How JI Packer shaped my faith and work

Evangelical thought leaders on the theologian who sparked their love of Scripture

On July 17, J. I. Packer passed away at the age of 93. He was “one of the most famous and influential evangelical leaders of our time,”

“Christianity Today” has carried inputs from 20 evangelical thought leaders on the theologian who inspired their seminary studies, sparked their love of Scripture, and took them out for spicy food. Here are two from the east side of the Atlantic.

## N. T. Wright, senior research fellow, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University

In the 1960s, three men set an example of robustly intelligent evangelicalism: John Stott, Michael Green, and Jim Packer. Widely discounted by the liberal establishment, they carved out space for my generation to develop in new ways. Jim, the intellectual giant of the three, encouraged me from our first meeting in 1969 to my final one 50 years later. I thank God for his friendship, his courage, his intellectual rigor, his prayerfulness, his gentle humor, and above all, his love of the Lord and of Scripture.

## Alister E. McGrath, Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, University of Oxford

I shall miss Jim Packer. One of the many things I learned from him was the importance of learning from others who have made the journey of faith before us and passed on their wisdom. Jim’s love of the Puritans was not some form of whimsical nostalgia for the past but a firm belief in the ability of their theology to enrich and nourish Christians today. It is by being rooted in the past that we are best equipped to engage the present. Yet Jim did more than point to these theological riches; he manifested them in his own teaching and life. Theology was never an optional extra or an intellectual luxury or a hobby for Jim. It safeguarded the heartbeat of our faith.