Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review: Sin and Grace

Title:  Sin and Grace, The Works of John Owen, Vol. 7
Author:  John Owen
Published in:  Carlisle, PA
Publisher:  The Banner of Truth Trust
Published:  1965
Pages:  560
Genre:  Non-Fiction - Theological/Doctrinal
Binding:  Hardback
Price:  $28.00
ISBN: 978-0-85151-127-6

This book is a collection of three works of John Owen which dealing extensively with the topics of sin and God's grace. Those topics are The Nature and Causes of Apostasy, Spiritual-Mindedness, and The Dominion of Sin and Grace.

The first topic is an exposition of Hebrews Six, verses four through six. Owen's examines the causes or the reasons for what he calls "the decay of the power of religion in the world." Owen was compelled to address what he saw was a diminishing appreciation for biblical truth, the holiness of God and even of the gospel itself.

The second topic exposits Romans Six and verse six. Owen then goes into great detail explaining what he considers the duty of those who claim to be spiritually minded. Owen deals with the responsibility of the mind as it takes in and relates to the truths of the Holy Spirit. This section is broken down into two parts. Part 1 deals with the character of spiritual thoughts. Part 2 deals with the means by which God weans our thoughts away from worldly things to spiritual things.

The third topic of sin. More specifically it deals with the arena of where sin does it work. It also deals with the people that sin affects. The good news is that Owen deals with how we are delivered from sin by grace.

I found this to be a valuable book, full of biblical information. However, having said this I also found this book to be difficult to read. The topics are challenging as it is and Owen's attention to the minutest detail can addled the brightest of minds, let alone mine. 

Owen uses both Latin and Greek extensively to establish or supplement many of his points. There are very few footnotes (no end notes) for the reader to turn to for explanation. The brilliance of the writer is not to be criticized or even shunned, it simply needs to be taken into consideration. This read took me longer than his previous volumes and was taxing.

Owen is consistent in his conclusions and applications. He is an accurate exegete. His topics were needed then and they are needed today. The reader must take  his or her time to read and re-read repeatedly the work in order to benefit from the work. It is well worth reading. I recommend this book for anyone who truly wants to understand sin and how God's grace overcomes sin in our lives as we are made into the image of Christ.

 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)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a vague recollection I heard about him at School. Great memories for me.