FINISHING OUR COURSE WITH JOY: Guidance From God For Engaging With Our Aging – J.I. Packer (2014)

packerGetting old is something everyone can relate to.  But at eighty-eight years of age, J.I. Packer is uniquely qualified to share biblical principles that concern the subject of aging.

Most people know that Dr. Packer is a first-rate theologian who has influenced untold thousands of people over the years.  Packer shares his God-given gifts and experience which include a tenure longer than most people can imagine in his latest book, Finishing Our Course: Guidelines For Engaging With Our Aging.

In a style that we’ve grown to love over the years, Packer expresses his heart in a youthful wittiness which is combined with a depth of theological and emotional maturity: “Aging is not for wimps,” he says.

Dr. Packer is careful to remind readers of the biblical perspective on aging: “The Bible’s view is that aging, under God and by grace, will bring wisdom, that is, an enlarged capacity for discerning, choosing, and encouraging.”  He makes a strong case for being productive in the golden years: “And my contention is going to be that, so far as our bodily health allows, we should aim to be found running the last lap of the race of our Christian life, as we would say, flat out.  The final sprint, so I urge, should be a sprint indeed.”

Such a worldview runs against conventional wisdom.  The world notion is growing old includes focusing on self, spending money on self.  There is a not so subtle brand of narcissism that is plaguing many adults; a narcissism that needs to be rooted out and replaced with God-centered ambition.  Packer helps eradicate this selfishness which is all too common in American culture, especially.

I found Finishing Our Course to be helpful on so many levels.  It contains the biblical wisdom that is necessary to inform and motivate anyone who desires to finish well – all to the glory of God.

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