Now he truly knows

“Theologian and author J I Packer, one of the foremost evangelical thinkers and writers of the 20th Century, has died at the age of 93.

Dr Packer, who died just five days short of his 94th birthday, ranks alongside John Stott as a giant of Anglican evangelicalism.

Packer was known to millions of Christians around the world for his popular classic, Knowing God, published in the 1970s. But he was already an established scholar of note because of his earlier works in the 1950s and 60s, Fundamentalism and the Word of God and Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. …

‘We have lost a great champion of the faith in the death of Dr Jim Packer,’ said Archbishop Glenn Davies in a statement after the news was announced.”

This story by Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net quotes this tribute from Archbishop Glenn Davies.

Albert Mohler gives thanks for J I Packer

Albert Mohler has recorded this impromptu thanksgiving for J I Packer.

J. I. Packer (1926–2020)

“J. I. Packer went to be with the Lord on July 17, 2020. He was 93 years old.

Packer was a lifelong Anglican churchman who spent the first half of his life in England and the second half in Canada but who was perhaps most popular in the United States. …

Throughout his nearly 70 years of writing and ministry, he stressed the importance of knowing and praying to and communing with the triune God. He called for the church to take holiness and repentance seriously by walking in the Spirit and fighting against indwelling sin. He defended biblical authority and championed the cause of disciple-making catechesis. And he reintroduced multiple generations to his beloved Puritan forebears, whom he regarded as the Redwoods of the Christian faith.”

– Justin Taylor has this tribute to J I Packer, who has been called home.

We thank God for this faithful servant (and Honorary Canon of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney). Image: Crossway.

See also:

J I Packer in his own words – videos from Crossway.

“Packer’s life-changing childhood experience came at the age of seven when he was chased out of the schoolyard by a bully onto the busy London Road in Gloucester, where he was struck by a bread van and sustained a serious head injury. He carried a visible dent in the side of his head for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, Packer was uncomplaining and accepting of what providence brought into his life from childhood on.

Much more important than Packer’s accident was his conversion to Christ, which happened within two weeks of his matriculation as an undergraduate at Oxford University. Packer committed his life to Christ on October 22, 1944, while attending an evangelistic service sponsored by the campus InterVarsity chapter. …” – Christianity Today.

COVID claims African church leader

“The spread of COVID-19 on the African continent continues with the death of Congolese Anglican Bishop Désiré Mukanirwa, who fell ill two weeks ago.

As well as the shocking loss for his wife Claudaline, their four children and his Diocese of Goma, Bishop Mukanirwa is being mourned as far away as Australia. …”

Tragic news from the Diocese of Goma – via SydneyAnglicans.net.

Changes coming for Matthias Media

From Matthias Media:

“Matthias Media Chief Executive Officer, Ian Carmichael, has announced he will be stepping down from the CEO role later this year.

‘After over three decades of day-to-day involvement in Matthias Media’s publishing ministry, it is time for me to step aside for someone younger, and for me to find new ways to contribute to the mission of this organization that I remain deeply committed to – the mission of being useful and encouraging  partners in making disciples of the Lord Jesus.’

Mr Carmichael was part of the team that started Matthias Media back in 1988 as an activity of St Matthias’ Anglican Church in Sydney, along with Editor, Tony Payne, and Founder, Phillip Jensen. …”

Read the full announcement here. Our prayerful best wishes go to Ian and to Matthias Media.

Bible-touring bishop to hang up his boots

“There’s a wistful note in Bishop Paul Barnett’s voice when he says that, after 30 years, his tour-leading days with his wife Anita are done. …

The 84-year-old historian and author has loved bringing the Bible to life for people, enjoying their fellowship and making deep friendships with their ‘much loved’ travel guides.”

– The Barnetts’ tours have been such a blessing to many. Judy Adamson at SydneyAnglicans.net has the story.

A Glimpse of a Disciplined Life

“One thing that always fascinates me when I read biographies is learning of other people’s habits. That’s especially true when the subject is extremely disciplined.

Tim Chester’s Stott on the Christian Life is not quite a biography of John Stott, but it’s not far off. He gives an interesting glimpse of Stott’s normal, well-disciplined routines. Here is what his life looked like…”

Encouragement from Challies.com.

(Photo: Langham Partnership.)

Dr Bruce Harris honoured with Order of Australia

“A World War II veteran, history professor and valued Sydney evangelical has been honoured with an AM in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Dr Bruce Harris was made a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for significant service to higher education, to veterans and to the community’…”

– Good news from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Francis I. Andersen, Scholar who used computers to study the Bible

“Francis I. Andersen, an Australian scholar who spent more than 35 years analyzing the syntax of the Hebrew Bible and created a powerful computer dictionary of the Scriptures’ clauses, phrases, and text segments, died last month at the age of 94. …”

– Christianity Today has this obituary for Frank Anderson, former Vice Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne.

Photo: The Andersen-Forbes website.

Ridley College gives thanks to God for Maurice Betteridge

Maurice Betteridge, Principal of Ridley College in Melbourne from 1979-1992, has been called home.

“His death this week will be grieved by many Christian leaders in different parts of the globe.

Maurice was a New Zealander, the second to be appointed as Principal of Ridley with Stuart Barton Babbage the first. …

He had studied at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, served as Chaplain to the University of New England, and based in Sydney was General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society from 1973-1978.”

– Rhys Bezzant at Ridley College pays tribute to Maurice Betteridge.

CMS Australia also pays tribute. Image credit: Ridley College.

“Eternity to be proclaimed above Sydney Harbour” — Friday 5th June

Here’s a media release relating to a planned documentary on Arthur Stace:

“20 years after ETERNITY was shared with the world at the Sydney Millennium Fireworks and in the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the one-word sermon will appear above the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Friday 5 June at 8.30am. (and again at 3:00pm)

Read more

What it means that one of our time’s greatest scientists is a Christian

“National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins — who knows the reference — is not prone to laying up treasures on Earth. But the Templeton Prize, which honors the role of science in the advance of meaning, is still a rather nice bauble to have. …”

The Washington Post has this piece on Dr. Francis Collins.

See also:

Photo: National Institutes of Health.

Ravi Zacharias (1946–2020)

“Today Sarah Davis, the CEO of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, announced that God has called her father, Ravi Zacharias, to his eternal rest.

Today we affirm, as my dad recited and Baxter penned, ‘But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, and I shall be with Him.’ My dad, at 74, has ‘join[ed] with the triumphant saints that sing [his] Savior’s praise.’ We who knew and loved him celebrate his life, and more importantly, his Savior. …”

News via Justin Taylor.

(Image: Ravi Zacharias speaking at Passion 2020.)

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