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Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God

J I Packer



Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God

J I Packer


If God is in control of everything, can Christians sit back and not bother to evangelize? Or does active evangelism imply that God is not really sovereign at all?

In this classic study, J. I. Packer shows how false both these attitudes are. In a careful review of the biblical evidence, he demonstrates how a right understanding of God’s sovereignty is not so much a barrier to evangelism as an incentive and powerful support for it.

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    Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God

  • Author(s)

    J I Packer

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5.0 based on 2 reviews

Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God

The topic of human responsibility juxtaposed with the sovereignty of God kept coming up, and so I was really pleased to find this book on a bookstall. It is both weighty (being written by such an esteemed writer as JI Packer) and accessible (being largely based on a (spoken) conference address). Packer doesn’t pull any punches, but takes us on a review of what evangelism is and is not, what God’s roles are and what our roles are, what elements are essential to a true gospel presentation, and how we should prioritise evangelism more in our personal and corporate lives. This quote is, I think, indicative of the style and the content: “We should not be held back by the thought that if [people] are not elect, they will not believe us, and our efforts to covert them will fail. That is true; but it is none of our business and should make no difference to our action… [It] is always wrong to abstain from doing good for fear that it might not be appreciated” (Page 108) As you would expect from Packer, there are scripture references throughout, with some helpful exposition of the Greek where relevant. The physical book has lovely, clear, largeish print, and the pages go by quickly. There are so many helpful things in this book and I can’t list them all here. But I agree with the previous reviewer, that it would be good if more people would read this before planning or undertaking evangelistic endeavours: it will be a great encourager and motivator and I highly commend it to all of you.


Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God

In this book, Packer examines the relationship between God's Sovereignty and evangelistic methods. He begins with a detailed account of the sovereignty of God and how that should affect Christians in the way that they pray. He then shows, however, that belief in God's sovereignty, does not cancel out human responsibility. He gives us a chapter on biblical evangelism and the evangelistic message that needs to be presented. Finally, he concludes with a chapter in which he shows how belief in the sovereignty of God should affect evangelism. It should enhance evangelistic efforts, giving more confidence and strength to Christians in this matter. This is one of Packer's earliest works. Although only a short book it displays much of the clarity and precision for which Packer has become well known and respected. This is an excellent little book, which should help to clarify some controversial issues. If only some more Christians would get hold of it today before engaging in evangelistic outreach.

A. Young

Also in this series

Knowing God
Concise Theology

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