The End of the Incarnation: John Owen, Trinitarian Agency and Christology

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Abstract

Recent interpreters of John Owen incorrectly argue that Owen's trinitarian theology undermines the doctrine of inseparable operations (Opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt indivisa). On the contrary, this article argues Owen upheld this doctrine like his Reformed Orthodox contemporaries, using the incarnation as a test case. Owen maintained the incarnation was an undivided act of the Trinity, which had its appropriative terminus on the Son alone – a pattern of thought he extended to the Spirit's work on the Son's humanity. Owen's creative use of the tradition is an example for contemporary theologians who would emphasize the Spirit's role in Christology.

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