Review: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise in Which the Whole Controversy about Universal Redemption is Fully Discussed

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise in Which the Whole Controversy about Universal Redemption is Fully DiscussedThe Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise in Which the Whole Controversy about Universal Redemption is Fully Discussed by John Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A tremendous reformed classic. Owen writes like Stonehenge, according to Packer’s fire-breathing introduction, but his content is great, and has yet to be adequately responded to. I only wish that someone would translate the book into English, to make it available to a new generation.

He makes the case that either Christ saves only His elect, or else the salvation available in Christ is only a potential salvation, which, if the biblical testimony concerning the nature of man is to be believed, is no salvation at all. Short of the heresy of universalism, there are no other options. His treatment of the common verses that speak of Christ redeeming “the world” or “all” is thorough and convincing. His weakest point comes when dealing with apostasy, arguing that those who fall away were Christians by the judgment of charity, and not in any real sense. His language on the exclusivity of salvation is harder than Scripture, although consistent with it, and a necessary extension of it, but his description of apostasy is weaker than the biblical description of it.

Owen makes his case logically and scripturally, showing that limited atonement is not simply the end result of the rigorous Calvinist “system”, but is in fact the Biblical teaching that Christ actually saves all the sinners whom He chose.

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One Response to Review: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise in Which the Whole Controversy about Universal Redemption is Fully Discussed

  1. hey there,

    If you are interested, there is a very solid critique of Owen’s Death of Death: A critical examination of John Owen’s argument for limited atonement in “The Death of death in the death of Christ / by Neil Andrew Chambers.

    Its a Th.M thesis from Reformed Theological Seminary. If you like a copy you can contact me.

    Thanks,
    David
    Calvin and Calvinism

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