I have an appreciation of the work that JI Packer did throughout his life. I have read a couple of his books, but in many ways I appreciate the influence that he had on people more than his writing directly. Most of what I have read by Packer, and I think it is just his famous Knowing God, Rediscovering Holiness, Taking God Seriously and Affirming the Apostles’ Creed, is theologically good, but somewhat grumpy in tone and much more Reformed than I am.
I knew that going in and that is in part why it has taken me 9 years after I picked this up free to actually finish it. I have started it twice before and never got past the first couple of chapters.
The format is good. It has short chapters taking the lines of the Apostles’ Creed one by one. There are discussion questions for small group discussion. I think exploration of what we as Christians have historically affirmed is an important part of being a Christian. I advocated doing a discussion of the Apostles’ Creed in an earlier small group and started reading this, but ultimately went with the 2 hour version of a 12 hour documentary on the Apostles Creed because we wanted a video series.
When I read or study the Apostles’ Creed I want to read it and study it precisely because it is a nearly universal affirmation of the historic Christian Church. Understanding how it is viewed by different streams of Christianity is what I want, but this is really only a Reformed perspective. So it is helpful in looking at how JI Packer and Reformed believers in his stream understand the Apostles’ Creed, but not particularly helpful in placing the Apostles’ Creed in historic or theological perspective more broadly.
It is a very quick read. So if you find it for free and want a quick overview of the Apostles’ Creed it isn’t bad. But I would not point to it as a great introduction to the Apostles’ Creed.