I will say from the offset that this is not a book review since it will be far too short to do this book justice. I had the privilege over the holidays to read through one of the books in the Theologians on the Christian Life. While I have acquired a few of these volumes, I took the opportunity to read through Owen on the Christian life written by Matthew Barrett & Michael Haykin. The book was a great introduction to the theology of John Owen and Owen’s application of his theology to the Christian walk. Owen was a giant of the faith and Spurgeon was correct to call him “the prince of divines”. The book introduces the reader to Owen’s views on the Scriptures, Communion with God, his focus upon the glory of Jesus Christ, the atonement, how salvation is totally of the Lord, the doctrine of justification by faith alone, the power of the Holy Spirit in the mortification of sin and prayer and finally Owen’s view of the nature of the church. What was remarkable about John Owen was that he could take the most deep theology and live it out! In our day, we have too many people who attempt to live a good life with little theology and too many theologians who live very little the scriptural teachings. Owen had a pastor’s heart and a care for the right teaching of scripture that I have seen in very few. I believe if more men followed the example of John Owen that the church would be in a far better state than it is today especially in North America.
While I would recommend reading Owen on the Christian Life, I would also suggest reading some of Owen’s own works. I thought I would list a few here that might be worthwhile taking the time to examine. Here’s where to start…
The posting on this blog has been limited over the last few weeks due to working on another project over the summer. It has been much work and lots of research however today we are tremendously happy to introduce to you this project in the form of a new website that we have created that is solely focused on the topic of eschatology. The Website is simply titled Amillennialism.
While there are large websites on other eschatological positions, there are very few that offer resources on this biblical understanding of prophetic scriptures. The new website will offer many of the resources including articles, books, audio and video from the best authors and speakers on the eschatological position known as Amillennialism. We had previously suggested several resources on this website but the organization of the materials was left desired. We decided to move our materials for the study of eschatology to this new website and add much more.
We are still adding new materials and we are in search of good materials that reflect this eschatological position. We welcome any suggestions you might have of resources that promote Amillennialism.
I can appreciate that the title of this post is a little strange and perhaps some of you are wondering what in the world am I trying to present. I must warn you that this post is going to be a bit more of a rant than anything but there are times when one must express himself in this way.
I always find it fascinating how certain individuals have such a negative view of the doctrines of Grace or as they would call it “Calvinism” that they avoid anything to do with it at all cost. This would even include reading a book by an author who holds to these biblical truths even on topics that have absolutely nothing to do with “Calvinism”. There are some great books available on a wide variety of topics written and beneficial for the Christian by Calvinist authors. For instance, you will scarcely find a better book on the holiness of God than by R.C. Sproul yet, with this anti-calvinistic mindset, you are left with ignoring this great book. Why do people think this way? Well, because in the mind of such a person, if the author is in error about election & predestination then logically he/she must be in error about everything else. It seems they cannot be trusted. Such an attitude is unfortunate and carries with it a loss of edification and exhortation for this individual. This approach would have one ignore all of Jonathan Edwards or C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons. This person would have to disregard such books such as The Forgotten Trinity by James White, The Beautitudes/Lord’s Prayer by A.W. Pink, Desiring God by John Piper or J.I. Packer’s classic Knowing God. These books are seen almost to the same level as a book written by Joel Osteen! They would be willing to read a 2nd rate book on any of the topics expounded in these volumes simply because of their discomfort with the dreaded “Calvinism”. These same individuals would also never bother to pick up a book on the topic of Calvinism because they have already made up their mind that it is in error. Again, many folks who are this opposed to the doctrines of grace generally know very little about them.
I have been blessed by books that were written by author’s that I do not agree with their theological presuppositions. An example of this is authors such as Douglas Wilson. I would not agree with his Federal Vision theology however Mr. Wilson’s books on Marriage, raising children or even on atheism have been a tremendous blessing to me. Obviously, it required me to read these books with a deciphering mind however to ignore these books would have meant a loss of learning and exhortation. I have also been blessed by non-calvinistic books by Norman Geisler or Ron Rhodes and have greatly benefited from their materials even all the while disagreeing with many of their doctrines.
I guess this topic demonstrates that there are many Christians not comfortable with their beliefs. They are intimidated by Calvinist authors and they are afraid to be influenced by these seemingly influential doctrines. These folks would see us, not as brethren in Christ, but as deceived individuals through whom there can be no benefit in learning from us.