JI Packer dies aged 93

JI Packer, author of one of the bestselling Christian books of all time, Knowing God

Leading Christian thinker JI Packer has died at the age of 93. 

The renowned theologian passed on Friday of natural causes in Vancouver, Canada. 

His passing was announced by Regent College, Vancouver, where he was the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology.

Paying tribute, Regent College said he was a "treasured" faculty member.

"For all his accolades and accomplishments, Jim's focus was always, always, on Christ. He said the Book of Common Prayer's Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer services at the beginning and end of each day, often arising at 4am to do so," it said.

"Even recovering from a broken pelvis in his last year, he would sink to his knees to pray preceding the Eucharist."

Although Packer was influenced by the works of John Calvin and the English Puritans, he was able to write about God in a way that was accessible to everyone. 

An enduring testament to this is Knowing God, the book that remains his best known work, in which he writes about the character of God. 

Published in 1973, the book has sold over a million and a half copies.  It is one of 47 books that the theologian wrote on the Christian faith. 

Born near Gloucester, England, the Anglican theologian also served as editor of the English Standard Version Bible and theological editor for the English Standard Version Study Bible. 

Christians have been paying the tribute eminent theologian. 

JD Greear, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, said: "Knowing God remains one of the most important books I've ever read—and one I have returned to multiple times in my life. Thank you God for the life of JI Packer."

Gavin Calver, head of the UK Evangelical Alliance, said: "JI Packer was a giant of a man who made a huge impact. His book 'Knowing God' helped so many understand the Lord on a deeper level and love Him and His Word more. Well done good and faithful servant, what a legacy you leave behind. May you rest in peace and rise in glory."

Krish Kandiah, Home for Good founder, said: "Sad to hear about the death of JI Packer I quote him literally every week. I had the privilege to interview him a couple of times and I loved his passion for both the theology of adoption and its practice."

Theologian Albert Mohler called Packer "one of the most important figures in English-speaking evangelicalism".

"His book, 'Knowing God,' came to me as a lifeline when I was an 18-year-old Christian," he said.

Packer is survived by his wife Kit, whom he married in 1954, their three children, Ruth, Naomi, and Martin, and two grandsons.