we can’t imagine the resurrection bodies in which we
will be experiencing the specifics – experiences that will
bring joy, that will bring us a sense of our being loved,
that we will be stronger than we have ever known in this
world, and more permanent too. The sense that this is
what we were made for, the sense that this is wonderful
and I don’t want it to ever stop. Well, it never will stop.
All of that is, it seems to me, very clear in the New
Testament. Fellowship with the saints who are with
us is going to be wonderful, just as fellowship with the
Saviour is going to be wonderful.
One can’t imagine the specifics. I may say that the
boldest and fullest attempt ever made was by Richard
Baxter the Puritan in 1650 in his first book The Saints’
Everlasting Rest. I’ve gone through it with some care. I
sometimes go back to it. He wonderfully conveys the
sense that it’s going to be wonderful.
FT: Dr. Packer, what do you wish you knew about God
as a young man that you know now?
JP: This is I think a scholar’s answer to the question,
rather than the ordinary Joe, having discovered after
decades of neglect how good the Fathers are, the Christian writers for the first six Christian centuries. I wish
that I hadn’t been prejudiced against them at the beginning of my Christian life.
There is so much that is helpful in the [Early Church]
Fathers, because of the focus on the health-giving realities
of worship, prayer, fellowship with God. The Fathers are
just very strong on that aspect of things because the New
Testament is very strong on that aspect of things.
They were very God-centred, very Christ-centred,
and very strong minded in their recognition that in the
Christian life you never know what is coming.
For some of us it’s actually going to be martyrdom
that may be what is coming for us. And it doesn’t make
a difference. Think of the glory of heaven, until the time
comes for God to summon us to heaven.
Make sure your life here is one of love of neighbor
and love of God. We are a flabby lot in comparison.
FT: In the very moving video promotion of your book,
we see you writing on an old-fashioned typewriter. Do
you really work on a typewriter?
JP: I have the last typewriter to be manufactured all
metal and that is what I write on.
FT: You’re kidding.
JP: No I am not. In the last era of typewriters the bodies
were made of plastic. That was planned obsolescence
with a vengeance. The plastic warped, the type got out
of line. What I produce still looks like the product of
a new typewriter and it’s the best part of 40 years old.
Well…you said that.
FT: Dr. Packer, thank you so much. FT
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