John Owen's doctrine of sanctification

Kim, Myoung Jin (2007) John Owen's doctrine of sanctification. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The doctrine of sanctification in Owen's works permeates his whole theology, and in many ways provides a key to his theological system. Specifically, the doctrine of the Trinity stands at the heart of Owen's teaching on the doctrine of sanctification. According to the personal distinctions of the Triune God in the undivided work ad extra, within the covenant of redemption, Owen keeps the incarnate Christ's proper work on earth within the context of the Triune God's common work. In this light the completed aspect of sanctification is interpreted. Owen understands Christ's oblation to include not only his self-offering on earth, but also his ongoing intercession in heaven. The unity of oblation and intercession provides a key to understanding the progressive aspect of sanctification in Owen's thought, in heaven, Christ's mediatorial work as prophet, king, and high priest serves as the framework for the progressive aspect of sanctification. Moreover, the Holy Spirit himself is sent as a result of Christ's mediatorial work in heaven. As a result, a saint is united to Christ by the Spirit's proper work within the covenant of grace. At the moment when the saint is united to Christ, sin no longer has dominion and can never have the ultimate victory over him. This radical change gives us insight into definitive sanctification by the Holy Spirit's proper work in the Triune God's common work. One of the most important aspects in definitive sanctification is that the saint can have communion directly with the Father's love, the Son's grace, and the Spirit's consolation. This communion is essential to the imitation of Christ. Wherever Owen states his desire for communion with God, he brings in the saint's duties. In other words, the idea of communion with the Triune God contains the idea of the saint's obligation. So, through the diligent exercise of divinely granted grace, the saint is able to mortify indwelling sin, because his communion with God in Christ brings fellowship with Him in His death and resurrection. Neither can the saint mortify sin without this communion. The Holy Spirit works in the saint, and with him, within the context of communion with God. Therefore, in Owen's thought a sovereign work of God, and human responsibility, are brought together for the increase of holiness.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Donald Macleod
Keywords: Theology, Philosophy of Religion
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-71160
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71160

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