John Owen is something of an enigma to most people. Probably because of his writing, which is so hard to read (very rewarding and scary, but hard) but perhaps also because of the lack of background information we have on him. In all his work there's only one line on his father, we know he has siblings, but little about them, and we know he went to Oxford University. His diaries were all destroyed and most of the letters concerning him are to him rather than from him.
Yet this we do know. That his wife gave birth to eleven children...all of whom died. Eleven. Ten in childhood, one in early adulthood. And yet nowhere in his writing, nowhere in all that hard, great theology do we find anything about his personal life. No comment and no complaint. Despite that fact that in average during his adult life a child was born and died every other year. I long for that faith and perseverance. That courage.
John Knox is probably well known for what today would be called misogyny. He was not a fan of women rulers, to say the least. But the reason his name makes the hairs on my neck stand up is because of his prayer. 'Give me Scotland or i die'. As Reading Family Church enters the final stages on planning for IN:Whitley, at the end of this month, i long for that passion for the lost, that passion for my people, that hunger for salvation. I want to say with all my heart 'give me Whitley or i die'