Review of the Blog – September to December 2007: John Owen and John Piper

During the months of September and October, I spent a lot of time quoting from a book Justin Taylor produced—a lightly edited John Owen. These can all be read on the category page for posts labeled "John Owen." In November, I gave John Piper on N. T. Wright the same treatment.I also wrote a post titled Blogging, Discernment, and a Book by Tim Challies which managed to provoke the Pyromaniacs, review Tim's book, and muse about the best approach to blogging for Christians—all in the same post! It w … [Read more...]

John Owen on the Atonement and Justification

You can count on John Owen to bring some light and clarity into a debate. The following lightly edited quote was sent in by a reader and is really helpful:"That which we affirm is that our sins were so transferred on Christ as that thereby he became responsible to God and liable to punishment in the justice of God for them. He was perfectly innocent in himself; but took our guilt on him, or our liability to punishment for sin. He may be said to be the greatest debtor in the world, who never … [Read more...]

John Owen and Charles Spurgeon on John Bunyan

I want to mention today a man who both John Owen and Charles Spurgeon held in high regard. Most know of John Bunyan as a writer, but he was also one of the most famous preachers of his era. Here is what one of the Pyromaniacs said of Bunyan, his preaching, and and his book, Pilgrim's Progress:"It may be the most popular book ever written in English. It was a favorite of Charles Spurgeon's, who read it at least once-a-year, and said before he died that he had probably read it more than a hundred … [Read more...]

John Owen – Man of the Word and Spirit

In conclusive proof that there is nothing new under the sun, we see in this quote on John Owen a devoted conviction to both Word and Spirit. How we need churches today who will bring both emphases to the fore, as did Martyn Lloyd Jones in the quote I posted yesterday.May God raise up an army of believers who can say “Amen!” to the following quote where Owen is described by the editors of Communion With the Triune God as follows:"Central to Puritan thinking was an effort to make sure their act … [Read more...]

John Owen on How Conscious Communion With Christ Keeps Us From Sin

In this extract from the forthcoming Owen book, John Owen reveals just how distant he is from many modern-day Christians. How often do we talk about a conscious relationship with the living Christ? How much do we truly enjoy his presence? How much are we aware of how precious he is? Is our failure to truly pursue a conscious experience of Jesus part of the reason why we often struggle to fight against sin? Who would eat the moldy crumbs of pleasure that the world would offer us when we have … [Read more...]

John Owen on Communion With God the Father

The following passage, taken from the forthcoming John Owen book, Communion with the Triune God, highlights a reason for our spiritual weakness and our lack of joy—we do not consciously commune with God the Father, and when we think of him, we think of him as full of wrath toward us:"First, then, this is a duty wherein it is most evident that Christians are but little exercised—namely, in holding immediate communion with the Father in love. Unacquaintedness with our mercies, our privileges, is ou … [Read more...]

John Piper on John Owen and Assurance of Salvation

There are few places where one can go to study church history more rewarding than Dr. John Piper's biographical talks. He has a way of opening up the life of a great hero of the faith and showing us what we can learn from them. I'm finding myself in John Owen's Communion with the Triune God quite consistently at the moment, and am now over half-way through the book. I am finding it to be sweet to the soul and, thanks to Justin & Company, relatively easy going on the eyes!I thought I would … [Read more...]

Was John Owen a Charismatic?

You may remember a simple definition of the word charismatic I shared from a recent book review which began: “Those who recognize that the gift of the Spirit is to be received . . .”While it is anachronistic to ask if John Owen was a charismatic, it is very interesting indeed that, like John Piper and Martyn Lloyd-Jones, he makes a clear distinction between the work of the Spirit in saving us and another experiential work that is available to those who desire a dynamic relationship with God. Her … [Read more...]

John Owen, the Trinity, and the Atonement

The atonement is never far from this blog. It seems that misconceptions common in our day were, sadly, also common in John Owen's day. We see in this quote something incredibly topical today. Perhaps sometimes the answers to today’s debates do indeed lie in studying the theological upsets of the past:“Unfortunately, many Christians often have a distorted view of the heavenly Father. We tend to view him as angry and full of wrath toward us. While we imagine Jesus as the one who loves us, the Fat … [Read more...]

John Owen and Knowing God Through Jesus

Sometime ago I posted about the fact that it is Jesus who best reveals to us the attributes of God. It was therefore thrilling to see that this concept echoed down the centuries in the writings of John Owen. “The great revelation of Christ to us is that of “God as a Father,” and this matters greatly, “for the love of the Father is the only rest of the soul” (page 31). Those words are worthy of much thought and meditation. Owen's thinking is explained further as follows:“While Owen’s theological a … [Read more...]