The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise in Which the Whole Controversy about Universal Redemption is Fully Discussed Kindle Edition
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Don't expect to read this while lounging by the fire. Owen's writing style is dense and at times difficult (especially for 21st century readers), but it's entirely worth it. What "Death of Death" has that most modern theological works lack is a distinct devotional/practical edge; Owen isn't just ranting against Arminian theology, he's pointing us toward Christ and showing how we have been and continue to be transformed by our knowledge of His sacrifice.
A must-read for every theology student; highly recommended for everyone else.
I would NOT however, recommend this book to somebody who is new to the debate, and is just trying to see the "big picture" of the Calvinism / Arminianism debate. I say this for 2 reasons:
1. The book has that "Old English" feel to it, in terms of outdated grammar. So it is somewhat difficult to understand. For example, I am used to reading Matthew 17:4. Owens would write this as Matt. xvii 4. The use of the Roman numerals is somewhat annoying, and makes for a somewhat tedious read, in addition to the outdated grammar.
2. The debate over limited vs unlimited atonement or "particular redemption" vs "general redemption" really is only one tiny (and very specific) detail of the whole TULIP debate. ("Limited Atonement" of course being the "L" part of the TULIP). In order to truly understand the Calvinism vs Arminianism debate, the reader must first understand the following:
Total Depravity: Do human beings have the free will with which to choose to serve God? The Calvinist says "no". The Arminian says "yes".
Unconditional Election: The Calvinist says that if salvation were left up to the person's choice, then NOBODY would be saved. NOBODY would choose God, because EVERYBODY is totally depraved. Thus NOBODY could freely choose to serve God. This is what Martin Luther meant by "the bondage of the will"
It is only after a person understands the "big picture" with respect to free will vs bondage of the will, or monergism vs synergism, etc that the whole debate over limited atonement / unlimited atonement even has meaning in the first place.
If you embrace the Calvinist concepts of total depravity, unconditional election, monergism, irresistible grace, etc, then limited atonement is obviously the theological position that fits best into your soteriology. Likewise, if you reject these Calvinist concepts, then you would want to embrace the Arminian concept of unlimited atonement.
If you already understand these concepts, and you want a good reference book for the Calvinist position on the "L" of TULIP, then Owen's book is definitely going to be on your "must read" list. The Arminian counterpoint, from the same era, would be "Redemption Redeemed" by John Goodwin.
If you are a BEGINNER, please allow me to make some other suggestions:
Watch a youtube debate between Calvinist Dr. James White and Arminian Dr. Michael Brown
Watch Calvinist John MacArthur's Sermon from February 14, 2010 entitled: "The Atonement: Real or Potential?" (youtube) In this sermon, MacArthur argues for limited atonement, but he does it in a "big picture" way, so that the viewer (whether he agrees or not) can at least understand the framework in which Calvinists argue for limited atonement.
Watch Arminian Jerry Walls give a speech entitled "What's Wrong with Calvinism?" (youtube). In this speech, Walls argues that Jesus died for everybody, but also presents his arguments in a "big picture" way, so that the viewer (whether he agrees or not) can at least understand the framework in which Arminians argue for unlimited atonement.
Lastly, and most importantly, read and study the Bible, and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in how to decide which camp you should fall into. I recommend studying on blueletterbible.org, so that you can click on the actual Greek word, to get the original intent of the Biblical author. (My research has shown that some Bible translations are somewhat biased in favor of either Calvinism or Arminianism, based on the beliefs of the members of the translation committee).
In any case, for a "fair an balanced" treatment from the Puritan viewpoint, you could read both Owens and Goodwin.
However, my honest opinion is that it is MUCH easier to just read contemporary authors on these topics. The contemporary Calvinists and Arminians are arguing EXACTLY the same points, based on EXACTLY the same Scriptures. The only difference is that James White is a lot easier to understand than John Owens. Likewise, I'm guessing that Dr. Michael Brown is much easier to understand than John Goodwin (Haven't read Goodwin yet, so I can't say this for sure).
Why 3 stars? I wanted to be neutral for the sake of this review, despite the fact that I do have an opinion on this topic. I didn't want to give it 1 or 2 stars (and appear to be Arminian). Nor did I want to give it 4 or 5 stars (and appear to be Calvinist).
Bottom Line: Please do NOT start with either Owens or Goodwin if you are researching this topic. It will be tedious, frustrating, and too narrowly focused to really understand the "big picture" of the TULIP debate.
If you've been studying this topic for a while and want to read the "classics" then by all means, go for it.
May God bless you on your search for truth!
There's literally no information regarding who reprinted it. Not surprised.
Overall, very disappointed with this purchase. Excellent book, poor reprint.
However a warning is in order here. Due to the old style of English writing, reading this book can be tedious to read. I spent a long time reading this book so think twice before you buy this. If you don't have a lot of time to spend with this book, it may be best to search for another.
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For those who are not familiar with this doctrine, it seeks to answer this question:
<i>For whom did Christ...Read more