Wednesday, October 1, 2008

J.I. Packer Speaks (Isn't there a famous story about an emperor’s clothes?)

One of the most exciting things I’ve learned since our internet access was restored is that young James Innell Packer has been addressing the Anglican District of Virginia’s second conference.

Now admittedly I was initially surprised to learn the Virginians had invited J.I. to come and harangue them, since one would have thought given their alliance with Nigeria and CANA, combined with their long tradition of recognising black rights and opposing discrimination in any form, they'd have invited an African to address them, especially seeing as how countries like Nigeria and Rwanda have so much to teach us in the west about Christian compassion, love and harmony, but when I read little David Virtue’s account of the proceedings I could not help but reconsider.

In a Virtue On Line exclusive (which actually means someone persuaded the matron of the institution to which little David is currently committed that it would be reasonably safe to give him a day pass, and bought him a Greyhound ticket so that he could attend the press conference) J.I. Packer amply shows why he’s famous for writing a book often considered the Christian equivalent of the “Brief History of Time” thing that everyone bought and nobody ever actually finished reading. Except that Hawkin’s book was exciting compared to Packer’s “Knowing God”, and twenty years after it was published nobody buys it, whereas our favourite schismatic is still making so much in royalties out of his tome that even Tom Wright can’t think about the money without feeling his throat tighten.

Which is, of course, why it’s the greatest Christian book ever written, and far more authoritative than the Bible. Judging by the quotes David Virtue was able to remember from the event, young Packer hasn’t lost any of his way with words, as these gems illustrate:

"You never come to the end of the realities that Scripture presents to us. Keep learning and keep on applying what you learn to life." Which is why we know we’re correct, and that nobody outside of our schism has anything to teach us

"We are walking home to heaven." That’s why we must insist that we’re holier than everyone else; because justification by grace actually means we're doing the work ourselves, and we’ll never get there if we start worrying about the log in our own eye.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury is an honest man and by being honest he has positioned himself over a barrel…" And therein lies the problem. What the Communion needs is a dishonest Archbishop of Canterbury – and clearly J.I. Packer and his fellow neo-Nigerians know just where to find one.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

11 comments :

Fred Schwartz said...

Fr. Christian, here is my favorite:

"We (evangelicals) are not in the habit of giving glory to God. "

I believe that is because they are so busy with giving glory to Peter Jensen and Peter Akinola and Robert Duncan and John David Merer Schofield and Gregory Venables and of course JI Packer.

David |Dah • veed| said...

These virtueless idiots live in la-la land.

he experienced the shock of being defrocked by a revisionist Canadian Anglican bishop and then re-ordained by an orthodox Anglican Archbishop from another jurisdiction.

Re-ordained?!?!

Packer: I have three words, VOTE FOR IT. Pittsburgh will be No. 3 diocese to leave The Episcopal Church. I hope they do come under Archbishop of the Southern Cone into a world of sunshine and peace.

Duh, which was number 2?!?!

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

Yes Dahveed, I was also perturbed by news of Packer's "re-ordination". As a rule men like him should never be defrocked, since they find the experience (and even the expression) altogether too stimulating.

I was under the impression that he's just had his license to officiate canceled - but naturally Master Virtue would have found the concept of defrocking the man far too obsessively exciting to ignore, and as is often the case at VOL fantasies merged with dear David's own version of reality.

Fred - thanks for alerting me to that wonderful Packerism. It's a true classic.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was looking for GAFCON, and got the antithesis, instead.

Losers!, go home.

And do try to come up with your own name, rather than steal from another.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

... and it's comments like yours, my dear little anonymous, that make everything here feel all worthwhile!

BTW we are at home here, and that sound you can hear is us laughing at you, not with you. Although I will agree, there is something truly shabby about stealing property which belongs to others. It's even worse when that property is a church building, don't you think my child?

Fred Schwartz said...

anonymous said:

"Losers!, go home."

I would like to point out that 1, we are home, you came here and b, you folks are leaving because you THINK you cannot win so you are taking our football with you as you go home.

As we used to say, "Dozo meatball, see you in the fall if I see you at all."

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose, dr troll, that you've sunk a dime into church growth yourself, have you?

Anyway, I have an excellent sense of humour myself...you are not the only one laughing.

For those who have stumbled into this ----hole, do search again for the real thing. You are in clone and mockery land - totally satisfying for some, but not for me.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

My delightfully incendiary little Anonymous:

The problem with apostate liberals such as yourself is always the same; you speak without thinking. Were you to spend a little time reading (a curious pastime much valued in the days before teaching tapes) you would see that everything here at St. Onuphrius is structured around church growth. Indeed, like any true GAFCON church it occupies a position hitherto devoted to the Sacraments, Worship, and Pastoral Care. Had you studied my important teaching on the subject here you would understand this, and given my use of the word “buttocks” in the title (a topic I know is always dear to the heart and other places of those who would deny the power of Bible-based ministry) I’m quite frankly surprised you hadn’t been drawn there earlier.

I’ve no doubt you are also laughing, the Bible teaches that those without fear are prone to such cackling. Yet the Scriptures also teach that the Lord finds mirth in those such as you and in turn I share the mirth of Proverbs 26:31.

So you see, my apostate swine, the Scriptures say we’re right and you’re wrong. Of course you’re unsatisfied here – we teach the Bible. And it’ll take more than some anonymous pagan talking about dimes to change that.

Anonymous said...

You're a real sizzling wit, doc.
However, I will check out your links!

I am intrigued, and I have some time to kill.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

Behold eveyone: see how my important ministry has caused an apostate Scripture-denying heathen to actually begin examining the Scriptures!!!

You can be sure that sort of thing doesn't happen too often Stand Firm now, does it?!!

joseph said...

Fred:

Methinks the quote is a call to repentance, and intended that way, given the sentence which precedes and the sentence which follows. I think Packer is rightly highlighting the tendency in contemporary evangelicalism to become personality focused.