Enjoy God (with Puritan Help)
We don’t often talk about our daily enjoyment of God with our friends — a deficiency J. I. Packer picked up some years ago when he compared this trend to the Puritan age:
Communion with God was a great thing; to evangelicals today it is a comparatively small thing. The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way we are not. The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it. When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology — but rarely of their daily experience of God. (215)
This seems accurate. And to combat this current trend we can turn to Puritan John Owen’s classic work, Communion with the Triune God, most recently edited by Justin Taylor and Kelly Kapic. At an unabridged 400 pages, Owen’s classic is no small work, but then it’s no small thing to learn to enjoy God.
Now there’s a brief way to get introduced to Owen’s classic on communion and it comes from the new book, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life written by Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones (RHB, 2012). The publisher of the new book has kindly granted us permission to post online chapter 6, “John Owen on Communion with the Triune God” (pages 101–116). The chapter is a nice summary of Owen on communion.
Download the chapter here: “John Owen on Communion with the Triune God” (pdf).
For more on communion with God, see John Piper's 2002 seminar on prayer, meditation, and fasting here.