Professor's Picks

J. I. Packer

Board of Governor's Professor, Theology

Bill asked Dr. Packer for his top five book recommendations and below is what he had to offer. All five books reflect Dr. Packer's early and formative years - including his discovery of the Puritans - while studying at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford.

Hans Boersma

#1) The Bible Buy
#1) The Bible

To play on Luke 10:41, while we sometimes find ourselves “concerned about many books”, for his first choice, Dr. Packer has selected the “one book that is necessary.” Bible translations and editions abound, but today we suggest the jam-packed ESV study Bible, on which Dr. Packer served as Theological Editor. 

#2) The Pilgrim's Progress Buy
#2) The Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan

In a recent lecture at Regent, Dr. Packer remarked that he has been reading the Pilgrim’s Progress once-per-year for quite some time. Have you read Bunyan's classic? 

3) Institutes of the Christian Religion Buy
3) Institutes of the Christian Religion
John Calvin
Dr. Packer labels John Calvin "the finest exegete, the greatest systematic theologian, and the profoundest religious thinker that the Reformation produced. Bible-centered in his teaching, God-centered in his living, and Christ-centered in his faith, he integrated the confessional emphases of Reformation thought - by faith alone, by Scripture alone, by grace alone, by Christ alone, for God's glory alone - with supreme clarity and strength"  (Honouring the People of God, J.I Packer).

4) Holiness Buy
4) Holiness
J.C. Ryle

Undoubtedly the lesser-known of the five, is Holiness by J. C. Ryle. Here we recommend Faithfulness & Holiness: The Witness of J. C. Ryle, An Appreciation by J. I. Packer (Crossway, 2002), which is comprised of both the original edition of Holiness coupled with a terrific survey of Ryle’s life and work by Dr. Packer.

5) The Screwtape Letters Buy
5) The Screwtape Letters
C. S. Lewis
As a young schoolboy, one of Dr. Packer's teachers introduced him to the recently published Screwtape Letters. This was Packer's introduction to Lewis, in the format of imagined letters from one devil to another., which proved to captivate the young man.

Audio Courses and Lectures Buy
Audio Courses and Lectures
J. I. Packer
Have you appreciated Dr. Packer's writings and legacy? Would you have liked to have been his student? Did you know that Regent Audio has over sixty courses and lectures available from Dr. Packer's long and fruitful teaching career here at Regent College? Join our group of over 5500 listeners enjoying weekly sales and exclusive free downloads. New subscribers get a free title from Dr. Packer. You may wish to browse our J. I. Packer collection here.