Coming Soon: The Knowing God Album

2023 marked the 50th anniversary of J.I. Packer’s classic book, Knowing God. What originated as a series of magazine articles has become a tool that God has used to shape, deepen, and ignite the theology of five decades of Christians, including me.

Since I first read it in the late 70s, I’ve quoted and referred to it more times than I can count. Kevin DeYoung called it “easily one of the most influential books of the last half century.”

So when my son, Devon, suggested that Sovereign Grace Music write and record an album of songs based on Packer’s book, it was a no-brainer.

First, it would be an opportunity to highlight how God has used Knowing God to make theology not only accessible, but delightful. Second, we knew Packer’s book would be a rich resource for songs that connect the head and the heart. Third, we hoped it would cause those who have never read it to do so, and stir those who have already read it to read it again! Finally, good theology always leads to glad doxology. 

Knowing God isn’t simply a book to read. It’s songs waiting to be sung.

The Process

So in early 2022, we began writing them. It would be an overwhelming task to try to write a song for each of the twenty-two chapters, and would also make for an excessively long album. Instead, we based our songs on sentences, paragraphs, or chapters that inspired us. Sometimes the connection was obvious. Other times, Packer’s words served as a springboard for articulating related themes.

It was moving to see the reaction of people who had never read the book. “Where has this book been?…This is amazing!…Packer communicates such deep thoughts in such a clear and understandable way!” But those familiar with the book responded similarly. “I forgot how helpful this book was…His writing is so biblical and affecting…Why haven’t I read this every year?”

We ended up with over 100 songs, which isn’t unusual when we’re working on a recording. We recorded the whole album in our brand new studio and asked our friend, Lance Cashwell, to bring his crew in to film it.

Here are some of the songs that made the cut after a year and a half of writing.


Sing is a jubilant call to worship that reflects a single sentence in chapter thirteen, “The Grace of God.” Packer quotes the lyrics to an Isaac Watts hymn and then says,

“The people who can sincerely take Watts’ words on their lips will not soon tire of singing the praises of grace.” (J. I. Packer, Knowing God, 20th Anniversary ed. [Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1993], 132)

So verse three of Sing proclaims:

On the final day when the Lord on high returns in majesty
We will bow in wonder before the Lamb
And evermore the saints will sing
Morning and evening, everything breathing must sing, oh sing
All of creation rise up and praise the King of kings, and sing!

The One who created, redeemed, and sustains us is worthy of unending songs of worship. 

Christ Our Wisdom

Christ Our Wisdom is an extended meditation on chapters nine and ten, in which Packer reminds us how God often hides his purposes so we learn to trust his wisdom and not our own. 

“The New Testament tells us that the fruit of wisdom is Christlikeness—peace, and humility, and love (Jas. 3:17)—and the root of it is faith in Christ (1 Cor. 3:182 Tim. 3:15) as the manifested wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24, 30).” (p. 108)

As we look to Christ as our wisdom, we learn to trust God even when we can’t see the way ahead. 

Christ our wisdom, we are humbled when you hide your ways from us
You have purposes unnumbered, each one good and glorious 
Help us trust when we grow weary, free us from our anxious thoughts 
Give us grace to see more clearly You are God and we are no

We Are Yours Forever

We Are Yours Forever was our attempt to capture one of the most impacting chapters in Knowing God, “Sons of God.” Few have written so eloquently or powerfully on the privilege, reality, and effect of being adopted into God’s family. 

“Adoption is a family idea, conceived in terms of love, and viewing God as father. In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship—he establishes us as his children and heirs. Closeness, affection, and generosity are at the heart of the relationship. To be right with God the Judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater.” (Knowing God, 207)

We tried to express the greatness of that family relationship in this chorus:

Oh, what a love you have lavished on us 
To call us Your children, daughters and sons
One with the Savior, bought by his blood 
We are yours forever

All Things

All Things is a simple song that reflects this section from chapter twelve, “The Love of God:” 

“As believers, we find in the cross of Christ assurance that we, as individuals, are beloved of God; ‘the Son of God . . . loved me and gave himself for me’ (Gal. 2:20). Knowing this, we are able to apply to ourselves the promise that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). Not just some things, note, but all things!” (p. 121)

The last verse of the song directs our eyes to the faithfulness of God in all things, even to the end:

Til the day you come in power or I reach my final hour
You will keep me
You’re the Author of my story, You are faithful, you are for me 
I will praise you, I will praise you

Additional Songs

The rest of the album includes some revised and modern hymns, a communion song, and songs that focus on living to pleasing the Lord, the Spirit’s work in helping us see Christ, and the final judgment (co-written with our good friend, Colin Buchanan). And as a bonus, we’ve included a new version of Before the Throne of God Above.

The album isn’t out yet, but we’ll be releasing a single a month starting in February 2024, and Lord willing, the rest of the album in July.

As you listen to and sing these songs from Knowing God we pray you’ll appreciate more than ever how our best theology will always lead to passionate praise.

And if you’d like to win a free copy of Crossway’s edition of Knowing God, signed by the SG Music team, leave a comment below describing what specific section of Knowing God affected you, or why you’d like to have your own copy! I’ll be giving away 5 copies in the next few weeks.

[This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on Christ Over All.]

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32 Responses to Coming Soon: The Knowing God Album

  1. Todd January 24, 2024 at 2:07 PM #

    Totally agree about the impact of the KG chapter on adoption! Too often an afterthought among the many blessings to be found in Christ, but truly an awesome privilege.

  2. Elizabeth H. January 24, 2024 at 2:23 PM #

    Such a great book! Last year was my first read through it. I love what he had to say about finding out how much folks make of being sons (and daughters) of God which reminded me of another awesome SG album. :)

    Can’t wait for the new release! Thanks for sharing!

    • Benji January 27, 2024 at 2:11 PM #

      Very excited about this project! The book had a tremendous impact on me early in my Christian walk… particularly helping form a higher view of God. As a worship pastor, I’m excited to hear these songs and hopefully teach some to our congregation here at the ends of the earth in New Zealand 🙂

  3. Enrique January 24, 2024 at 2:35 PM #

    What a great idea write music inspired in a such great book! Can’t wait for this new album!

  4. Rob Odum January 24, 2024 at 2:40 PM #

    What a great concept! I very much appreciate the time that you put into this blog! It is helpful and understanding the background and direction of this project. Packer’s book has been instrumental in the lives of so many people. I have found myself going back to his book over and over. It can truthfully be said that the entirety of the Christian life is a never-ending pursuit of knowing God in whom we find our comfort and rest. “Til the day you come in power or I reach my final hour
    You will keep me” – :) Great stuff Bob and SG Team, Devon, it is a great idea, Packer would approve. :)

  5. Craig M January 24, 2024 at 3:09 PM #

    I’ve not read the book but the songs you write about inspire me to pick it up. I can’t to hear all that will be in the new release

  6. Maurita Klement January 24, 2024 at 3:27 PM #

    Your music has been part of how the Lord carried me and loved me through our most difficult years when 7 (out of 8) of our adopted children were home with our 5 biological children. Now that our family is mostly grown, we have our youngest with us in the Middle East learning Arabic to bring the gospel to Muslims. I worship in my kitchen with SG music. Our youngest will be in need of a heart and liver transplant sometime in the future. I know I will be singing SG songs through that difficult time, as well. I am in full agreement that our best theology yields the deepest and most joyful & passionate worship!

    • Bob Kauflin February 29, 2024 at 4:23 PM #

      Maurita, thanks for letting me know how God has used our music to encourage you. We have a faithful Father and glorious Savior, worthy not only of our songs, but our lives.

  7. paschott January 24, 2024 at 4:24 PM #

    I have my copy of Knowing God, but haven’t read it yet. However, SGM has consistently produced music of quality with sound lyrics. I’ve appreciated that more as the years go by.

  8. Lindele Elliott January 24, 2024 at 4:27 PM #

    I am currently reading Knowing Christ by Mark Jones, which has a foreword by J.I. Packer. In his introduction, Jones mentions reading Knowing God during a baseball game and the impact it had on him. I’d like to read Knowing God when I finish Knowing Christ (though maybe I should have gone in the other order).

  9. Garrett Baker January 24, 2024 at 5:22 PM #

    I loved what y’all did years ago writing songs on the valley of vision prayer book, for I wish y’all would do another album on that! However I love what y’all are doing with this new album on Packers book. I’m interested to see more on the songs you have about the Spirits work in seeing Christ. I have learned so much on worship from Sovereign Grace through the podcast, books, and intensives that will last me a lifetime.

    2 Timothy 1:8-11

  10. Liza January 24, 2024 at 5:31 PM #

    Looking forward to your new album. Praying that the Lord will once again use the songs that you make to usher us, His redeemed into a deeper worship of Him in Truth for He is worthy. I love this book too. ❤️
    “There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in life, through death and on for ever. ” – J. I. Packer

  11. Sam Crabtree January 24, 2024 at 5:50 PM #

    Such a great source of inspiration! I cannot wait to hear the final product!

  12. William Simmons January 24, 2024 at 6:19 PM #

    Knowing God, is a exceptional book. My thoughts about writing song based on a book, don’t matter. But, I know That SGM has produced theologically sound music for as long as I can remember them as a worship team. Thanks for taking on this incredible task. Prayers are these songs will touch hearts and lives in the way only God can do. Thank you SGM

  13. Courtney Sechrist January 24, 2024 at 7:54 PM #

    This has been one of my very favorite books! It’s hard to keep a copy in our house because we always lend it out. I am so thankful to have found SG so many years ago on the hunt for theologically sound music. We do at least one SG song every Sunday morning at our church. So excited about this album, this was the first that I had heard of it. :)

  14. Jeremy Chambers January 24, 2024 at 9:45 PM #

    I have read Knowing God probably about ten times and I’m reading it again right now. There are so many good chapters. I just read the two chapters on God’s wisdom and they are so encouraging and helpful. I would love to have a copy of your CD so that perhaps I could use some of the songs at my church. God bless you, Bob!

  15. Keith Stovall January 24, 2024 at 9:50 PM #

    In the first pages of the book, ‘Knowing God’ I read the words over 30 years ago: “There is a difference between knowing about God and Knowing God.” These words (now forever paraphrased and etched in my heart) reverberate. At the time I first read these words … I knew much of God but did not know him. I was lost just like Nicodemus. I knew so much of God but had never seen my depravity. The Lord saved me about four years after reading these lines and I never forgot their convicting sting in my heart.

  16. Jacob Kopp January 24, 2024 at 11:18 PM #

    So excited for the final project and looking forward to WorshipGod this year!
    What an excellent way to apply Colossians 3:16! I think it’s easy to skip over “all” in the phrase “with all wisdom” but that word really does mean “all”—not only songwriters’ wisdom but also that of past theologians like Packer
    Thanks for working so hard to produce this! I haven’t read Knowing God yet but my other experience with Packer’s work makes me very excited to hear not only his ideas put into song but also SGM’s take on them. Praying for you all as you finish up production and prepare to release the album. Thanks so much for all of your songs and ministry!

  17. Chris Coppenbarger January 25, 2024 at 5:53 AM #

    I’ve always enjoyed your music and J. I. Packer. I’ve never read the book, but it’s been on my “want to read” list forever. I really enjoyed his “A Quest for Godliness” about the puritans. I listen to Sovereign Grace music all the time. I love the idea of this album.

  18. Darius Nzesseu January 25, 2024 at 1:38 PM #

    Sovereign Grace Music is such a blessing to my family and church. We love your songs and the resources you produce to equip worship teams all over the world. May the Lord continue to bless and sustain your ministry and team, Bob! Sending much love to you all!

  19. Shari Ramoly January 25, 2024 at 6:08 PM #

    I’m so excited about this album. The truth of All Things is particularly needful in my heart and mind these days. I have never read J.I. Packer’s book, but it’s on my reading list! Thank you for all you do for the Church!

  20. J. Bach January 25, 2024 at 8:41 PM #

    Looking forward to this. I would love to have a copy because a 68 year relationship fell apart with extensive and harsh criticism of me, based on assumptions about my thoughts, with no willingness to consider alternative understandings, yet THEY are a “dedicated Christian” … It makes me question everything I thought was real.

  21. Emmanuel January 26, 2024 at 3:25 AM #

    I’m very fond of Sovereign Grace Music and this project setting Packer’s famous book into music is one I very much look forward to. As I serve in ministry in Nigeria, I am reminded of the need to communicate compelling biblical truth in a clear way. Packer serves a worthy model in this way, and I would like to read this book.

  22. Sherry January 26, 2024 at 6:57 AM #

    Worship truly does matter. Thank you for teaching Biblical truth to the Church especially regarding worship.

  23. Bill Brandenstein January 26, 2024 at 6:19 PM #

    Bob, we’re so grateful for your team and your faithful commitment to writing songs with profound theology. Thanks so much for all you do to help give voice to our praises to the King of Kings. Especially looking forward to this album!

  24. J.Mojica January 27, 2024 at 11:10 AM #

    “Praise the Lord for your life, Bob, and the rest of the SGM team. I haven’t read the book ‘Knowing God’ by J.I. Packer, but after glimpsing the verses from your songs inspired by it, I’m eager to get a copy and discuss its insights with my husband. May the Lord continue to bless you and fill your endeavors with a deep desire to honor Him.

    I look forward to seeing you here in the Philippines in March!

    To the praise of His Glory!”

  25. Sofie January 27, 2024 at 11:54 AM #

    So looking forward to this album!! I was introduced to ‘Knowing God’ as a freshman in college by a discipler, and the succinct truth that we discussed reading it together was so rich and formative as I grew in that transition. I think the chapter on the Wisdom of God most resonated then, but I’m inspired to re-read it now, especially with songs to sing!

  26. Trudy Barnes January 27, 2024 at 11:59 AM #

    I so appreciate your ministry! I have never read Knowing God, but after reading this, I must do so!

  27. Greta Johnson January 27, 2024 at 2:53 PM #

    I am excited to hear the album and thrilled to read the inspiration for these songs. Singing really is another facet to us being created beings made in the image of an Almighty God. Evolution has no need for singing, praise, or worship…except of man.

  28. carissa carns January 28, 2024 at 6:05 PM #

    Excited to hear the album and worship with y’all!

  29. P. Villar January 29, 2024 at 5:52 AM #

    I just started reading the Knowing God because of you and the SG team. I am in the first chapter, Know God, and JI Packer has wisely put it that way. I’m excited to know and rediscover the attributes of God.

  30. Gail January 30, 2024 at 12:36 AM #

    I am so excited for this album! I believe that this is not only for the unbelievers but this should album should have much more impact to the church. The church needs to rediscover who our God is, His attributes, His character. We are a generation that is surrounded with coward theology and diluted doctrines, thus affects our doxology. Thank you for this project, Mr. Kauflin and the SG team! You introduced this book to me and recently started reading it. I am also sharing this to the church and challenged them to read this for this year.

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