ABSTRACT

The name of John Owen is little known today even in theological circles outside of very conservative evangelical churches and the narrow and highly specialized field of early modern intellectual history. John Owen was born in Stadhampton, near Oxford, in 1616, the son of local vicar, Henry Owen, a man of Puritan sympathies. Owen's argument makes sense given the accepted Thomist background within which he is working, and points to the second objection to Arminianism and Socinianism: it is atheism, a charge he makes early in the treatise. While Arminianism and Socinianism are the major Protestant polemical targets for Owen, it is worth noting one other stream of such thought which some scholars have sought to regard as something against which the Reformed Orthdox reacted with vigour, namely Amyraldianism. The literature on Puritanism is vast and contains no real consensus on what exactly is the defining feature of a Puritan.