I publish a lot of book reviews. Ordinarily, even critical book reviews are even in tone and respectful to authors. Carl Trueman referred to John Owen’s Vinidicae Evangelicae as one of the longest book reviews in history. In this work, he refuted the English translation of the Socinian Raccovian Catechism as well as John Biddle’s Scripture Catechism line by line (for about 600 pages). He included a refutation of the famous Dutch commentator, Hugo Grotius, since Grotius’ exposition of Scripture frequently matched Socinian interpretations. Departing from his usually matter of fact demeanor, after 300 pages of review Owen wrote,
“I am weary of considering such trash” (Owen, Works, 12:320).
I am not sure that I will use this quote in my next book review, but I suppose all of us can sympathize with Owen at times. In particular, the volume of false teaching that plagues the church today is certainly wearisome and it can take up a large portion of a minister’s time. Our lives are very short. Let us study less trash and more truth.