Here's Why James I. Packer Loves Mark Jones' Knowing Christ Book
The Puritans loved the Bible and they loved to gaze into it. They also loved the Lord Jesus, who is, of course, the central figure in the Bible. They meditated on him, centered their thoughts on him, and carefully studied everything the scriptures say about him. They exalted him constantly and consciously in their sermons, their praises and their prayers. Mark Jones, a recognized scholar of Puritan thought, loves the Bible and its Christ, as do the Puritan writers who have dealt with these two subjects. On the basis of this threefold love, Mark wrote a remarkable exposition of the Savior according to the classical Reformed tradition and especially from the point of view of the Puritans. This is a book intended to enrich our 21st century souls and it is an honor to present it.
But this is where the problem lies - unless we are the problem. Indeed, our Western souls are small and our appetite for this kind of food is very meager compared to what it would need for good spiritual health. We would do well to ask ourselves a few questions.
Have we to this day read to the end a book that describes the Savior as the brightest lights of the historic Reformed firmament saw Him? Here is such a book: do we want to read it?
Do we have the habit of contemplating Jesus in solitude, letting the Scriptures show us the many facets of his glory and encourage in us the worship that follows? This book will help us get into that habit.
Do we cultivate wonder in the presence of one who calls us his brothers and sisters and who has taken our place under the gruesome reality of divine retribution for our sins? Do we tell ourselves, and do we tell him how lost we would be without him? Or do we as Christians often think of other things? This book will lead us on the right path.
Do we constantly recognize the presence of Christ, who keeps his promise to be always with us through the Holy Spirit, whether or not we cherish his gracious and triumphant company? This book will help us take better ownership of what we already have.
Thanks Mark Jones; you are doing us a great service. May we all benefit from the riches of these life-giving truths and the wisdom you demonstrate in the pages that follow.
- James I. Packer
Preface to the book, Knowing Christ by Mark Jones