Monday, October 2, 2006

A Sure Foundation: The story begins with a promise...

“The first promise, Gen. iii. 15 – truly called protoevangelion – was revealed, proposed, and given, as containing and expressing the only means of delivery from that apostasy from God, with all the effects of it, under which our first parents and all their posterity were cast by sin. The destruction of Satan and his work in his introduction of the state of sin, by a Saviour and Deliverer, was prepared and provided for in it. This is the very foundation of the faith of the church; and if it be denied, nothing of the economy or dispensation of God towards it from the beginning can be understood. The whole doctrine and story of the Old Testament must be rejected as useless, and no foundation be left in the truth of God for the introduction of the New.”

-John Owen, Christologia (1679) in Works, 1.120.


Bridges said...

How good it is to know that all of the promises of God are yes and Amen in Christ.


H.C. Ross said...

Excellent quote, John (TweedDale)! It even includes the word 'dispensation' :-)

Amazing passage. It's as if the Lord (pace 'open theists') actually knew what would happen later in the history of man's redemption!

Chris Coleman said...

Just out of curiosity, does Owen talk much about the covenant made between God and Adam in the Garden? (i.e. "Covenant of Creation") and if so, where? Thanks.

John W. Tweeddale said...


Thanks for a great question and for visiting our site.

Unfortunately, Owen never wrote a complete treatise on covenant theology; rather, it pervades all 24-volumes of the Owenian corpus!

Having said that, here are a few options:

1. Lager Catechism in vol 1 for a concise statement.

2. Justification by Faith, vol. 5, may be your best bet.

3. Vindiciae Evangelicae, vol. 12, in relationship to Socinianism.

4. Theologoumena Pantadapa, vol 17 of 19th century Goold ed not the Banner ed, has a section on pre-lapsarian theology. See the translated edition by Soli Deo Gloria, Biblical Theology.

5. His discussion on Hebrews 8 in his commentary relates the Mosaic Covenant to the Covenant of Works.

6. If you can get your hands on the prefaces he wrote for Sameul Petto's The Difference between the Old and New Covenants Stated and Explained and Patrick Gillespie's The Ark of the Covenant Opened, Owen has concise statements on covenant theology. If your library has access to Early English Books Online (EEBO), you can find these works.

Hope this helps. All the best with your studies at Westminster Cal!




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