Church history matters. We are not the first generation to read the Bible. So looking to the help of those who have come before us is incredibly valuable. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Many godly individuals have preceded us and more often than not their insights into God’s Word tend to be far more valuable than what you will find on the best seller rack of a Christian bookstore. By looking to those giants of the faith in the history of the church, not only do we avoid falling prey to the heresies of the past, but we also stand firmly on the shoulders of others so that we persevere in sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).
One set of broad shoulders belongs to the seventeenth-century Puritan John Owen. It is hard to exaggerate the importance and influence of Owen’s life and writings. His books were and still are some of the best works in theology that we have, standing alongside those of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and many others. The Christian today will benefit in countless ways from works like On Communion with God, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, On the Mortification of Sin, and Of Indwelling Sin in Believers.
What is so remarkable about Owen, however, is not merely the robust, biblical theology nature of his writings, but his insistence that theology affects the Christian life. In other words, Owen refused to separate head and heart. Doctrine must lead to doxology every time, otherwise we have not truly understood its purpose. Therefore, Owen is the Doctor who looks into the human soul in order to diagnose our spiritual disease and offer us a cure in Jesus Christ. If read carefully, it is hard not to finish a book by Owen without feeling a desire to know God more.
The upcoming year, 2016, will be the four hundredth anniversary of Owen’s birth. So what better timing for an issue of Credo Magazine that aims to introduce some of Owen’s theology and writings. But as much as we love you reading Credo Magazine, this issue would be a failure if you did not study and read this Prince of Puritans for yourself.
Contributors include: J. V. Fesko, Ryan M. McGraw, Geoff Thomas, Daniel R. Hyde, Joel Beeke, Leonardo De Chirico, Kelly M. Kapic, Michael Haykin, and many others.