A great king above all gods : dominion and divine government in the theology of John Owen
MetadataShow full item record
Scholarship has tended to depict John Owen as a “Reformed catholic” attempting a synthesis of Reformed principles with a largely Thomist doctrine of God. In this thesis, I argue that this depiction risks losing sight of those aspects of Owen’s doctrine of God that are intended to support a distinctly Protestant account of the economy of grace. By an examination of the principles of divine government, I argue that Owen employs the theme of God’s “dominion” in order to establish the freedom and gratuity of God’s grace, and to resist theologies that might otherwise use the doctrine of creation to structure and norm God’s government of creatures. In chapter one, I argue against prevailing readings of Owen’s thought that his theology of the divine will is, in fact, “voluntarist” in nature, prioritizing God’s will over his intellect in the determination of the divine decree. I show that Owen regards God’s absolute dominion as an entailment of his ontological priority over creatures. Chapters two and three examine the character of God’s dominion over creatures in virtue of their “two-fold dependence” upon him as both Creator and Lawgiver. Chapter four takes up Owen’s theology of God’s remunerative justice in the context of his covenant theology. I show here that his doctrine of divine dominion underwrites his critique of merit-theology and attempts to establish the gratuity of that supernatural end to which humans are destined. Finally, in chapter five, I examine the principles of God’s mercy, expressed in the work of redemption, where I demonstrate how Owen’s conception of divine dominion underwrites the freedom of God in election and his account of particular redemption.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Zekas, Christodoulos (2010-06) - ThesisOften praised for its sophistication in the narrator- and character-text, the Odyssey is regarded as the ultimate epic of a warrior’s much-troubled nostos. As a corollary of both its theme and the polytropia of the main ...
Gombis, Timothy G. (University of St Andrews, 2005) - ThesisIn this thesis I argue that the letter of Ephesians contains a coherent argument and that this argument is animated by the ideology of divine warfare. This ideological tool was utilized throughout the ancient world to ...
Duby, Steven J. (University of St Andrews, 2014-06-24) - ThesisThis thesis offers a constructive account of the doctrine of divine simplicity in Christian theology. In its methodology, the thesis aims to present this divine perfection as an implicate of the scriptural portrayal of ...