J. I. Packer's Living Epitaph

J.I. Packer has been greatly used of God for many years. His books have served the people of God in the church of Christ for many years. I have read many of them, including his classic Knowing God numerous times. He refers to himself as an ecclesial theologian, i.e. a theologian of the church not the academy, and an adult catechist, i.e., one who teaches and instructs adults.

In conjunction with the release of a couple of new biographies of Packer, a 20 minute documentary was filmed of him. Although we do not determine what others will say about our legacy, what we say and the way we live our lives are what determine that legacy. We desire to be faithful to the Lord, entrusting ourselves to him, and we do not become concerned about what others will or will not say about us. The “well done” is sought by the Lord alone.

When Packer was asked how he would like to be remembered, he stated the following:

As I look back on the life that I have lived, I would like to be remembered as a voice, a voice that focused on

  • the authority of the Bible,
  • the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • the wonder of his substitutionary sacrifice and atonement for our sins

I would like to be remembered as a voice calling Christian people to holiness and challenging lapses in Christian moral standards.

I should like to be remembered as someone who was always courteous in controversy, but without compromise.

I ask you to thank God with me for the way that he has led me and I wish, hope, pray that you will enjoy the same clear leading from him and the same help in doing the tasks that he sets you that I have enjoyed.

And if your joy matches my joy as we continue in our Christian lives, well, you will be blessed indeed.

My gratitude to the Lord for this mentor/model from a distance only increases as I read these words from Packer.

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