Blindness Ends Theologian's J.I. Packer's Ministry, but 'God Knows What He's Doing'

J.I. Packer
J.I. Packer (Courtesy)

J.I. Packer, one of the most influential Christian theologians of the modern era, says blindness is forcing him to step down from his speaking and writing ministry.

In an exclusive interview with The Gospel Coalition he explains that macular degeneration, an eye disease, has led to such a loss of vision that he is unable to read or write.

Packer, 89, says he will no longer do regular preaching or traveling.

"God knows what He's doing," Packer told The Gospel Coalition. "This comes as a clear indication from headquarters and I take it from Him."

In the interview, Packer also spoke of Ecclesiastes, one of his favorite books.

"The author of Ecclesiastes has taught me that it is folly to suppose that you can plan life and master it, and you will get hurt if you try," he said. "You must acknowledge the sovereignty of God and leave the wisdom to Him."

Packer has written some of the most popular and influential Christian books of the 20th century, including Knowing God.

He has also worked to defend the inerrancy of Scripture and the biblical view of marriage. In 1978, he signed the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, a move that strongly rebuked a growing emphasis on a liberal interpretation of Scripture.

He also protested when his denomination, the Anglican Church of Canada, embraced same-sex marriage. Packer left the denomination in 2002 and has worked closely with the more theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America.

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