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 continue 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.
Summary, Part 3
The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded
This verse is foundational for these meditations: “To be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Being spiritually minded is contrasted in this text with being carnally minded; we will either be minding the flesh or minding the Spirit. Everyone is in one of these states, and they are mutually exclusive. To be carnally minded is to be at enmity with God and is, therefore, death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. The “spirit” here is likely the spiritual life that we have, more so than the Holy Spirit, although without the Spirit we cannot have spiritual life. Those who are spiritually-minded focus their attention on spiritual things, exercising their minds on what is heavenly and exalted rather than thinking about the world. This puts our affections on things above. The great distinguisher between the regenerate and unregenerate is this spiritual mindedness, and it is only in this state where there is life and peace. There are some who hear the word and immediately forget it since they let the thoughts of the world fill up their minds immediately. To be carnally minded—which everyone is who is not spiritually minded—is to be in a state of death. There are some believers who do struggle for a time with inordinate affection for the world, but this earthly mindedness is not identical to having a fully carnal mind. Such a one may possibly have grace, but they can have no assurance or peace . . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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