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,” according to Leland Ryken, professor emeritus of English at Wheaton College and author of J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life.
To mark the moment, we asked 20 Christian thought leaders to answer this question: How did J. I. Packer shape your faith and work? Some of the respondents were his close friends and colleagues, others studied under him, and still others knew him only through his writing. Here’s what they had to say.
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.
Joel Scandrett, assistant professor of historical theology, Trinity School for Ministry:
“Chicken vindaloo, as hot as you can make it!” That was one of the more unanticipated sentences I heard from J. I. Packer’s lips during the years we worked together on the catechism of the Anglican Church in North America. He loved Indian food, and we would go to his favorite restaurant whenever we were in Vancouver. He always ordered chicken vindaloo with white wine.
I'm saddened by his passing but indescribably grateful for the chance to have worked with him and known him as ...1
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