Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tired of Sissy Attempts at Sanctification?

John Owen's Mortification of Sin (one of three works by Owen in the new edition edited by Justin Taylor and Kelly M Kapic) is a refreshing change from some of the other things I have read in the last few years on overcoming sin.

Much of the literature on sanctification these days follows a "therapeutic" model where an individual aims at personal healing. Owen's approach offers a different language of describing sanctification. Rather than healing ourselves we need to "be killing sin."

In my estimation, the therapeutic model offers a practically Pelagian form of sanctification. Owen's treatment of mortification constantly brings one back to the gospel in affirming that the actual work of mortifying sin is in looking to the Cross of Christ.
My favorite quote from the work is this:

Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of your sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and you will die a conquerer; yea, you will, through the good providence of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet.

I long for a day when this truth and this method of fighting sin is embraced more widely.