Owen Strachan on the Excellency of God’s Sovereignty – How it Should Shape Our Understanding and Living

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Owen Strachan on the Excellency of God’s Sovereignty – How it Should Shape Our Understanding and Living

In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast, we are talking with Owen Strachan about the Excellency of God’s Sovereignty.

This season on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell is conducting interviews with special guests from recent conferences held at Founders Baptist Church.  This week our special guest is Dr. Owen Strahan, Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Dr. Caldwell starts off the interview by asking Dr. Strahan to tell us his story, when he was first introduced to the doctrines of grace and a little about his personal journey with them. Dr. Strahan tell us he was raised in a believing home and grew up attending a Baptist church in Maine, so he heard the gospel and accepted it from an early age. Yet it was not in a context that emphasized limited atonement. He tells us that from as early as he can remember he recalls hearing that everybody had their sins paid for, and effectively salvation was a check you needed to cash.  

It wasn’t until he was at college that he and some friends began reading reformed theology and about the doctrines of grace. He describes reading about and coming to understand that God has a people for himself and that He loved that a group of people before the foundation of the earth, and that He was carrying out His plan through all of time to save those people, as pretty revolutionary.

Understand the Love of God

Dr. Strachan shares that the doctrines of grace have helped him understand the love of God so much better and that it’s so much sweeter.  He tells how he learned a lot from Jonathan Edwards, because of how big his God was. He tells us that Edwards summed up all the awesome, glorious, perfections and attributes of God under the term “Excellency.” Dr. Strachan says that Edwards wrote a book that was basically about why God created everything and that his main point was about why everything exists; it exists to display the glory and beauty and excellencies of God. He tells us that having this kind of foundation can help us receive some of these hard doctrines when they come up, as good and true.

Dr. Caldwell asks Dr. Strachan to tell us how these particular doctrines of grace and God’s sovereignty have shaped his ministry and his personal life. Dr. Strachan tells us that God’s sovereignty is everything. He paraphrases something that Adoniram Judson said as he went to Burma, saying, “If I did not know that God was sovereign, none of this would have been doable.” He explains how that plays itself out in his life as he attempts to take a humble stand for certain contested doctrines in Scripture. 

Every Opportunity is Given by God

As a Christian, any influence, any platform or opportunity that he has to speak and pour forth truth before others are due to the sovereignty of God. He tells us every opportunity is given by God, it all belongs to Him, He owns it. Dr. Strachan explains that because it belongs to God, his desire is to be humble in it, and pray and trust that whatever outcome that comes from it will be glorifying to God.

In his personal life, Dr. Strachan shares that it’s everything, it’s all about understanding the excellency and greatness of God. Christians are to be living their lives every second of every day before God, this is what the reformers called “corem deo,” living before the face/presence of God. God is watching over us every second of every hour of every day, He sees everything. This understanding changes the way you go about doing everything in life.

He also shares that the truths from the Word of God should not have a deadening effect on us in our spiritual practice.  They should have quite the opposite that many would criticize Calvinism for. Doctrine should not be pitted against practice. Our right understanding and embracing of Biblical doctrine should drive our practice. Having the right view of life will transform our daily existence. It will supercharge and re-enchant us with great joy to live for the glory of God. These doctrines/biblical teachings do not deaden vibrant Christianity.

Book Recommendation 

Lastly, Dr. Caldwell asks Dr. Strachan to suggest some references for reading that will help others dive into these great truths. Dr. Strachan recommends The Holiness of God, by R.C. Sproul and Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Mardsen.

Related Messages

If you are interested in listening to the conference messages on Gods sovereignty in salvation and the doctrines of grace that were presented at Founders Baptist Church,  you can click on the following link:

(Dr. Strahan’s message on the history of Calvinism in missions, can be found and accessed for listening from this same link)

2019 Truth In Love Conference Messages – Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God

For more information about the Truth In Love Conference visit http://truthinlove.org

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 4 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Makeup Artist
Samantha Claveria

Graphic Design
David Navejas


Special Thanks to
El Centro Network
Cameron Malott

Music by

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

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