That the man who has been called "the greatest British theologian of all time" should have no adequately researched biography of his life and times would be incredible if it were not a fact.
But as Dr. Toon, an able historian who specializes in the Puritan era, shows in this book, John Owen was even more than just a great theologian. He exercised a profound influence on youth as Dean of Christ Church, and Vice Chancellor in the University of Oxford; he was also a statesman of no mean order, whose wisdom often prevented excesses into which his contemporaries would have fallen in their untampered zeal; but above all, he was a spiritual shepherd with a true pastor's heart who delighted in nothing so much as to feed the flock of God.
Dr. Toon, who has been engaged for over four years on almost continuous research, has produced a volume full of new information as well as an assessment of the tremendous influence of this outstanding leader. The current worldwide interest in the Puritan period underlines the timeliness and importance of this new work.
John Owen achieved national recognition when at the comparatively early age of thirty he preached before the House of Commons at St. Margaret's, Westminster. Yet his achievements would eventually be recorded in higher archives than any mere earthly ones, for he was to become a revered and redoubtable servant of the King of kings.
Like many other renowned servants of God, John Owen cared little for personal aggrandizement and by his own command not one of his diaries has been preserved; and since the extant letters in which he lays bare his soul are very few, his biographer is hard put to find those personal touches which have helped to establish biography as an important part of English literature. Nevertheless this carefully researched study has been produced to help meet the need for a fuller life of this remarkable man.