J. I. Packer, 89, On Losing Sight But Seeing Christ

Ivan Mesa | January 14, 2016

“Over Christmas macular degeneration struck so that I can no longer read or write.” 

For many who have appreciated and benefited from James Innell Packer’s writing ministry—the author of more than 300 books, journal articles, book reviews, dictionary entries, and innumerable forewords—this will come as especially saddening news. 

Packer, 89, will no longer be able to write as he has before or travel or do any regular preaching. Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease that causes the loss of vision. While for now Packer still retains peripheral vision, it’s doubtful he will ever regain the ability to read. (Justin Taylor explains this in some detail.)

“God knows what he’s doing,” Packer recently told me in a phone interview. Rather than being paralyzed by fear or self-pity, Packer is confident that “this comes as a clear indication from headquarters. And I take it from him.”

Whether his response stems more from the British stiff upper lip or decades’ worth of sanctification, Packer is living out a truth he has long believed and proclaimed: God is sovereign and good in all things. 

“God knows what he’s up to,” says the author of Knowing God and Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. “And I’ve had enough experiences of his goodness…

To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/j-i-packer-89-on-losing-sight-but-seeing-christ.