C-Dunc gave an excerpt from John Piper's The Future of Justification in which Piper included a surprising quote from John Owen. Well, I looked it up in my hard copy of Owen's works, and it is, in fact, true that John Owen, of all people, said that "Men may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny; and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness which, in opinion, they deny to be imputed." Incredible, huh? We knew Owen espoused heresy, but I didn't realize he would have said something like that, considering what he said about Arminians. Just another lesson for us all.
I also found Owen's Works online here: http://www.godrules.net/library/owen/owen.htm.
I went to http://www.godrules.net/library/owen/120owen_a8.htm to find the quote. The following is the entire paragraph in which this quote is found, to give you context:
==However, the weight and importance of this doctrine is on all hands acknowledged, whether it be true or false. It is not a dispute about notions, terms, and speculations, wherein Christian practice is little or not at all concerned (of which nature many are needlessly contended about); but such as has an immediate influence into our whole present duty, with our eternal welfare or ruin. Those by whom this imputation of righteousness is rejected, do affirm that the faith and doctrine of it do overthrow the necessity of gospel obedience, of personal righteousness and good works, bringing in antinomianism and libertinism in life. Hereon it must, of necessity, be destructive of salvation in those who believe it, and conform their practice thereunto. And those, on the other hand, by whom it is believed, seeing they judge it impossible that any man should be justified before God any other way but by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, do, accordingly, judge that without it none can be saved. Hence a learned man of late concludes his discourse concerning it, "Hactenus de imputatione justitiae Christi; sine qua nemo unquam aut salvtus est, aut slvari queat", Justificat. Paulin. cap. 8; -- "Thus far of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ; without which no man was ever saved, nor can any so be." They do not think nor judge that all those are excluded from salvation who cannot apprehend, or do deny, the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, as by them declared; but they judge that they are so unto whom that righteousness is not really imputed: nor can they do otherwise, whilst they make it the foundation of all their own acceptation with God and eternal salvation. These things greatly differ. To believe the doctrine of it, or not to believe it, as thus or thus explained, is one thing; and to enjoy the thing, or not enjoy it, is another. I no way doubt but that many men do receive more grace from God than they understand or will own, and have a greater efficacy of it in them than they will believe. Men may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny; and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness which, in opinion, they deny to be imputed: for the faith of it is included in that general assent which they give unto the truth of the gospel, and such an adherence unto Christ may ensue thereon, as that their mistake of the way whereby they are saved by him shall not defraud them of a real interest therein. And for my part, I must say that notwithstanding all the disputes that I see and read about justification (some whereof are full of offense and scandal), I do not believe but that the authors of them (if they be not Socinians throughout, denying the whole merit and satisfaction of Christ) do really trust unto the mediation of Christ for the pardon of their sins and acceptance with God, and not unto their own works or obedience; nor will I believe the contrary, until they expressly declare it. Of the objection, on the other hand, concerning the danger of the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, in reference unto the necessity of holiness and works of righteousness, we must treat afterwards.==
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