J.I. Packer, an influential theologian, died at the age of 93 earlier today. The British theologian influenced many, but Packer received upon his record the dark, ugly blot of having signed the apostate document, Evangelicals and Catholics Together (EIT), in 1994.
Thankfully as of today, Packer is no longer together with Catholics.
Born in 1926 in England, Packer was the son of a blue-collar worker who received a scholarship from the University of Oxford. It was during this time that he became intrigued with the teachings of brilliant but theologically troubled thinker, C.S. Lewis, and was born-again in a meeting of InterVarsity.
After teaching Greek at Oak Hill College in London, he applied to study theology. In 1952 he was ordained a deacon and then a priest (1953) in the Church of England. From there, he eventually came to serve at Trinity College in Bristol before moving to Vancouver to serve at Regent College.
Packer, always an intellectual, was the forbear of the Evangelical Intelligentsia movement within evangelicalism, leaned heavily toward socinianism, and became an editor of the apostate post-Christian magazine, Christianity Today. His closest progeny, the hoity-toity leftists at the Gospel Coalition, will surely lament his death loudly.
Marring his record as a theologian was his signing of EiT, which was opposed by orthodox theologians like D.James Kennedy, R.C. Sproul, and John MacArthur. The document sought “common ground” with Romanists in regard to various Christian doctrines like the Trinity, but glossed over differences on the doctrine of Justification, as though it were a secondary matter. Tragically, the document affirmed Papists as fellow Christians.
Additionally, Packer supported Theistic Evolution, denying the Biblical account of creation and sided wrongly time and again against the theological sound stances of Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones in the great evangelical schism of the latter twentieth century. Packer will, forever, be known as a shameless ecumenist who was even willing to set aside the most essential Christian doctrines in the name of unity.
We are glad that Packer is with Christ, if he held firm to his Confession. But today he might have found out that ecumenism has its own eternal limits.
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