January 7

 

 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.   2 Corinthians 13:11

 

As you seek the prosperity of this society, it is of vast importance that you should avoid contention.  A contentious people will be a miserable people.  The contentions that have been among you, since I was your pastor, have been one of the greatest burdens I have laboured under in the course of my ministry – not only the contentions with me, but those with one another.  Contention, heat of spirit, evil speaking, and things of like nature, are directly contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and do, in a peculiar manner tend to drive away God’s Spirit from a people, and to render all means of grace ineffectual, as well as to destroy a people’s outward comfort and welfare.  Let me therefore earnestly exhort you as you would seek your own future good hereafter, to watch against a contentious spirit (1 Peter 3:10-11).  I would particularly advise those that have adhered to me in the late controversy, to watch over your spirits and avoid all bitterness towards others.  However wrong you may think others have been, maintain with great diligence and watchfulness a Christian meekness and gentleness of spirit; and labour, in this respect, to excel those who are of a contrary part.  And this will be the best victory, for ‘he that rules his spirit, is better than he that takes a city.’  Let nothing be done through strife or conceit.  Indulge no revengeful spirit in any case; but watch and pray against it; and, by all means in your power, seek the prosperity of this town.  And never think you behave yourselves as becomes Christians, except when you sincerely, sensibly, and fervently love all men, of whatever party or opinion, and whether friendly or unkind, just or injurious, to you or your friends, or to the cause and kingdom of Christ.

 

Biblical Theology

 

Lovers of theology, and particularly of the Puritans, will welcome this English translation of John Owen’s Latin writings. The major portion of this volume is a history of theology from Adam to Christ. Owen characterizes evangelical theology as a gift of the Holy Spirit generating faith in Christ, holiness through Christ, and worship of Christ.

Appendixed to this important work is Owen’s Defense of Scripture against Modern Fanaticism, which is a defense of the authority and proper interpretation of the Bible against the subjectivism of his day.

“Published in Latin in 1661 as a contribution to international Reformed scholarship, this treatise draws on a very wide range of learning. The final part, in particular, where Owen characterizes evangelical theology as a gift of the Holy Spirit generating faith in Christ, holiness through Christ, and worship of Christ, is pure gold. To have it now – at last! – in English is a great boon. Those with a taste for Owen, or for theology, or (best of all) for both, will read this Puritan proto-Biblical Theology with joy.”

– J.I. Packer

Continue Reading on