Monday, 1 January 2007

Owen

Crawford Gribben has an article in this month's Reformation 21 on John Owen in Ireland. It makes for sad reading.

I'd rather Owen hadn't written Death of Death if instead he had gone north with Cromwell and seen the death which had been encouraged by his preaching. I know he was a scholar, but could he not have ventured out at least in Dublin, in the Pale, to speak to the natives of the glory Christ, and the very atonement about which he took so much care to study and write?

The syncretism of 'Christian' nationalism makes my blood boil, but more - it is frightening how such a godly man with such a passion for God's glory, who had a vision for reforming education, could nevertheless do nothing for making God's glory known among the people next to him, and do nothing for the college he was called to reform. It is frightening because I recognise the danger in myself: to have Godly and biblical vision, yet fail to act on it.
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. - 2 Thess 1.11-12

2 comments:

adrian reynolds said...

Sorry - this is far from being our most glorious moment, even though I have a great affinity for Cromwell and Owen, I cannot (nor want to) excuse this.

Does Constantine and the concept of "Christendom" have a lot to answer for...?

étrangère said...

I don't know. I've never had a great affinity for Cromwell - it's just very hard to if you've lived in a country where his actions are one huge stumbling block to anyone coming to Christ - but I didn't know Owen's part in it until now. The Puritan vision of life and godliness is in so many ways and in such depth admirable; the Puritan vision of nation and state is rather too nationalistic, certainly in its outworkings. I haven't studied it to know why though. You'd think England was Israel and Ireland, Philistia. I suppose the threat of Rome ruling Europe was always in their mind. When Rome had a national-political view of the church, how could the puritans counter it without buying into it somewhat with an opposing national-political view?