John Owen: Sarcastic Socinian

In his book John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man, Carl Trueman includes a portion of John Owen’s satirical Socinian catechism, which Owen wrote in response to John Biddle and appended to his Vindiciae Evangelicae.

Qu. 1: What is God?

Ans. God is a spirit, that hath a bodily shape, eyes, ears, hands, feet, like to us.

Qu. 2: Where is this God?

Ans. In a certain place in heaven, upon a throne, where a man may see from his right hand to his left.

Qu. 3: Doth he ever move out of that place?

Ans. I cannot tell what he doth ordinarily, but he hath formerly come down sometimes upon the earth.

Qu. 4: What doth he do in there in that place?

Ans. Among other things, he conjectures at what men will do here below.

Qu. 5: Doth he, then, not know what we do?

Ans. He doth know what we have done, but not what we will do.

Qu. 6: What frame is he upon his knowledge and conjecture?

Ans. Sometimes he is afraid, sometimes grieved, sometimes joyful, and sometimes troubled.

Qu. 7: What peace and comfort can I have in committing myself to his providence, if he knows not what will befall me tomorrow?

Ans. What is that to me? See you to that.

Occasionally sarcasm is the best instructor.


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