Blogging through the Puritans – John Owen

What a terrible loss when we only read what is recent and trendy! I commend to you the Puritans – those wonderful friends from the 17th and 18th centuries. I call them the “old dead guys”.

Their language is arcane and their arguments are long but they are so worth digging into and pouring over. They had a clear-eyed vision of the Christian life that few, if any, have today.

My aim here is to help those who want to read by giving my thoughts on the books I have been able to finish. I have a stack of Puritan gems and I am embarrassed to admit how few I have finished, but the ones I have finished have become precious to me.

First up is John Owen. Here is the book –

Included in this book are three works by Owen on sin and temptation. The original titles are very long, so they have been shortened.

Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers

Of Temptation, the Nature and Power of it

The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin

I am by no means an expert on Owen. There are others way more capable than I. My goal here is just to share my thoughts and encourage others to dig deeper.

This specific collection of Owen’s works makes reading him a lot easier. Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor have done a great job in editing so you can track with his arguments.

Before the next post let me just give you a brief sketch of Owen’s life.

He lived from 1616 to 1683 in England. It was a politically tumultuous time when the country moved from a Puritan influenced government back to a monarchy.

Owen was an army chaplain, a pastor, a friend of Oliver Cromwell and a Vice Chancellor of Oxford.

He was married and had eleven children with his first wife but only one survived adolescence.

And now let me leave you with a very famous Owen quote –

“Do you mortify;

do you make it your daily work;

be always at it while you live;

cease not a day from this work;

be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

Next time we will discuss what mortification means.

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