As noted in an earlier post, the Socinians were one of John Owen’s chief opponents. In his work against them, Vindiciae Evangelicae, he put together a mock “Socinian Catechism.” Here are some highlights:
Ques. 1. What is God?
Ans. God is a spirit, that hath a bodily shape, eyes, ears, hands, feet, like to us.
Q. 2. Where is this God?
A. In a certain place in heaven, upon a throne, where a man may see from his right hand to his left.
Q. 3. Doth he ever move out of that place?
A. I cannot tell what he doth ordinarily, but he hath formerly come down sometimes upon the earth.
Q. 4. What doth he do there in that place?
A. Among other things, he conjectures at what men will do here below.
Q. 5. Doth he, then, not know what we do?
A. He doth know what we have done, but not what we will do.
Q. 6. What frame is he in upon his knowledge and conjecture?
A. Sometimes he is afraid, sometimes grieved, sometimes joyful, and sometimes troubled.
Q. 7. What peace and comfort can I have in committing myself to his providence, if he knows not what will befall me to-morrow?
A. What is that to me? See you to that. . . .
Q. 10. Was he Christ the Lord then when he was born?
A. No; he became the Lord afterward.
Q. 11. Hath he stilt in heaven a human body?
A. No; but he is made a spirit: so that being not God, but man, he was made a god, and being made a god, he is a spirit, and not a man.
Q. 12. What is the Holy Ghost?
A. A principal angel. . . .
Q. 14. Why is Christ called a savior?
A. Because at the resurrection he shall change our vile bodies.
Q. 15. On what other account?
A. None that I know of. . . .
Q. 21. Is Christ to be worshipped because he is God?
A. No, but because he redeemed us.
Q. 22. May one that is a mere creature be worshipped with divine or religious worship?
Q. 23. How can Christ, being a mere man, and now so far removed from the earth, understand and hear all the prayers and desires of the hearts of men that are put up to him all the world over?
A. I cannot tell, for God himself doth not know that there are such actions as our free actions are but upon inquiry. . . .
Q. 31. Did Christ raise himself, according as he spake of the temple of his body, “Destroy this temple, and the third day I will raise it again?”
A. No, he raised not himself at all. . . .
Q. 39. Are we able to keep all God’s commandments?
Q. 40. Perhaps in our sincere endeavors, but can we do it absolutely and perfectly?
A. Yes, we can keep them perfectly.
Q. 41. What need a man then to apprehend Christ’s righteousness and apply it to himself by faith?
A. None at all, for there is no such thing required.