20 Zitate aus … J. I. Packer über das christliche Leben

Vor wenigen Tagen ist auf theoblog meine Rezension zu "Packer on the Christian Life" (Crossway, 2015) erschienen. Die Zitate-Auswahl ist etwas ausführlicher als geplant ausgefallen. Das liegt daran, dass das Buch eine Fundgrube tiefer Einsichten in das christliche Leben darstellt.

I am the product of a fairly steady theological growth. Starting with the sovereign-grace, pastorally developed theology of Martin Luther, John Calvin, the English reformers, and the evangelical tradition from Puritans Owen and Baxter through Whitefield, Spurgeon, and J. C. Ryle to Pink and Lloyd-Jones, and holding to this as the Western Bible-believer’s basic heritage, I have come within this frame increasingly to appreciate the patristic fathers, most of all Tertullian, the Cappadocians, and Augustine, and with them Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, and the Oxford Inklings. (22, zit. Packer)

For J. I. Packer, all theological reflection, to be of value, must issue in holiness of life in which the love of God and his glory are preeminent. Put another way, theology and spirituality are inseparable. (24)

The quest for one’s own pleasure in some shape or form is the rule and driving force of the egocentric life. (26, zit. Packer) … The purpose of the Christian life is God’s glory, not ours. “He does not exist for our sake, but we for his.” ,,, the desire to gratify self is at the root of moral weaknesses and shortcomings. (ebd.)

I would argue that atonement must come first because Packer demands it—not by direct assertion but in the way he conceives of Christ’s atoning sacrifice as the foundation and source of everything in one’s Christian experience. (29)

Wrath is the attribute expressed in righteous judgment. It is holiness rejecting sin. (32, zit. Packer)

… people outside the community of faith are commonly unwilling to believe that there is in God a holy antipathy against sin, a righteous hatred of evil, which prompts him to exact just retribution when his law is broken. (33)

There is no room for grace if there is no suggestion of dire consequences merited by sin. (35)

To affirm penal substitution is to say that believers are in debt to Christ specifically for this, and that this is the mainspring of all their joy, peace, and praise both now and for eternity. (39)

Christianity is . . . by its very nature an assertive, dogmatic faith. (46, zit. Packer) … how central to the theology of J. I. Packer is the notion of revealed, propositional truth as we find it in Scripture.

(S)ubjectivists say that what is at issue is not the authority of Scripture, but its interpretation. (48)

Everything that follows in this volume on the nature of Christian living is grounded upon and flows out of a belief that what God has revealed in the written Word is binding on the consciences of all Christians and gives shape to their behavior on every issue. (50)

“Holy Scripture should be thought of as God preaching—God preaching to me every time I read or hear any part of it—God the Father preaching God the Son in the power of God the Holy Spirit.” (54, zit. Packer)

There can be no authentically Christian living apart from the Word of God exerting its power over our minds and directing and shaping our wills. (59)

(H)is greatest contribution may well be his near-exhaustive and thoroughly biblical portrayal of the nature, necessity, and means for growth in Christlike holiness of life. (63)

Holiness… not as a gift to be received by a passive act of faith, but by trusting engagement of the regenerated will in active obedience as the will is empowered by the Holy Spirit. (70)

Packer’s robust belief in the centrality of local church life is a much-needed corrective to the Lone Ranger mentality of many within the professing Christian world today. … Those who live in isolation from the body of Christ will inevitably suffer moral and spiritual atrophy.  (81)

Sanctification … is holistic and encompasses the entirety of life, from internal motivation to external conduct. (92)

(S)elf-denial to which Jesus calls his followers is the abandonment of egocentricity and those patterns of behavior that begin and end with the praise of one’s own identity and efforts. (94)

His law is now our family code and no longer an oppressive burden as it was before we were converted. (96)

Joy is the invariable fruit of having been made an heir of glory and being brought into a relationship of forgiveness and freedom. (106)

(Röm 7) Packer believes that what we read here is a description of “the healthy Christian in honest and realistic self-assessment… (113)

(I)nward assurance, says Packer, must always be checked and monitored by external moral and spiritual tests such as we find in 1 John. (118)

(C)haracter must always take precedence over charisma. (125)

(T)he most significant gifts in the church’s life (preaching, teaching, leadership, counsel, support) are ordinarily natural abilities sanctified. (126)

Our lack of love for praying may be an indication of all-round spiritual debility. (135)

(Zeichen- und Wundergabe) The issue is whether such ought to be expected as the normative manner. (158)

Suffering, he says, is “the Christian’s road home.” (163)

All of life, every activity and emotion, including grief, “must be performed, and all experiences received and responded to, in a way that honors God…” (173)

Knowing God is of central importance in living a life that is both productive for oneself and pleasing to God. (177)

(the) transitoriness of this life, to think of it, with all its richness, as essentially the gymnasium and dressing-room where we are prepared for heaven,… (185)

When we are on our knees, we know that it is not we who control the world. (191)

Evangelism is necessary because Scripture teaches that no one can be saved without hearing the gospel and consciously believing it. (193)

(Im Alter) energetically engage, breathlessly run, relentlessly repent, passionately believe, fervently worship, and zealously seek after God and his holiness. (197)