Book Review – Foundation of Communion with God: The Trinitarian Piety of John Owen (9/11)

If you have been to any wine tasting or appreciation lessons or enjoy tasting samples given out, you will definitely know how helpful they are.  They help you appreciate the ranges and differences they bring as you taste their uniqueness and differences from each other. What’s more, giving you snippets of it allows you to really try out a whole range of goodies.

Foundation of Communion with GodThis is what this book is. It is a ‘taster’ of John Owen’s writing. Ryan McGraw first introduces John Owen to the readers, giving a brief overview of his life, and the times and culture he lived in. Next, he gives us the broad strokes of John Owen’s writing, essentially giving us a summary of the theology of John Owen.

Following which, he throws us to the deep end and allows us to interact directly with Owen’s writing. What the author has done excellently in this book is to distill out Owen’s writing into very small chapters, each lasting not more than 1 to 3 pages.  With that he allows the reader to start reading Owen in a fairly non-threatening way, albeit some readers may not be used to Owen’s writing even when reading this book, it is an excellent way to for new readers to start reading bits of Owen, and seeing how he plunges into the depth of the Word. Far too often, people are either scared by Owen’s notoriety, or turned off when actually reading his works. This book will no doubt help readers see that Owen, though difficult is definitely understandable and worth every effort to understand it.

McGraw very helpfully has also added in 2 appendices that should make the book extremely valuable, first he encourages and advises readers to continue reading Owen, and which books to start with. In the other appendix, McGraw draws out a timeline of Owen’s publishing, a very helpful piece of information for those who are interested to see how Owen’s thoughts and works grew through his years.

If you wish to start reading or knowing Owen, other than recommending you to read stuff that people have written about Owen, I would highly encourage you to read this book. I find that this is the best book to start anyone who’s interested and willing to read Owen’s work directly.

Rating: 4.75 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reading A Great Classic Together (21/8)

I’ll be reading a classic book along with Tim Challies. This time the book will be Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen. More specifically, we’ll be reading his classic book ‘The Mortification of Sin‘ Overcoming Sin and Temptation

And here’s a brief introduction of John Owen written by Challies:

John Owen is known as being one of the greatest theologians in the history of the church and one who offered penetrating analysis of the human condition. Though his works are reputed as being difficult to read, they always prove worth the effort. Jerry Bridges says, “To read Owen is to mine spiritual gold.” Mark Dever says, “Sin is tenacious, but by God’s grace we can hate it and hunt it. John Owen provides the mater guide for the sin-hunter.” And Phillip Ryken insists that, “John Owen is a spiritual surgeon with the rare skill to cut away the cancer of sin and bring gospel healing to the sinner’s soul. Apart from the Bible, I have found his writings to be the best books ever written to help me stop sinning the same old sins.” Are you getting the theme there?

What it’ll look like:

Each week we’ll each read one chapter of the book. I’ll post my reflection on the chapter, and I’ll also post the link of Challies’ reflection on the same chapter on my post as well.

We’ll start our first post on 8th Sept, so do get a copy of the book and read the first chapter by that day!

How you can join in:

If you are interested in reading this book together, you can get a copy of the book Overcoming Sin and Temptation, here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle, free pdf.

If you’re interested in buying a copy of The Mortification of Sin you can get a copy here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle, pdf.Mortification of Sin