Introducing John Owen to a Generation That Desperately Needs Him

Every now and then a book arrives in my hands that I realize is too important for me to wait until I have finished reading it before I comment on it here. The book I want to discuss is so important that I knew before I had even finished the introduction I had to tell you about it.

Justin Taylor and his friend, Kelly Kapic, have done it again. Following the advice of his previous boss, John Piper, Justin knows that dead Christian leaders have much to teach us. Sadly, with the passing of time it becomes ever harder for readers to understand the writings of these great divines. I have been aware of John Owen for many years. I even picked up one or two of his books before and tried to read them. I didn’t get far. So I was pleased this time last year when Justin and Kelly brought out an edited version of Owen’s works on sin called Overcoming Sin and Temptation.

Taylor and Kapic’s approach to this work was simple. Without abridging or changing the meaning of what Owen had to say, they cast their expert editors’ eyes over the book in light of the 21st century reader. Archaic spellings and forms were changed. ‘Thou’ was replaced with ‘you,’ footnotes were referenced, and so on. The result was a book that is much easier to read, and yet true to the author’s intent.

I did not review Overcoming Sin and Temptation at the time of launch, largely because at the time I thought I should wait until I had read every word before I mentioned the book here. I have decided not to make the same mistake with their second offering—Communion with the Triune God. There is so much for us to learn from this vital book that I plan on spending a number of days blogging about the introductory material that has been included before Owen’s original book begins. As the themes of this book by Owen were outlined, I realized that the things he held dear were very much related to many issues that I have come back to often in my own writing. It almost felt as though Owen had been reading this blog (and decided to greatly improve upon it!). Join me tomorrow as I reflect on the first of a series of quotes that have resonated with me like few others I have ever read.

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