In light of J.I. Packer’s passing I thought I’d write an article expressing the closeness of my relationship with him. There are many social media posts now that he has passed, so I thought I’d join the general outpouring of somewhat self-referential gratitude for the man.
Packer was the loveliest and most intelligent theologian of our age whom I’ve never met. I would see him smile and lecture from afar. He would gaze upon me as part of the crowd, and I’m certain that he had no idea who I was. In hindsight I think Packer missed the opportunity of close and lasting friendship with me because I never took any of his classes. I’ve gained much from his books. I long for the day when his theological principles have an actual impact upon late modern organised Anglicanism. Most of all, I’m grateful for the uncluttered utter simplicity of Packer’s personal relationship with me.