I've always enjoyed biographies. The best ones tell the story of a person's whole life, not just the moments they were famous for or the times they did something that received worldwide attention. In fact, some of the best biographies I've read were about people I knew little about.
Take the book J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life by Leland Ryken. I had read some of Packer's books, and I knew that he was British but lived in Canada. Thanks to Ryken, I know a little more about the fascinating man who wrote Knowing God and whose contributions helped provide one of the clearest evangelical statements on the inerrancy of Scripture, the English Standard Version, and the ESV Study Bible. Events during Packer's childhood directed his life toward academic pursuits. His emphasis on ministry and his concern for the church at large heavily influenced his writings and the audiences he targeted with them. His involvement in controversy was borne out of deep conviction, which in turn encouraged others to take similar stands for the faith.
Ryken is a gifted communicator, which one would expect from a professor of literature. His talent combined with the interesting life Packer has lived combine to produce a tribute to the man and an appreciation of who he is and what he has done. Packer is interesting. Ryken is a good writer. That alone should warrant a look at this biography. Add a good narrator like David Cochran Heath, and you have something to listen to as well.
I received the audiobook from christianaudio in order to provide this review.