Dr. JI Packer died today at the age of 93. Dr. Packer was a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America, and helped develop the official catechism titled “To Be a Christian.”
Christianity Today described Dr. Packer as one of the most famous and influential evangelical leaders of our time: “When asked late in life what his final words to the church might be, Packer replied, ‘I think I can boil it down to four words: Glorify Christ every way.’”
A few years ago, Justin Taylor of Crossway had the opportunity to ask Dr. Packer how he wanted to be remembered:
He paused, in his characteristic way before answering any question, no matter how routine, and responded:
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, and 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.
Archbishop Beach commented, “This is a great loss for the Church on earth, and a great joy for the Church in Heaven. He was a man who walked his talk and impacted all those around him to be more like Jesus. His books, especially Knowing God, impacted me greatly.”
Join us in giving thanks to God for Dr. Packer’s faithful ministry.