Two Gospel Witnesses

Two premier English theologians passed away last month — Nicholas Lash and J. I. Packer. Through their writings both men played outsized roles at key stages in my theological education, and I remain grateful for their instruction.

May we long remember them both and the gospel to which their labors witnessed.

  1. Nicholas Lash

There are, in my opinion, few more succinct summaries of the Gospel than this: We have been made capable of friendship. The ‘we’ is unrestricted, it refers to everybody, past and present, near and far and, by analogy, to every feature of that web of life of which we form a part. We ‘have been’ made: the passive voice protects the primacy of grace, the givenness of things. Made ‘capable of’ friendship, rather than ‘made friends,’ for it is as duty that we hear the Word’s announcement of the way all things are made and made to be.

from Theology for Pilgrims (2008), 49.

2. J. I. Packer

“were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption through propitiation, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.”

from Knowing God (1973), 214.

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