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Week #11 - Knowing God Study Questions - These Inward Trials - Chapter 21



To recognize the harm a certain type of evangelical ministry causes.


1. In this chapter Packer is criticizing a certain type of evangelical ministry. Why is this ministry cruel? What makes it an evangelical ministry? What, then, is wrong with it?

2. According to the “Misapplied Doctrine” section, what does this ministry stress about the difference becoming a Christian makes in a person’s life? Even if these things are true, what is wrong with this emphasis?

3. What does this statement mean: “In order to appeal compellingly to human wistfulness, the type of ministry we are examining allows itself to promise… more than God has undertaken to perform in this world”?

4. What effect does this promise produce?

5. Why is there usually a difference between the experience of a very young Christian and of an older one?

6. What is your spiritual age? How does Packer help you understand your current situation?

7. What remedy does the ministry discussed here propose for the struggles in the Christian life?

8. When is this remedy the right one? When is it disastrous? Why?

9. At the beginning of the “Losing Sight of Grace” section, Packer levels several criticisms. What are they?

10. What is grace? What is its purpose? How does God accomplish this purpose?

11. Packer says the main curse of this kind of teaching is unreality. What reality does John Newton’s hymn describe?

12. Where have you encountered the teaching Packer is opposing?


What is the primary error of the ministry Packer is criticizing?

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