Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Owen's heart

It's been a while since I've read any Owen, and I'm feeling the lack of weight and substance. Sinclair Ferguson made a comment somewhere that after he's read Owen he wonders why he spends time reading other theologians (or something like that). I can understand that (although I'm not sure I'd give up on the other theologians, but then again I'm sure neither would Ferguson). However, Owen's certainly got his difficulties, not least of which is he's hard to read. But he is rewarding, stimulating, and most importantly, he writes theology (and often very direct polemical theology) as a Christian man. When you read Owen you get the feeling that while his arguments are dense, complicated, and exhaustive (as well as being exhausting), his overarching purpose is to encourage you as a Christian, or to protect you from false teaching. The really important thing is not that you understand everything, but that you believe:

For my part, I had much rather my lot should be found among them who do really believe with the heart unto righteousness, though they are not able to give a tolerable definition of faith unto others, than among them who can endlessly dispute about it with seeming accuracy and skill, but are negligent in the exercise of it as their own duty.

The Doctrine of Justification by Faith – 5:63

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