Monday, February 11, 2008

Communion with the Triune God

Readers of this blog will know that I have struggled to read John Owen. One book that helped me read Owen well was Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor's edited version of Owen's Overcoming Sin and Temptation. But another, which came out this past fall, was Communion with the Triune God.

In this book, which is volume two in the standard edition of Owen's works, we have a different Owen--a lyrical mystic, who guided us into what it might mean to be "greedy for delight" in God. Taking each member of the Godhead, Owen unpacked what it might mean to hold communion with the Father, Son, and Spirit distinctly. In particular, we have communion in the love of the Father, the grace of Jesus the Son, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Along the way, Owen pointed particularly to the glory of the Son as the incarnate God. In two lengthy digressions, he expounded the attributes of the person and work of Jesus, highlighting his glory in making the love of the Father known by his self-sacrifice on the cross. Over and again, he showed the glory of the Cross, but even more the glory of the resurrected Jesus who triumphed over death, sin, and hell by the cross.

Kapic's introduction, which draws in part from his book Communion with God, helpfully oriented the reader to the nature of Owen's spirituality. Likewise, the outline provided in the front of the book (which extends for 32 pages [!]) was very helpful when the book's structure became convoluted. Once again, I pursued my method of reading on a small portion of Owen at a time--this time, I averaged about 6 pages a day in my morning worship. It took me the better part of three months to finish the book--but with such a dense, rich book, that amount of time was necessary to absorb and meditate upon the truths Owen presented.

However one pursues this book, it provided me with important insights with which to worship and delight in our glorious, Triune God each morning. I would urge you to do the same.


Anonymous said...

Your comment about "6 pages a day" is encouraging as I creep ever so slowly through this encouraging work.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Carl Trueman, of Westminster TS Philly, has an excellent suggestion for those who have a hard time reading Owen. Read it out loud.