IVP’s Knowing God by J.I. Packer book review – Rating 9.9


Knowing God Cover2

This is a picture of the dust cover of my copy.

Sometimes, you will hear the world “classic” when
someone speaks of a book that transcends across multiple generations and decades while still being very applicable.  “Knowing God” was written by J.I. Packer in 1973 and was 
published by InterVarsity Press in the U.S.    It truly is one of those “classics” that you hear about.  It is so applicable to how we can and should understand God.  The version that I got had a slightly different dust cover than what Amazon and the Publisher showed on their websites, but then again, it’s not all about the dust cover – it’s more about the amazing content in this book.
I would give this book a 9.9 out of my normal 10 point rating scale.  On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a 5 star rating.

In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by InterVarsity Press to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


“Knowing God” is at times a challenging book to read.  At times, the wording you have to think about a little more than some of the more contemporary books that are written to a slightly lower reading level.  However, at times, the reading for me was a little slow simply due to how much good “meat” is in these pages.  It really is a treasure trove of Biblical wisdom in respect of knowing the character of God.  I guess one might even classify this almost as a textbook that you will want to read multiple times over the years.  J.I. Packer has a legacy of many years of serving in God’s kingdom and continues to minister and teach many of us today.  I would highly recommend this book, but understand that for some  people, it will take some time to get through the 279 pages in the main text of the book.  Packer’s book helps us to actually know God and get closer to Him.  The edition that I got was the deluxe hardcover edition.  I guarantee it will be worth your time and money to get a copy of this book.  It even has a study guide at the back that goes through each chapter.  Very well done – kudos to IVP and J.I. Packer.  I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from IVP and all opinions are my own.


Type of Book:  Spiritual Growth
Publisher: IVP (InterVarsity Press)  #IVPress @ivpress
Publication Date: 20 Anv edition (July 23, 1993)
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0830816514
Price: At the time of writing this, you can get the hardcover version new from Amazon.com for $24.48 (suggested retail is $22.40 per the publisher)  http://www.amazon.com/Knowing-God-J-I-Packer/dp/0830816518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452703815&sr=8-1&keywords=9780830816514#
Or if you would rather save a little money, you can get the paperback version for about half the price.  The Deluxe Hardcover version I had for this review includes a complete study guide with Americanized text and a three-part durable cloth binding.

NOTE: You can also get a copy of the study guide and also a study guide journal as well to go along with the main book if you want.  You can check those out here:
 – Knowing God Study Guide: http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=1649
 – Knowing God Devotional Journal (A One Year Guide): http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=3739

Physical Characteristics:
•Hardcover – three-part cloth binding
•Smythe sewn
•312 pages
•Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches

Goal of Book:

To me, it seems that the authors’ goal is to point out the incorrect perspective of God that leads to ignorance of God which the author feels weakens the church.  Packer clearly has an understanding of who God is and does an amazing job unpacking some of that knowledge to pass it along to us.

My Favorite Part:

For me, the part that I appreciated the most… well… there is so much, but one topic did rise above the rest in my mind – the fact that we need to focus on the actual character of God to truly know him in the correct perspective.  Too often, the church focuses on the promises or wonderful gifts that God has bestowed upon us.  This book helps to gain a correct perspective about God and his holy character.  Truly, it is a book that if you digest it, it will be life changing for you.

OK, I have to throw in one more part as my favorite – Chapter 18: The Heart of the Gospel.  In this chapter, Packer does a fantastic job nailing down what the gospel is in relation to mankind and the character of God.  Superbly written!

My Least Favorite Part:

I’m not sure I can classify this as a “least favorite” part, but often I had to re-read portions of the book to really let it sink in since there is so much “meat” in this book.  That is the reason that it took me so long to get this review completed.


While there were parts that were a little more challenging to read, I honestly can recommend this book.  I will be using my copy for many years to come. If you would like to know God better, especially his true character, I would highly recommend this book to you.  Some of you may have to be a little patient and/or diligent in reading , but trust me, it will be worth the work.

Who Would Enjoy This Book:

Possibly a little to hard of a read for some people if they have a hard time focusing on a book with a lot of very valuable “meat” in it.  If you wish to learn more about God and who He is so you can grow closer to Him and appreciate Him more, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.


Preface (1993)  – the Americanized version
Preface (1973)
Chapter 1 –
 The Study of God
Chapter 2 – The People Who Know Their God
Chapter 3 – Knowing and Being Known
Chapter 4 – The Only True God
Chapter 5 – God Incarnate
Chapter 6 – He Shall Testify
Chapter 7 – God Unchanging
Chapter 8 – The Majesty of God
Chapter 9 – God Only Wise
Chapter 10 –God’s Wisdom and Ours
Chapter 11 –Thy Word Is Truth
Chapter 12 –The Love of God
Chapter 13 –The Grace of God
Chapter 14 –
God the Judge
Chapter 15 –
The Wrath of God
Chapter 16 –
Goodness and Severity
Chapter 17 –
The Jealous God
Chapter 18 –
The Heart of the Gospel
Chapter 19 –
Sons of God
Chapter 20 –Thou Our Guide
Chapter 21 –
These Inward Trials
Chapter 22 –The Adequacy of God
Study Guide
Index of Biblical Passages

About the Publisher:

From the publisher’s website:  As an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing resources that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of Life..  InterVarsity Press is based in Westmont, IL.


Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael


This entry was posted in IVP, J.I. Packer, Other Book Reviews >>, Spiritual Growth Book Reviews, Spiritual Life, Studying and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to IVP’s Knowing God by J.I. Packer book review – Rating 9.9

  1. Pingback: Moody Publishers’ The Pursuit of God book review – Rating 9.4 | The Christian Reviewer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.