Published on January 6, 2022 by Steve West

Banner of Truth, 1965 | 494 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West


Editor’s Note:  Most of our readers will already be at least somewhat acquainted with John Owen (1616-1683), “the prince of Puritans,” but it is not likely that many have read him extensively. His works are not only voluminous – they are tightly packed and deeply considered. Owen is neither quick nor light reading!

Today we are pleased to begin our year-long series of summaries of Owen’s famous works. We trust these will be of help in introducing and/or increasing your acquaintance with this giant Puritan theologian.


Table of Contents: Volume One

Life of Owen, by Andrew Thomson
On the Person of Christ
Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ (Part I)
Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ (Part 2)
Two Short Catechisms


Summary, Part 1


On The Person of Christ

Chapters I & II

The foundation of this work is found in Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto Thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The rock is Christ whom Peter confessed. Roman Catholics are wrong to say that this establishes the precedent where Peter and his papal successors speak authoritatively on behalf of the church. The rock was not the person who confessed, but the Christ who was the object of the confession. Peter’s confession was a summary of Christology: Jesus was Son of Man and Son of God, and the Messiah. Everything else about Christ is entailed in this summary, and Christ himself approved it. There is only one rock for the church, not two; there is only one foundation, and that is Christ. The Real and the Doctrinal foundation of the church is Christ, and hell shall not prevail against him.

Satan exerts the powers of hell against the foundation of the church and against faith in Christ. He tries to separate the church from its foundation by using both power and crafty deceit. Where he cannot deceive, he uses open persecution. He attacked Christ, and from Pentecost onwards he has attacked the church, both making martyrs and introducing heresies. Some denied his humanity while others denied his deity. His natures, person, and work were all given heretical formulations and the truth was rejected. The hypostatic union was denied. Notice that the principal opposition of hell against the church was to always stop it from building on the true Christ. Some who do not espouse an actual heresy simply neglect Christ and build their systems of religion without him at the center. Christ must not be made into what Rationalists can understand of him, using his name but emptying it of its biblical meaning. In these times, we must renew our commitment to Christ and maintain our confession of him. . . .

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Banner of Truth, 1965 | 494 pages

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