Packer entered the world on July 22, 1926, in Gloucester, England. His father worked as a clerk for the Great Western Railway and his mother was a teacher. When Packer grew up, he earned a scholarship to Oxford University. While at Corpus Christi College, various people and happenings occurred in Packer's life that influenced him forever. He became acquainted with C.S. Lewis; he delved into English Puritan writers; and, he turned to the Lord, vowing to serve Him through Christian service.
After obtaining a bachelor's degree in 1948 and a master's degree in 1952, Packer received ordination as a deacon and then as a priest in the Church of England. He took on a job tutoring at Tyndale Hall in Bristol, England, and penned his first book in the defense of evangelicals called Fundamentalism and the Word of God. Packer served at several English schools, including his brief principalship at Tyndale Hall. As his school merged with two other schools, Packer became an Associate Principal and had time to write his popular work Knowing God.
Having dealt with much criticism for his views and with controversy while he tried to mend fences between religious factions, Packer accepted a position in 1979 in Vancouver, Canada, at Regent College, an Evangelical school. Here he taught historical and systematic theology, and with his help, Regent College grew to become a very large graduate theological school. Packer often tries to mediate between unhappy evangelicals and churches. He preaches, lecturers, and writes about theological and devotional issues and serves as a contributor and senior editor for Christianity Today. A renowned individual, though not without his critics, Packer continues speaking and writing.
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