A Book Summary from Books At a Glance
About the Author
J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of over 40 books, including the classic bestseller Knowing God.
This book represents the reflections of one of evangelicalism’s senior statesmen on the subject of weakness. Packer shares some of his experiences of weakness, and also candidly acknowledges the toll that being elderly has taken on him. Ever the biblical theologian and teacher, Packer uses his personal experiences to illustrate that the Scriptural teaching on weakness is both sound and necessary. This book, however, is more an exposition of biblical and theological themes than it is a narrative of Packer’s life experiences.
Packer spends a significant amount of time expounding Paul’s teaching on weakness in 2 Corinthians. He contrasts Paul’s weakness with the strength of the false teachers. Like Paul, all Christians are called to follow Jesus not because we are strong but because in our weakness God’s power is displayed. Jesus himself lived and died in weakness. Furthermore, the very logic of the gospel is that because we are so morally weak (i.e. sinful) we need Jesus to reconcile us to God. The world rejects this offer of reconciliation, preferring to rest in perceived strength and ability. Christians are still prone to trying to live in personal strength. Money gives an illusion of security and power (i.e. strength), so it is often subtly relied upon instead of God. The antidote is a robust practice of biblically rooted generosity. Furthermore, all believers have a great hope that weakness will yield to glory. One day we will be with the Lord.
Table of Contents
1 About Weakness
2 Christ and the Christian’s Calling
3 Christ and the Christian’s Giving
4 Christ and the Christian’s Hoping
The world exalts strength. People want to be strong and parents want their children to grow up to be strong, capable adults. Furthermore, the Bible tells God’s children to be strong spiritually. The opposite of strength—weakness—is from first to last about inadequacy. In a world plagued by sin we experience many different types of failures and inadequacies. Those who are stronger than others can torment or bully them, making the world a dangerous and painful place. Often those who are weak keenly feel the weight of failure.
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Weakness Is The Way: Life With Christ Our Strength