Packer on Owen

Today at work, I had the privilege of reading J.I. Packer's chapter on 'The Spirituality of John Owen.' It is taken from his book, 'A Quest for Godliness.' You can download this chapter from Justin Taylor's site on Owen. Owen is known as the Prince of the Puritans, and if you are not familiar with the Puritans then I highly recommend them to you. They had a right balance on things. Right theology was very important to them, but so was right affections for Christ. Here are a few noteworthy quotes from the chapter:

"I hold myself bound in conscience and in honour, not even to imagine that I have attained a proper knowledge of any one article of truth, much less to publish it, unless through the Holy Spirit I have had such a taste of it, in its spiritual sense, that I may be able, from the heart, to say with the psalmist, 'I have believed, and therefore have I spoken.'" [Owen]

"Thus, to the Puritans, communion between God and man is the end to which both creation and redemption are the means; it is the goal to which both theology and preaching must ever point; it is the essence of true religion; it is, indeed, the definition of Christianity." [Packer]

"The first Person, the Father, is revealed as the one who initiates, who chooses a people to save and his Son to save them, and who plans a way of salvation that is consistent with his holy character. The second Person is revealed as Son and Word in relation to the Father, imaging and embodying in himself the Father's nature and mind and coming forth from the Father to do his will by dying to redeem sinners. The third Person proceeds from the first two as their executive, conveying to God's chosen the salvation which the Son secured for them. All three are active in fulfilling a common purpose of love to unlovely men; all three give distinct gifts of their bounty to the chosen people, and all three, therefore, should be distinctly acknowledged in faith, with an appropriate response, by Christian believers." [Packer]

"Anyone who knows anything at all about Puritan Christianity knows that at its best it had a vigour, a manliness, and a depth which modern evangelical piety largely lacks. This is because Puritanism was essentially and experimental faith, a religion of 'heart-work', a sustained practice of seeking the face of God, in a way that our own Christianity too often is not." [Packer]

"Truly for sinners to have fellowship with God, the infinitely holy God, is an astonishing dipensation." [Owen]