Talks on the BCP by the Revd. Dr. J.I. Packer
In 1993 the Vancouver Branch of the PBSC and St. John’s Church in Vancouver jointly organized a Lenten series of lectures by world-renowned theologian and writer Dr. James Packer, who was at the time a professor of theology at Regent College. The series was entitled “Our Anglican Heritage”, and over the course of five talks Dr. Packer explored various aspects of Anglican theology and the Book of Common Prayer.
These talks were originally recorded on VHS tapes at a rather low resolution, and over the years some deterioration of the tapes has unfortunately occurred in places. Nevertheless, Dr. Packer’s insights are as fresh and vivid as ever, and the talks radiate his deep faith, his profound knowledge of the Bible, and his personal warmth, modesty and sense of humour.
Further details and videos below.
1. Worship and Life
In this introductory talk Dr. Packer reflects upon the human condition in general, and on the Prayer Book as “worship for real people, living a real Christian life, who want to be real with God all the way”.
2. Principles of the Prayer Book
Dr. Packer shows how the Prayer Book services were carefully constructed to be Christ-centred, soaked in the Scriptures, conscious of the interconnectedness of believers, and radiating gratitude for the gift of our salvation.
3. The Gospel, and Holy Communion
Dr. Packer outlines the theological debates surrounding this centre of our Christian worship at the time of the Reformation, and demonstrates the firm grounding of the Prayer Book liturgy in the Gospel.
4. The Bible, and Bible Services
Dr. Packer presents the Scriptures as “a light to our path”, reviews the Anglican doctrine of the Bible as laid out in the Thirty-Nine Articles, and explores a number of Biblical themes reflected in the Prayer Book.
5. From the Cradle to the Grave
Dr. Packer concludes with an examination of the BCP services for special occasions, focusing on Baptism and the order for the Burial of the Dead, and reflects on the Prayer Book as our companion throughout all the passages of our lives.