How to grow in Christ

How to grow in Christ November 25, 2022

Image: Crossway

In 1994, J.I. Packer published Growing in Christ as a guide for believers who want to, well, grow in Christ. In the preface, Packer suggests that he had to modify the title so that lazy/ignorant Americans (my phrasing, not his–he’s far too much of a gentleman for that) would read it because if he had called it a “catechism” or a “systematic theology” no one would have read it. But by calling it “growing in Christ” he could get people to take up and read a book of short, practical, expositions on the Scriptural principles behind The Apostles Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments.

And you should absolutely read this. Each chapter is really only 3-5 pages and includes Scripture references, discussion questions (always got to aim at that small group market, right?), and occasionally snippets of hymns that illustrate Packer’s points.

There are of course a few points worth quibbling over here. I’m not a paedobaptist, so I’m going to disagree with about a paragraph of his exposition of baptism. And as a Baptist I’m going to be hesitant (especially as a Baptist in 2022) about some of Pakcer’s last chapter where he talks about the necessity of a Christian foundation for the state. That is, at best, a complex statement that requires lots of nuance and clarification (for more of which see the ongoing walk through Kuyper on this blog).

Those are minor quibbles (and the same quibbles I’ve got with Calvin’s Institutes) for a wonderful book that should absolutely be on your shelf.

Highly recommended.

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast an Amazon Associate (which is linked in this blog), and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

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