Known as the “theologian’s theologian,” JOHN OWEN (1616-1683) was vice chancellor of Oxford University and served as advisor and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Among the most learned and active of the Puritans in seventeenth-century Europe, he was an erudite and accomplished theologian both in doctrine and practical theology.
In this abridgement of a classic work, John Owen shows the need for Christians to engage in a life-long battle against the sinful tendencies that remain in them, despite their having been brought to faith and new life in Christ.
Owen is very insistent that believers cannot hope to succeed in this battle in their own strength. He sees clearly that the fight can be won only through faith in Christ, and in the power of the Spirit. Fighting sin with human strength will produce only self-righteousness, superstition and anxiety of conscience. But with faith in Christ, and with the power of the Spirit, victory is certain. The temptations in times like Owen’s and ours are obvious on every side; the remedy to them is clearly pointed out in this practical and helpful book.
Introduction by J. I. Packer
“I owe more, I think, to John Owen than to any other Theologian, ancient or modern, and I am sure I owe more to this little book on mortification than to anything else he wrote…”
-J. I. Packer
John Owen drove the sword of the Spirit into my heart like a surgeon’s scalpel.
Review by: Jonathan A Blevins (Duluth, Minnesota)
I usually give a book a month or more to ruminate so I can weigh the value of its contents against all that I have learned from scripture, but in this one case I’m breaking that rule.
…John Owen just drove the sword of the Spirit into the very midst of my still-beating heart like a surgeon’s scalpel.
This Book is Life-Changing
This book is life-changing. It is biblical, powerful, relevant and Spirit-filled. Owen has made all the questions which lingered in my mind with regard to sanctification and the means by which we are to pursue holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit suddenly coalesce into a coherent, scriptural, practical, spiritual whole.
In (only 100 pages or so) he did this! And how foolish I feel for not having seen it all before when it is so clear and simple and plainly biblical! But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the opening statement of the section on the actual work of mortification:
“Suppose a man is a true believer, and yet finds in himself a powerful indwelling sin.
This sin makes him captive to its power, and consumes his heart with trouble.
It perplexes his thoughts, weakens his soul in communion with God, takes away his peace, defiles his conscience, and exposes him to hardening through the deceitfulness of sin. What shall he do?”