James Innell Packer (b. July 22, 1926) is a conservative
Anglican, author, and
theologian in the
Calvinist tradition. He currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at
Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.
The son of a clerk for the Great Western Railway, Packer won a scholarship to Oxford University. It was as a student at Oxford where he first met C.S. Lewis whose teachings would become a major influence in his life. In a meeting
of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, Packer committed his life to Christian service.
After briefly teaching Greek at Oak Hill College in London, Packer entered Wycliffe Hall to study theology and was ordained in the
Anglican church. He became recognized as a leader in the Evangelical movement in the Church of England. In 1978, he signed the
Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which affirmed the conservative position on
In 1979, Packer moved to Vancouver to take up a position with Regent College. A prolific writer and frequent lecturer, Packer is widely regarded in Protestant circles as one of the most important theologians and church historians of the modern era. He
is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today. In recent years, he has become an outspoken proponent of the ecumenical movement but believes that unity should not come at the expense of orthodox Protestant
doctrine. Nonetheless, his advocacy of ecumenicism has brought sharp criticism from some conservatives.
Packer served as general editor for the
English Standard Version of the Bible (2001), an Evangelical revision of the
Revised Standard Version of 1971.
- Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight, with Carolyn Nystrom (2006)
- Keep In Step With The Spirit: Finding Fullness In Our Walk With God (1984, reprinted 2005)
- One Faith: The Evangelical Consensus, with
Thomas Oden (2004)
- A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (1994)
- Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs (2001)
- Knowing God (1973, reprinted 1993)
- Collected Shorter Writings in four volumes
- Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (1991)
- Fundamentalism and the Word of God (1958; reprinted 1984)
- Timothy George, ed.
J. I. Packer and the Evangelical Future: The Impact of His Life and Thought. Baker Academic, 2009.
- Alister McGrath,
J. I. Packer: A Biography. Baker, 1998.
- Alister McGrath, ed.
The J.I. Packer Collection: Selected and Introduced by Alister McGrath. IVP, 1999.
- Don J. Payne,
The Theology of the Christian Life in J.I. Packer's Thought: Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, and the Doctrine of Sanctification. Studies in Evangelical History and Thought. Paternoster, 2007.