John Owen, Christologia: A Declaration of the Glorious Mystery, Preface

christ

[This project is being worked on two paragraphs at a time. So, it will be a while!]

[numbers indicate paras]

  1. According to God’s promise, Christ is a “precious cornerstone” to some, and he is a “stumbling block” to others.
  2. For believers, he is precious; giving them everything good unto eternity, delivering them from apostasy, and bringing them into friendship with God.
  3. Those to whom Christ is precious will want to spend their lives learning more about him, as well as trusting, loving, and honoring him. This is the real essence of Christianity.
  4. But for others, he is a rock of offense and many have ruined their souls by rejecting him.
  5. The only answer for the violence, perverseness, and confusion of the world is the Person, Spirit, Grace, and Authority of Christ operative in the hearts of people.
  6. The goal of this treatise is to help believers grow in these truths of Christ.
  7. In respect and gratitude for the early church’s witness and defense of these truths, Owen will supply quotes from the Fathers on the points he will cover in this treatise.
    [What ensues is a survey of the chapters with said quotes from Fathers]
  8. Chapter 1 will be on Christ’s statement that he is the Rock upon which the church is built.
  9. Owen provides quotes from Ignatius, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius.
  10. He also quotes Augustin on the issue.
  11. page 8, para 1
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Where We See Most Clearly the Sinfulness of Sin

“Never was sin seen to be more abominably sinful and full of provocation than when the burden of it was upon the shoulders of the Son of God…Would you, then, see the true demerit of sin?—take the measure of it from the mediation of Christ, especially his cross.” -John Owen, Communion with the Triune God

If This Doesn’t Make Us Delight in God, What Will?

“If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will? Exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, free, and fruitful love of the Father, and

see if your hearts be not wrought upon to delight in Him. I dare boldly say: believers will find it as thriving a course as ever they pitched on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you will quickly have a further discovery of the sweetness of the streams. You who have run from Him, will not be able, after a while, to keep at a distance for a moment.” -John Owen

See the love of God

“Many saints have no greater burden in their lives than that their hearts do not come clearly and fully up, constantly to delight and rejoice in God-that there is still an unwillingness of spirit unto close walking with Him. What is at the bottom of this distemper?
Is it not their unskillfulness in or neglect of this duty, even of holding communion with the Father in love? So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in Him, and no more. Every other discovery of God, without this, will but make the soul fly from Him.” -John Owen

Natural Thoughts, a Key to Our Condition

Our thoughts are like the blossoms on a tree,” John Owen muses. He goes on to say that many blossoms (thoughts) fall to the ground without producing fruit. However, some thoughts produce good or bad fruit. Owen then adds, “Ordinarily voluntary thoughts are the best measure and indication of the frame of our Owen is asking: What do we think about when we are not thinking about anything in particular? What is the default setting of our minds if we just let them wander? The answers to these questions can tell us much about our spiritual condition. -Derek Thomas