Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: Communion With God

Title:  Communion With God

Author:  John Owen

First Copyright:  1850

Type of Book:  Hardback

General Subject Matter:  Theology

Special Features:  None

Price:  $28.00

ISBN:  978-0-85151-14-5

The purpose of the author in writing this book is to explain the nature of the believers communion with God, including all the benefits which are included. Owen believed that our communion with God is the very foundation of the Christian life. It was Owen's purpose to demonstrate from the Scriptures the ways and means by which the believer can enjoy communion with each person of the Trinity. Owen wrote an well organized and documented work in which he used three (3) main divisions to describe the believer's relationship to each member of the Godhead.

The theme of this book is the believer's fellowship with God. Owen's thesis states, "That the saints of God have communion with him."

Owen uses the method of exposition to develop his theme and thesis. He puts forth his main proposition and supporting propositions and then uses explanation an analysis to present is subject. Owen presents the truths and the scripture clearly and impartially. Owen's primary purpose ti to persuade the reader to believe the revelation of our fellowship with God and to act accordingly. Owen is a master at explaining theological doctrine.

I found this book to be very interesting and at the same time to be difficult to read. Most readers of Owens know him to be verbose with long paragraphs, and difficult to read. The effort is well worth it. I find Owen to be a very able exegete of Scripture. He is objective and extremely thorough. 

This book is a scholarly doctrinal treatise. There are a number of footnotes which include passages from the Greek language, Latin, and both the Old and New Testament. Greek and Hebrew words are transliterated and the Latin phrases are translated for the reader. Difficult words an phrases have been footnoted. Numerous headings and subheadings are added to help the reader follow the thoughts of the author. Communion With God is a thrilling piece of writing of great importance.

Owen raises the issue of the value and benefit of the saints full fellowship with each member of the Godhead. Even though there are some distinct disadvantages that this fellowship or communion thrusts upon them from a humanistic standpoint, communion with God Owens states is, "very honorable, glorious, and desirable."

Owen was educated at Queen's College in Oxford. He studied theology and was the ordained. His first church was at Fordham in Essex. From 1649-1651 he was the chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Owen was appointed the dean of Christ Church in Oxford and then in 1652 became the vice-chancellor. Owen was a prolific writer having written numerous books.

The format of this book is very well done. The type is easy to read and it is full of headings and subheadings making navigation through Owen's points easy to follow. There are no maps, illustrations, or special features. This is a hardback book.

This book contains no index. There are no end-notes. However, there is a short appendix at the back of the book. There is no bibliography.

As with the other Works of John Owen this is a difficult book to summarize. As stated Owen does a masterful exposition and explanation of the believers prized communion or fellowship with each member of the Trinity. His summary includes the fact that if one worships one member of the Trinity then the entire Trinity is being worshipped. In approaching God we are able to approach the entire Trinity.

Communion with God is a very rich and difficult book to read. If one sticks with it, it is well worth the effort. It is a very moving and thrilling book that addresses the soul like no other writing other than the Scriptures. I highly recommend this book for any believer at any level who will commit to working through each paragraph and each page.


Anonymous said...

If as you say this book is difficult to read then it must be worth a try to read it. Not all things and books come easy in life but with tenacity one can achieve anything.


Persis said...

I have the Puritan Paperback version waiting on the shelf. Even that version requires careful reading.