Seth Udinski, FISM News
On July 22, 1926, one of the most faithful and effective preachers of God’s Word in the 20th century was born in the region of Gloucestershire, England. He was J.I Packer, and throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, he would stand tall as a man of great faithfulness and strong biblical theology.
Packer grew up in England going to the Crypt School, an English secondary school dating back to the Renaissance. There, he was introduced to several works of titans from the Christian faith, including C.S. Lewis. Packer trusted in Christ in 1944 at the same location where another English theologian, George Whitfield, had done so over 200 years earlier.
The foundation for Packer’s ministry was laid. He dove into the theology of the Puritans, especially John Owen, the great English reformer of the 17th century. He became a pastor at a very young age, 22 years old, and sat under the preaching of Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones every week. Several years later, he met his wife Kit, with whom they would have three adopted children.
Packer’s legacy as a pastor would be in his fierce stand for the innerancy and authority of the Word of God. His first published book, Fundamentalism and the Word of God (1958), would encourage evangelicals in an age where truth was beginning to be slain in the street to stand on the sure testimony of scripture. Along with several other pastors, he was influential in producing the Chicago Statement on Biblical Innerancy in 1977.
Packer wrote many influential books and essays, including Evangelism and the Soverignty of God (1971), Knowing God (1973), and Saved by His Precious Blood: An Introduction to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ” (1958). After 70 years of pastoral ministry, Packer went home to meet his Lord on July 17, 2020 at the age of 93.