J. I. Packer outlines the differences between faith and belief to help you grow in Christ. While "belief" suggests bare opinion, "faith," whether in a car, a patent medicine, a protégé, a doctor, or a marriage partner, is a matter of treating the person or thing as trustworthy and committing yourself accordingly. The same is true of faith in God, and in a more far-reaching way.
In Growing in Christ, Packer offers readers an easy-to-follow road map for studying theological topics, including the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and baptism. Each chapter helps both new and lifelong believers examine what Packer calls “the intellectual ABCs” of the gospel so they can grow in faith.
“Christianity is not instinctive to anyone, nor is it picked up casually without effort. It is a faith that has to be learned, and therefore taught, and so some sort of systematic instruction (catechumenate) is an essential part of a church’s life.” (Page xii)
“But Christian faith only begins when we attend to God’s self-disclosure in Christ and in Scripture, where we meet him as the Creator who ‘commands all men everywhere to repent’ and to ‘believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ … as he has commanded us’ (Acts 17:30; 1 John 3:23; cf. John 6:28 ff.). Christian faith means hearing, noting, and doing what God says.” (Page 20)
“How can one help doubters? First, by explaining the problem area (for doubts often arise from misunderstanding); second, by exhibiting the reasonableness of Christian belief at that point, and the grounds for embracing it (for Christian beliefs, though above reason, are not against it); third, by exploring what prompts the doubts (for doubts are never rationally compelling, and hesitations about Christianity usually have more to do with likes and dislikes, hurt feelings, and social, intellectual, and cultural snobbery than the doubters are aware).” (Page 21)
“I show faith in my car by relying on it to get me places, and in my doctor by submitting to his treatment. And I show faith in God by bowing to his claim to rule and manage me; by receiving Jesus Christ, his Son, as my own Lord and Savior; and by relying on his promise to bless me here and hereafter. This is the meaning of response to the offer and demand of the God of the Creed.” (Page 20)
The Logos edition of J. I. Packer's classic Growing in Christ equips you for even better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Create a custom reading plan and track your progress no matter what device you're using. While reading, utilize the notes tool for highlighting key passages and jotting down your thoughts as you read and organize quote selections in a clippings document. Whether you are preparing to lead group study, reading or your own, or researching and writing a paper for a class, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use Growing in Christ and the rest of your digital library effectively and efficiently by searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Dan and Jyothy Thomas