Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Review: The Work of the Spirit

Title:  The Work of the Holy Spirit

Author:  John Owen

First Copyright:  1967

Pages:  520

Type of Book:  Hardback

General Subject Matter:  Pneumatology

Special Features:  None

Price:  $28.00

ISBN:  978-0-85151-068-2

This book is the second 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 Holy Spirit.) 

I highly recommend this book as enthusiastically as I recommended Owen's first volume as an authoritative teaching on the Holy Spirit. Once again I make note that this book is difficult to read. It also 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. This book as well as almost all of Owen's writing 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 about the work of the Holy Spirit as the means of illumination, prayer, comfort, and as the source of spiritual offices, and spiritual gifts. This book is divided into four (4) main sections.

The first section is divided in to two (2) sections. Part One deals with "The Reason of Faith. Part Two deals with "The Causes, Ways, and Means of Understanding the Mind of God." The second section covers the topic, "A Discourse of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prayer." The third section deals with the Holy Spirit as as Comforter. The fourth section deals with Spiritual Gifts.

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 explain the person and doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Once again, as in the first volume on this topic, this book is as interesting as it is difficult to read. Owen exegetes scripture and his theme accurately and objectively. This too 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 either. 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 are 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 good review Gregg.


Bethie said...

I will have to check it out. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity we too often underestimate.
Looking forward to Y.
I have an award for you at my site.