Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Ferguson)

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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Ferguson, Sinclair. Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen. Reformation Trust.

This book unites what never should have been divided: piety and scholastic rigor (and if you don’t like scholasticism, then John Owen isn’t for you. Keep moving). Lawson’s preface is a bit on the nose in terms of the “long line of godly men.” It reads like bedtime stories for the Young, Restless, and Reformed. Notwithstanding, Sinclair Ferguson brings rigor and warmth to his subject.

We are treated with some crucial terminology regarding the Trinity and the Divine decree.

Opera trinitatis: the works of the Trinity, particularly that there is one external work. As there is one divine will in the Trinity, all the persons are in the working.

Appropriationes personae: each person expresses his specific personhood both internally and externally. As Ferguson points out, “There is a deep relationship between the dispositions and actions of each person of the Trinity and the nature of the Christian’s knowledge of and fellowship with that person. Our experience of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is shaped by the specific role that each plays in relationship to our lives and especially to our salvation.”

Communion with the Father

Scholastic methodology allows us to make distinctions concerning the phrase “God is love.” This ties in with the divine decree.
  • Love of benevolence: God’s plan for our lives.
  • Love of beneficence: the love displayed in history that does good to all people.
  • the love of complacency: the love planned in Christ that we experience.
Conclusion: “Christ died for us because the Father loves us.”

Communion with the Son

Grace isn’t a substance. It’s Jesus. The medievals said we have sacramental grace infused in us at baptism. Our faith is later formed by perfect love, and this makes us justifiable. Owen, as Ferguson says, combats this: “Through the work of the Spirit, the heavenly Father gives you to Jesus and gives Jesus to you.”

Conclusion: “It does indeed involve our understanding of who Christ is and what He has done; it also includes a willingness to give ourselves unreservedly to Him. But our communion with Him also enlivens and transforms the Christian’s affections.”

Communion with the Spirit

The same Spirit who kept Christ from corruption of sin in the Virgin’s womb also kept him from corruption in the tomb.

This is a nice primer on deep theology. It can be read by a layman in one or two sittings.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
How well do you think this would work as an Audio book?

I listened to it as an audiobook. It worked fine. There is only one area where it might get tricky, and that is where Ferguson talks about various dimensions to God's love. Other than that, no problem.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I listened to it as an audiobook. It worked fine. There is only one area where it might get tricky, and that is where Ferguson talks about various dimensions to God's love. Other than that, no problem.
Thanks! I really like Dr. Ferguson and keep trying to get started with John Owen so this may be very helpful.
 
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