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Evangelism & The Sovereignty Of God [Paperback]

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Item Number 27142  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   126
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  083081339X  
EAN  9780830813391  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

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

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

Publishers Description
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?J.I. Packer shows in this classic study how both of these attitudes are false. In a careful review of the biblical evidence, he shows 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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More About J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.

Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks ( Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.

Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.

C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the ninth president of Southern Seminary and as the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology. Considered a leader among American evangelicals by Time and Christianity Today magazines, Dr. Mohler hosts a daily radio program for the Salem Radio Network and also writes a popular daily commentary on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Both can be accessed at

J. I. Packer currently resides in Vancouver, BC.

J. I. Packer has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Christian Basics Bible Studies
  2. Knowing the Bible
  3. Lifeguide Bible Studies
  4. Master Reference Collection
  5. Moody Classics
  6. Shorter Writings of J. I. Packer
  7. Theology of Lordship
  8. Through the Year Devotionals
  9. Treasures of John Owen for Today's Readers

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Packer, J.I.   [106  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General   [2161  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Pressing Into God  Nov 5, 2006
This is a remarkable and thought-provoking volume. Prof. Packer develops the view that there is an antinomy between human responsibility and the sovereignty of God. These understandings do not contradict each other and in fact exist alongside each other. We need to hold both ideas in our minds as we consider Holy Scripture and reflect on the truths of God's reality.
The work also discusses evangelism in light of this "double" understanding. The sovereignty of God in no way detracts from the need for evangelism. In fact, he makes a beautiful point in noting that were in not for God's sovereignty (and limited atonement) our evangelistic efforts would always fail. No one would come to God if it were just up to the evangelist's human zeal to win souls. A heavenly intervention is needed for souls to be saved. Because we know that Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ is effectually calling souls to Him, we can have no crisis of doubt that our efforts are in vain.
While he does not wish to discount the modern semi-Pelagian or Pelagian approach to evangelism as being totally unworthy, at the same time, he is clearly pointing to the reformed understanding as the better of the two evangelistic understandings. Thus, I would have wished for a little less diplomatic language when expositing the two views of evangelism. He clearly does not like evangelistic services that pump up people to answer an altar call or charismatic approaches that are even more emotional, even feverish. Yet, he doesn't come out and say so. I wish he had.
Also, I very much doubt if most readers will be able to hold the ideas of God's sovereignty and unconditional election in their minds alongside the equally true and cogent thought of moral responsibility. Ultimately, one side of the antinomy or the other will be weighted more heavily. Yet, at the theoretical or conceptual level, Prof. Packer's attempt is true and even noble.
His reticence notwithstanding the book is a marvelous reflection on the issues of responsibility, God's sovereignty, and the need for evangelism. I recommend that all Christians read it, and believe everyone will be wiser for the time spent.
126 pages of the best stuff I've read  Sep 18, 2006
Wow! What a great book. Currently struggling with a rejection when I applied for a minsitry position in our church I began looking for books to help me deal with my feelings (imagine, because I'm a Calvinist, I am unsuitable to serve in what is viewed as a "leadership" position in my church...backup guitar player). I found this book in my search for understanding and I think I see a little clearer why I have been tried by God. He obviously wanted me to study and get a better understanding of His word and my beliefs. Well, this book really helped! I can much better answer the naysayers that accuse Calvinists of not being evangelical (as I am). I have a much clearer perspective on what evangelizing is meant to do, and what God wants from us when we witness for Christ. If you're reading this review, then quit wasting your time reading me, and read J.I Packer! You will not be sorry!
Extremely helpful book for putting God's sovereignty into perspective.  Aug 4, 2006
This book has been around quite along time (I recall reading it in college in the late '70's) and decided to pick up a newer edition and read it again. The book does a great job defining man's role in God's sovereign plan. I know that Jim Packer is a Calvinist and this book minimizes the conflicting viewpoints between Calvinists and Armenians regarding monergism and synergism in the context of conversion and salvation. To Packer's credit, he does a great job finding a common ground between the two mindsets and goes from there stating man's responsibility in God's eternal plan. My favorite part of the book was Packer's overview of what are good ways and bad ways of evangelizing.

I highly recommend this book because of the invaluable message, but my only minor critism is the way that the topics are presented. There are only three chapters in this 126 page book. Some of the chapters should have been divided up into additional chapters so that it would be easier to reference certain ideas and concepts.
Reflections on Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God   Mar 24, 2006
This book was an eye opener. To define the Biblical fact that people are responsible for accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and also Christians are responsible to harold (evangelize)Jesus so that all can make that decision. All this in parallel with the Biblical fact that God is sovereign over all. This was at first difficult to accept then as I read further and the Holy Spirit stimulated my faith, I was able to accept this mystery and see my place in the process.
What a great book! I would (and have) recommend it to pastors and laymen on both sides of the discussion.
Pretty good book on the relationship between evangelism and God's sovereignty  Feb 26, 2006
As a Calvinist, do you ever wonder how one can reconcile the tension that exists between evangelism and the sovereignty of God? If you want the answer, this book is the right place to start. Though more pastorally and practically oriented it is also a book that is highly theological.

The book is short (126 pages) and contains only four chapters. Thus, it is not a difficult book to read (you can read this book in three or four sittings). The main chapter of the book, however, is not about the interrelationship between human responsibility and divine sovereignty but about evangelism (chap. 3). It contains one of the most useful and pastorally wise information on evangelism you will ever receive in any book. Though the book is slightly dated it still speaks loudly for the contemporary church. It is much more useful than a lot of the "Purpose Driven" stuff you will find in shelves today.

Also, I particularly liked how Packer resolves the dilemma between human responsibility and divine sovereignty in the first two chapters. Though many will object to Packer's preference for the term "antinomy" over the word "paradox", he still convincingly argues that the Bible teaches BOTH human responsibility and divine sovereignty. It is not as if humans are half responsible and God is responsible for the other half of a particular action or decision, but that BOTH human beings and God are FULLY responsible. Packer's view of Calvinism does not fall into the pitfalls of the Clarkian variety (where human logic rules supreme over Scripture), but the Dutch Calvinist variety (where paradox or antinomy are given their place). Though many hardcore Calvinists will not be satisfied with Packer's proposal it is more biblical than the modernistic Calvinism found in many Reformed fundamentalist circles.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. Pastors, missionaries, theological students, and even laypeople will find this book useful and informative.

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