About the Author
Thomas Chalmers wrote that Owen’s book on Spiritual-Mindedness holds ‘a distinguished rank among the voluminous writings of this celebrated author’. For him three features made it very special:
-The force with which it applies truth to the conscience.
-The way Owen plumbs the depths of Christian experience as a skillful physician of the soul.
-The uncovering of the secrets of the mind and heart so that the true spiritual state of the reader is discovered.
This book began life as a collection of meditations on Romans 8:6, which were written for the author’s own benefit during a time of illness. Alarmed by the subtle power the world exercises over the mind, Owen shows us how to really live by raising our thoughts above all earthly objects and setting them on ‘things above, where Christ is’ (Col. 3:1)
A favorite book of William Wilberforce, it contains some passages which are not surpassed in all of Owen’s writings. It comes from the pen of a tender-hearted pastor whose only purpose is to encourage the believer in the ongoing battle against sin. So if you feel overwhelmed by the power of worldliness then this is definitely the book for you!
This John Owens classic reinforces the Biblical idea that there is no middle state between carnal mindedness and spiritual mindedness, and, as Romans 8:6 states: "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
"Every one of us lives in either one of these states," Owens writes at the beginning of this marvelous treatise. "There is no middle state" (2). And with his usual rigor, he gives us a thorough examination of Romans 8:6 before going on to first show how "spiritual mindedness cannot flourish and grow if the heart is immersed in the evil swamps of worldliness" and then spending the rest of the book sharpening our focus on "the highest standard of spiritual mindedness" (5).
All previous readers of Owen know that time spent with this great old Puritan is time well spent indeed, for each of his exhortations for the persevering Christian comes with a plethora of Scriptural and experiential insight, as when he writes, "Don't think that this spiritual mind in which there is a willingness and readiness to think of God, of Christ, and of spiritual and heavenly things at all times and in all circumstances, will continue to be with you if you neglect it" (122). There follows then advice on "what is required to make us spiritually minded" and encouragements along the way, including "all means which the Holy Spirit uses ... [to] draw water from the wells of salvation" (178).
The summum bonum of spiritual-mindedness, Owens tells us, is that it "produces life and peace by keeping alive a continual awareness that God loves us," a high privilege indeed, and one that those seeking the assurance of salvation yearn for.