Item description for Communion With The Triune God by John Owen, Kelly M. Kapic & Justin Taylor...
Overview This edited work of John Owen helps modern-day believers understand the timeless truths of the Trinity.
Does it make a difference that the God Christians claim to worship has revealed himself as triune-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Does this fundamental truth of biblical authority have an effect on a believer's personal fellowship with God?
Puritan theologian John Owen recognized the great need for every believer to understand the triune God. Communion with the Triune God revisits the truth presented by John Owen and challenges all believers to truly recognize and appreciate the ministry that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have in their lives. This work of John Owen encourages Christians to enjoy true communion with each person of the triune God.
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1.2" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2007
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581348312 ISBN13 9781581348316
Availability 0 units.
More About John Owen, Kelly M. Kapic & Justin Taylor
John Owen (1616-1683) was an early Puritan advocate of Congregationalism and Reformed theology.
Born at Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, Owen was educated at Queen's College, Oxford, where he studied classics and theology and was ordained. Because of the "high-church" innovations introduced by Archbishop William Laud, he left the university to be a chaplain to the family of a noble lord. His first parish was at Fordham in Essex, to which he went while the nation was involved in civil war. Here he became convinced that the Congregational way was the scriptural form of church government. In his next charge, the parish of Coggeshall. in Essex, he acted both as the pastor of a gathered church and as the minister of the parish. This was possible because the parliament, at war with the king, had removed bishops. In practice, this meant that the parishes could go their own way in worship and organization.
Oliver Cromwell liked Owen and took him as his chaplain on his expeditions both to Ireland and Scotland (1649-1651). Owen's fame was at its height from 1651 to 1660 when he played a prominent part in the religious, political, and academic life of the nation. Appointed dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1651, he became also vice-chancellor of the university in 1652, a post he held for five years with great distinction and with a marked impartiality not often found in Puritan divines. This led him also to disagreement, even with Cromwell, over the latter's assumption of the protectorship. Owen retained his deanery until 1659. Shortly after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, he moved to London, where he was active in preaching and writing until his death. He declined invitations to the ministry in Boston (1663) and the presidency of Harvard (1670) and chided New England Congregationalists for intolerance. He turned aside also from high preferment when his influence was acknowledged by governmental attempts to persuade him to relinquish Nonconformity in favor of the established church.
His numerous works include The Display of Arminianism (1642); Eshcol, or Rules of Direction for the Walking of the Saints in Fellowship (1648), an exposition of Congregational principles; Saius Electorum, Sanguis Jesu (1648), another anti-Arminian polemic; Diatriba de Divina Justitia (1658), an attack on Socinianism; Of the Divine Original Authority of the Scriptures (1659); Theologoumena Pantodapa (1661), a history from creation to Reformation; Animadversions to Fiat Lux (1662), replying to a Roman Catholic treatise; Doctrine of Justification by Faith (1677); and Exercitationes on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1668-1684).
Reviews - What do customers think about Communion With The Triune God?
Eminently Accessible Owen Sep 4, 2008
Highly recommended. I have been reading 17th and 18th century authors for about 3 years, and found this work far more accessible than those I have been reading without sacrificing much of the depth or flavor of the original.
What I liked 1. Modern typeface 2. I normally have to read by my computer so I can look up lengthy Latin/Greek quotes and words like "tergiversations" that aren't in a modern dictionary. This edition can be read without a dictionary or Latin/Greek help. 3. Almost all of the flavor from this author is left intact. The authors define difficult words in footnotes rather than changing them to a modern equivalent. They also include a glossary. 4. The intro by Kelly Kapic and notes by Justin Taylor alone are worth the price of the book. 5. John Owen was a passionate man with a scholar's command of the English language. This is an increasingly rare combination that challenges the mind and stirs the heart of the reader simultaneously. 6. The new outline. The old Owen editions have the outline numbers within the text of the book. Their outline at the beginning is a tremendous aid to the serious student. 7. The addition of verse references where Owen didn't include them. Very nice touch!
What I didn't like... 1. They changed "thee" and "thou" to "you." This was an essential part of the English language in Owen's day. Thee and thou were the pronouns used to indicate the author was referring to an individual rather than a group. (i.e., the reader rather than the church at large). I felt this created an ambiguity in many of the passages. If a reader is capable of reading Owen, they are certainly able to understand a brief explanation of the usage of "thee" and "thou". 2. They updated language in Bible quotations. I would like to have seen them use the Geneva or KJV which were both in usage at that time rather than creating their own Bible translation! Thankfully, they had the good sense not to use a modern version. 3. This is nitpicking: I would have really appreciated wider side margins and a few blank pages for notes at the back of the book. You don't so much read an author like John Owen as study and carry on a conversation with him. There was almost no room to write in the book except in the bottom margin.
Owen and his contemporaries are the "flint and steel" of Christianity. They require patience and a learning curve, but they will faithfully light a passion for God time and again. Don't expect to like or understand Owen if you haven't been a faithful student of the Word. Most modern authors are like matches -- they'll inflame your heart for a few moments even if you haven't been logging the forest of God's Word faithfully. This book is up at the very top of my favorites list after a single read. I can only hope that Kapic and Taylor continue their editions of important historic authors.
Great! May 13, 2008
Book is great so far. As I can recall, shipping was very fast and the book met all my expectations! Thanks, great service!
Makes Owen More Accessible Feb 29, 2008
Highlighting the Character of the Book
Communion with the Triune God is a republishing of John Owen's original work Communion with God (1657). Kapic and Taylor have done a good job of making this work available to the modern reader. They have left the original vocabulary, providing definitions in the footnotes for words no longer in common use. In addition, they have updated the method of Scripture citation and the usage of pronouns. (Sorry, no "thee" or "thou"). They have also provided an outline of the work with page numbers to make it easier for the reader to follow along.
The introduction by Kelly Kapic is also very helpful in providing background on the theology of John Owen. Probably the greatest weakness of this work is Owen's allegorical interpretation of the Song of Solomon. Kapic address this in his quite well in his introduction,
"While allegorical interpretations of this great biblical poem can be highly suspect and problematic, we should nevertheless avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water....Elsewhere in Scripture God is described as in a marital relationship with Israel, and Christ is the groom of his church, the bride. In fact, one day there will be a great wedding celebration when this relationship will be consummated in its fullness! Given such imagery, it is not unreasonable for theologians to speak of the believer's intimate communion, communication, and even what Owen calls `conjugal relations' with the Son. To draw this all from the Song of Songs would be problematic; to recognize this general motif in Scripture seems wholly appropriate." (34)
Highlighting the Content of the Book
The depth of understanding and exposition that Owen demonstrates in presenting this topic is difficult to summarize even in a few paragraphs. Since we have communion with the Triune God, Owen's work is divided into three parts to show how we commune with each person of the Trinity distinctly.
Regarding the believer communion with the Father, Owen shows that it consists primarily in love. The Father initiates the relationship by showing love toward His people, and they respond by returning love to Him. This love is mediated through Jesus Christ. Owen does a good job of showing the ways in which our love is the same as God's love, and yet how it is different as well. In addition, as is typical of a puritan work like this, the author anticipates and addresses possible objections to the doctrines presented.
The bulk of the book deals with the believer's communion with Son. While he begins by showing how Christ loves His church and how they response to his love, the majority of the section sets forth "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" (2Co 13:14). He shows how the believer's love toward Christ is ultimately a result of them finding him to be "altogether lovely" on account of His being "full of grace" (Jn 1:14).
"Upon the payment of the great price of his blood, and full acquittal on the satisfaction he made, all grace whatsoever becomes, in a moral sense, his, at his disposal; and he bestows it on, or works it in, the hearts of his by the Holy Ghost, according as, in his infinite wisdom, he sees it needful. How glorious is he to the soul on this consideration! That is most excellent to us, which is suits us in a wanting condition - that which gives bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, mercy to the perishing. All our reliefs are thus in our Beloved. Here is the life of our soul, the joy of our hearts, our relief against sin and deliverance from the wrath to come." (171)
The final section sets forth the believers communion with the Holy Spirit. Owen focuses in on the Spirits ministry as "the Comforter." He shows how the Spirit works with the word of God to bring comfort to the soul in the midst of trials. He also addresses the believers responsibility to "not grieve the Holy Spirit" (Eph 4:30), to "not quench the Spirit" (1Th 5:19), and to not resist the Holy Spirit (Act 7:51). Let me end with these words by Owen concerning our fellowship with the Spirit,
"His work we look for, his fruits we pray for; and when any effect of grace, any discovery of the image of Christ implanted in us, gives us a persuasion of our being separated and set apart for God, we have a communion with him therein" (381)
Owen's Communion for Today Nov 27, 2007
I can't begin to express how thankful I am to God for the work of Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor. It is through these men that I was introduced to John Owen, one of the most amazing and prolific writers of his time. Having trekked through Overcoming Sin and Temptation (a feat I've yet to complete), I was excited to read Communion with the Triune God.
From my viewpoint, this book is going to have a completely different, but no less significant, impact on my life.
Part of what I enjoyed more, for me, in this work when compared to Overcoming is the fact that Kapic's introduction and outline provide a thorough overview of what the reader is about to embark upon. It is often explained to the reader what it is that Owen most likely intended to convey and thus, reading is a bit easier than simply reading Owen's original text -- which is not easy for this reader. Nonetheless, it is very rewarding.
My reading of this work has opened my eyes to the distinct personality of our God as Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Owen clearly outlines the role that each person of the Holy Trinity plays in the life of a believer and what the believer's response should be in worship and living (i.e. communion).
Almost a work left unpublished, we are blessed that Owen completed the work requested of him. While it is a work not to be taken lightly, reading Communion will be time well spent and will pay benefits for many years to come if time and effort is properly invested.
First John Owen Read Nov 1, 2007
Reading "Communion with the Triune God" was my first experience with John Owen. I had read from his commentaries, but never one of his works. Kapic and Taylor do an excellent job providing background for, summarizing, outlining, and updating the work. Although Owen wrote in 1657, the editors have changed (or defined) the archaic language and formatting in order to help the modern reader. I'm sure reading this updated edition made my experience with Owen much more meaningful.
Many Christians, in their worship, have sought to worship God only as One. As the Shema says, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one," so they worship God without discerning the distinct persons within the Godhead. Owen points out many instances in the New Testament where the persons are distinct, and argues that since they are distinct, we should relate to each, Father, Son, and Spirit.
Particularly, Owen argues that communion with the Father is characterized by his love for his people. Whereas Christians many times feel oppressed by thoughts of an almighty and vengeful Father, the author demonstrates that the Father relates to the saints in love through Christ... in fact, his love is where every other grace comes from. Nothing compares to the Father's love toward his people! Owen casts a huge vision of the Father's relationship to his children in love.
In our age there are some distortions of what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Some are pleased to simply do their duty to Christ, as a worker to his boss. Others see Christ as friend, but lack the understanding and reverence of Christ as husband. Owen argues that the communion believers have with the Son consists in grace. Christ, in taking joy in his beloved wife, the Church, purchased and cleansed her with his blood. The saints, in seeing his beauty, and treasure and prefer him above all other "pretenders." The Son gives himself to the saints, and it is their joyful duty to receive all that he offers.
Owen concludes his book with a discussion on the communion believers have with the Holy Spirit, relying on John 16:1-7. He argues that the Holy Spirit's communion with the saints is primarily as a comforter who will always be present. Not only is the Spirit given from the Father and Son, but he himself bestows power, willingness, and gifts for the strengthening of believers. He comforts the saints with the love of God and the grace of Christ. As such, he brings into view, not just himself, but the entire Trinity.
Many Christians have all but lost any concern for communion with the Holy Spirit. Others have placed their focus on him, so displacing the Father and Son. But Owen argues that one of the Spirit's main roles is to glorify Jesus Christ. If someone glorifies the Holy Spirit without acknowledging the Son, then something has gone awry, because the Spirit wants to lift up the Son for all to see and enjoy.
"Communion with the Triune God" is a moving and rich book in which John Owen clearly describes the communion that saints have with God, as Father, Son, and Spirit. In his concluding paragraphs, he reaches the pinnacle of his arguments: In worshiping one person, we worship the whole Trinity. In praying to one person, we pray to the whole Trinity. In approaching God, we worship the whole Trinity. Christians who worship and pray and approach God with these ideas in mind will, no doubt, experience God in a fresh and exciting way, and perhaps commune with him in an entirely new way, as the Triune God.