These were the chapters that I went through the quickest, without the feeling of too much repetition.