James Innell Packer (b. July 22, 1926) is a conservative evangelical Anglican, author, and theologian in the Calvinist tradition. He currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.
The son of a clerk for the Great Western Railway, Packer won a scholarship to Oxford University. It was as a student at Oxford where he first met C.S. Lewis whose teachings would become a major influence in his life. In a meeting of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, Packer committed his life to Christian service.
After briefly teaching Greek at Oak Hill College in London, Packer entered Wycliffe Hall to study theology and was ordained in the Anglican church. He became recognized as a leader in the Evangelical movement in the Church of England. In 1978, he signed the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which affirmed the conservative position on inerrancy.
In 1979, Packer moved to Vancouver to take up a position with Regent College. A prolific writer and frequent lecturer, Packer is widely regarded in Protestant circles as one of the most important theologians and church historians of the modern era. He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today. In recent years, he has become an outspoken proponent of the ecumenical movement but believes that unity should not come at the expense of orthodox Protestant doctrine. Nonetheless, his advocacy of ecumenicism has brought sharp criticism from some conservatives.
Selected works Edit
- Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight, with Carolyn Nystrom (2006) ISBN 0830833455
- Keep In Step With The Spirit: Finding Fullness In Our Walk With God (1984, reprinted 2005) ISBN 0801065585
- One Faith: The Evangelical Consensus, with Thomas Oden (2004) ISBN 0830832394
- A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (1994) ISBN 0891078193
- Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (2001) ISBN 0842339604
- Knowing God (1973, reprinted 1993) ISBN 083081650X
- Collected Shorter Writings in four volumes
- Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (1991) ISBN 083081339X
- Fundamentalism and the Word of God (1958; reprinted 1984) ISBN 0802811477
Further reading Edit
- Timothy George, ed. J. I. Packer and the Evangelical Future: The Impact of His Life and Thought. Baker Academic, 2009. ISBN 080103387X
- Alister McGrath, J. I. Packer: A Biography. Baker, 1998. ISBN 0801011574
- Alister McGrath, ed. The J.I. Packer Collection: Selected and Introduced by Alister McGrath. IVP, 1999. ISBN 0830822879
- Don J. Payne, The Theology of the Christian Life in J.I. Packer's Thought: Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, and the Doctrine of Sanctification. Studies in Evangelical History and Thought. Paternoster, 2007. ISBN 1842273973