John Owen, Of the mortification of sin, Chap 13

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Casey

Puritan Board Junior
[I hope this is the right place to post this!]

I'd be interesting in hearing your comments on chapter 13 of Owen's Of the mortification of sin in believers. The chapter deals with not speaking peace to ourselves, but instead allowing God to speak peace when he pleases (that is, a peace of conscience in regard to having sought forgiveness for sin). I could go into explaining what he says there, but it is, after all, a mere nine pages. :) Here is a link from that ever-helpful CCEL. I understand to a degree his purpose in the chapter, that of preventing us from a means to licensing our sinning, but . . does it not sound a bit pietistic? Maybe I just need to think about it a bit more.
 

turmeric

Megerator
My guess, from having skimmed the book some time ago, is that he's concerned that many of us repent in a very shallow way, which doesn't serve any purpose.
 

Casey

Puritan Board Junior
My guess, from having skimmed the book some time ago, is that he's concerned that many of us repent in a very shallow way, which doesn't serve any purpose.
I think he most certainly does address that in the book -- but it seemed to me that he was saying we ought not derive any comfort/peace from even the promises of Scripture without it being the Spirit who grants us that peace (as in, not making a mere logical/rational jump, but letting God himself do the work). I'll have to read it again, though.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
I think he most certainly does address that in the book -- but it seemed to me that he was saying we ought not derive any comfort/peace from even the promises of Scripture without it being the Spirit who grants us that peace (as in, not making a mere logical/rational jump, but letting God himself do the work). I'll have to read it again, though.

Yes, that was the impression I got too, although admittedly I did read rather hurriedly.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
I read though the chapter again and it would be nice to hear what others think of it. Like Casey, the impression I get is that Owen is saying that when we confess and repent of our sins, we still need to wait for God to ‘respond’ and give us the peace of practical forgiveness. With due respect, isn’t this contrary to what 1 John 1:9 says? If we confess our sins and pledge to forsake them, should we not claim God’s promise by faith and believe that he has forgiven us practically? This does not seem to me to be intellectual rationalization but simply reading and believing the bible. Of course, there is the necessity to examine ourselves to see the genuineness of our repentance, and to make sure we are not still clinging to that sin, but it seems that Owen is going beyond that in his chapter.

Any thoughts?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Point of clarification. When Owen references "speaking peace" is he suggesting that a believer is at peace with himself regarding sin, that once confessed (sin) the individual considers himself at peace with God?
 

turmeric

Megerator
I looked at that chapter as well, I really think he's concerned that people won't repent deeply enough. He is talking about the deceitfulness of sin. Some of us confess sin but haven't really repented of it and come to hate it. So the Bible says, if we confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins...and some of us think it's a free pass.
 
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