It is a privilege to have the John Owen Centre so near at hand and once again this week I was able to take advantage of what is on offer there. First there was the regular reading group (called the Theological Study Group) - one of the oldest elements in the centre's history. This time around the set book was Bondage of the will by Martin Luther. As it turned out, the person originally slated to lead us in discussion had to drop out and several others were unable to make it for various reasons and so I was leading a group of just three. That limited things a little but not over much and it was good to learn the impressions that others had gained. We were all glad to have read it, knowing its significance. We agreed that it is not an easy read (though the Packer translation clearly is a great help) and that Luther's style would be very unusual today. It was good, however, to see how he slices through Erasmus's semi-pelagianism so effectively.
The TSG is free and if you are interested in joining us next time in October, do let me know. We will look at Sinclair Ferguson's new book or John Piper on Scripture.
As it turned out, there was a Greek study day the next day led by my fellow elder Robert Strivens. These are always good times when we expose ourselves to the original text under the expert guidance of someone who knows what he is talking about. This time around we looked at Philippians, a great epistle and about the ideal length for such a session. Some 10 of us gathered. A diverse group we were made up mostly of pastors. Just great stuff.
Robert is stepping down from this role and in future such days will be led by Flavien Pardigon, the Centre's new tutor in biblical studies.