“Unraveling the Mysteries of Holy Living” says the subtitle of this theologically penetrating volume by Packer and published by Hendrickson Publishers. While that might be misleading to some degree since he is a writer who would command a large audience if he wrote a new volume on that subject, this is actually a collection of articles all across Mr. Packer’s career. Don’t let that scare you away. While on the surface that sounds dull, in this case it succeeds.
First, someone has chosen well in assembling this collection. While it would not be necessary to read the chapters in order in a collection of this sort, there even seems to be good logic in that ordering. They speak to our generation without surrendering faithfulness to Scripture. That is not to say, that there are not a few chapters where I strongly disagree with him. He sees predestination as strongly as any popular writer today. Still, he is incredibly gracious and gets one really thinking.
In some strange way he reminds me of C. S. Lewis and Lloyd-Jones in writing style, even if the three would disagree at points. It is all the metadiscourse in their writings. If you and I wrote so much about our writing as we wrote, it would destroy us. In some way they do it and hold your attention firmly in their grips.
My favorite chapters were the ones on revival and Christian living. The very last chapter was one of the best, so be sure to go all the way to the end. Another interesting feature was the way he addressed those with charismatic beliefs. I never saw anyone so gracious while disagreeing with them. I think he went even farther than I could in finding their good traits.
For what this volume sets out to give, it delivers!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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