Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review: The Holy Spirit

Title:  The Holy Spirit

Author:  John Owen

First Copyright:  1965

Pages:  651

Type of Book:  Hardback

General Subject Matter:  Pneumatology

Special Features:  None

Price:  $28.00

ISBN:  978-0-85151-392-8

Pastor and Hymnist John Newton, (Amazing Grace) wrote, “I have just finished his discourse on the Holy Spirit which is an epitome, if not the masterpiece, of his writings.”

This book is the first part of John Owen's great writing on the Holy Spirit. According to a sentence contained on the book jacket, Owen was not sure he would be able to publish everything he wanted to publish so he chose to publish his writing in two volumes, (see The Work of the Spirit.) 

I highly recommend this book as an authoritative teaching on the Holy Spirit. I make note that this book is difficult to read. It takes the full attention of the reader to follow the brilliant mind of the writer. The finished product is well worth the effort needed.

These two volumes are the most detailed and complete books I have ever read on the Holy Spirit. These books, as well as almost all of Owen’s writings were a response to the needs of his own day. John Owen was probably the greatest British theologian of all time.

John Owen was a noted pastor, lectured before English Parliament on a number of occasions, and Chaplain to Ireland and Scotland. He was an adviser to Oliver Cromwell (Lord Protector of England)

The purpose of this book is to provide information to the reader an account is given of the name, nature, personality, operations, the effects, and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Owen also endeavors to answer the opposition of his day toward the person of the Holy Spirit. This book is divided into five (5) main sections.

The first section deals with the name, nature, personality, and mission of the Holy Spirit. Owen also deals extensively with the Socinian heresy. In section two, Owen deals with the operations of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. The third section deals with the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Owen focuses on the work of regeneration in this section. The fourth section Owen deals with the doctrine of sanctification. Owen is concerned with the necessity of holiness and obedience in the fifth section.

The theme or subject of this book as already declared is the second person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. 

Owen uses exposition to develop his theme and thesis. Owen uses explanation and analysis to develop his topic. His primary purpose is explained the person and doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

As already noted, this book is as interesting as it is difficult to read. Owen exegetes scripture and his theme accurately and objectively. This is an important work on the subject of the Holy Spirit. Owen draws conclusions that are logical and biblical.

There is no bibliography or index in this book. It has limited footnotes, some of which are not helpful to the reader. The book is replete with Scripture in the main body. Explanation of these texts is given in detail.

This book is thorough. The content is well developed and derived straight from Scripture. I think that any believer would benefit from reading this book. 


Anonymous said...

A great review Gregg. Hope your Sunday is peaceful.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to read this book, but wonder if it is above my head. Can you tell us any more specifics about this book? ♥