Skip to content ↓

Why Don’t You Read a Modern-Day Classic With Me?

Reading Classics Together Collection cover image

Many times over the years I have invited readers of this blog to join me in a reading project, mostly as part of a program I’ve called Reading Classics Together. We’ve read some incredible books together —Holiness by J.C. Ryle, Christianity & Liberalism by Gresham Machen, The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards, The Cross of Christ by John Stott, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, and a whole lot more. Most recently we read through The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel. I think it is time to read another classic.

I would like to return to modern times and read a book that I believe will prove to be an enduring classic–J.I. Packer’s Knowing God. This is a book I have been meaning to read but, for one reason or another, have never gotten to. And that makes it an ideal candidate for Reading Classics Together.

First published in 1973, Knowing God has gone on to sell more than 1 million copies, and helped establish Packer as one of the most important voices of twentieth-century Evangelicalism. In 2006, the editors at Christianity Today selected it as one of the top 50 books that have shaped Evangelicals. The publisher says this: “Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to transform and enrich the Christian understanding of God. Explaining both who God is and how we can relate to him, Packer divides his book into three sections: The first directs our attention to how and why we know God, the second to the attributes of God and the third to the benefits enjoyed by those who know him intimately. This guide leads readers into a greater understanding of God while providing advice to gaining a closer relationship with him as a result.”

From all accounts, it is a book that demands both reading and re-reading. So why don’t you get yourself a copy, or dig out the copy you have lying around, and let’s read it together. I was given a copy as a wedding gift and now, 17 years later, am finally going to read it.

I propose that we read 2 chapters a week. The chapters are quite short, so this pace should not be too demanding. We will begin on August 20. That gives you 3 weeks to track down a copy of the book and to read the first 2 chapters. Then, on August 20, visit my website and I will prepare an article on those first 2 chapters. At that point you are free to add comments of your own or direct us to a place where you have written about them. Then we will read 2 chapters per week until the book is finished— a process that will take 11 weeks. And it’s that simple!

Knowing God is very widely available. You can find it used at just about any online retailer, or buy it new at:

  • Amazon (in many formats ranging from discount paperback to deluxe hardcover, from Kindle to audiobook)
  • Westminster Books (paperback, hardcover)

The book is still under copyright so, unlike some of the older works, it is not (legally) available free online.

Let’s Get Started

Again, I will share my first post on August 20. All you need to do is obtain a copy of the book and read chapters 1 and 2 prior to August 20.

Why don’t you leave a comment below if you plan to join the program (or if you’ve got any questions).

  • Unite in Prayer with Persecuted Believers

    This week the blog is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. “Can I have a Bible?” The guard studied Qasem. “If you paint the walls of every cell in this prison, I’ll get you a Bible.” “Where is the paint?” And so Qasem, enduring what would ultimately be a three-year sentence for running house churches throughout…

  • Tell Me

    Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

    If you have spent any time at all on YouTube, you have probably seen videos of people hearing for the first time or people seeing color for the first time—videos of people who, through the miracles of modern science, have senses restored that had either been missing altogether or that had become dull through illness…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 26)

    A La Carte: How not to apply the Bible / 30 people in the New Testament confirmed / Taylor Swift and Christianity / But I did everything right / 10 reasons the Old Testament matters to Christians / Kindle deals / and more.

  • We All Have To Do With God

    We All Have To Do With God

    Every one of us must deal with God. Every one of us must, at some time, face God. Every one of us must be prepared to give an account to God. For, as Scripture says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (February 24)

    A La Carte: Wherever he leads, he’ll go / Britain’s loneliest sheep / Helping your teen with porn / How do the Arminian and Calvinist views of election differ? / Exposing the good in digital distractions / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Coram Deo Pastors Conference)

    This week the blog and this giveaway are sponsored by the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. Dear brother pastor, In a spirit of prayerful expectation, I want to invite you to the Coram Deo Pastors Conference. This new event is hosted by Clearly Reformed (a new ministry I help to lead) and Christ Covenant Church (where…