Tag Archive for 'Sinclair Ferguson'

Stinging Quote by Sinclair Ferguson

This quote by Sinclair Ferguson, in his book Devoted to God, is one of the more difficult ones I’ve read from a contemporary Christian author. It’s an area of sin that’s often overlooked.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath,
Colossians 3:8 ESV

Here Paul is speaking about settled hostility [anger]. […]

Paul adds we are to put away wrath. […]

But what if–as one scholar puts it–we translate Paul’s term here as ‘exasperation’? That gets under the skin! If all Paul meant was ‘rage’ we might think of others to whom these words apply, but hardly ourselves. But ‘exasperation’? Respectable impatience? Irritation when things go wrong? Surely these cannot be classed as real sin? But this is to remove God from our perspective. For the root cause of impatience and exasperation lies in our response to the providence by which God superintends our lives. At the end of the day the deep object of our exasperation is the Lord himself. For it is his sovereign purposes and detailed plans, and the way in which he has ordered our steps to bring us into the situation, that has been the catalyst of our exasperation.

So in fact ‘exasperation’ spells spiritual danger. Yet most of us do not think of it as serious sin. In fact we may have said (even with a sense of pride): ‘I am not the kind of person to suffer fools gladly. [Matt. 5:22] I am easily exasperated by them.’ But if so we have become deaf to what we are really saying. For such exasperation is an expression of the warped and distorted old way of life in Adam. It is un-Christlike and needs to be put off. At its heart is a self-exaltation over others, and a dissatisfaction with the way God is ordering and orchestrating the events of our lives.

–Sinclair Ferguson, Devoted to God

Can you imagine what the more argumentative areas of social media would look like if everyone were to take this message seriously? The tenor would be completely transformed. We can easily slip into group-think when we’re constantly bombarded with people being overly blunt with each other. It can become normal. Even if we don’t perceive our words as very harsh–should the other person, or people watching on take it differently–our words don’t come to rest; they can float into other people’s minds as a curse (Proverbs 26:2).

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 NLT

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
2 Timothy 2:23-24

Devoted To God Book Cover

Book Review: In Christ Alone

In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

This is a Reformation Trust review.

Sinclair Ferguson draws heavily on the Gospel of John and the book of Hebrews to paint a portrait of Christ and His sufficiency for living out our faith.

The book is accessible for the lay person but meaty enough for anyone, although it may not be for those who are new Christians.

The book is comprised of 50 somewhat short chapters making it suitable for devotional reading. The chapters are divided into six sections, each pertaining to a different aspect of Christology.

The book is one quotable quote after another. The chapter entitled Santa Christ? has been quoted in part on blogs from time to time.

Ferguson’s theology is fully and obviously Reformed, but the nature of the book is not polemic, apologetic or comparative. He even gives a few warnings to those who are Reformed.

The apostles saw that Pentecost was a once-for-all-time, epoch-making event, but with often-repeatable elements built into it. The empowering for witness that Jesus promised was to be limited neither to the single event of Pentecost nor exclusively to the apostles. It extended beyond their persons and time (Acts. 2:4).

A Word to the Reformed

This is what we still need: power to witness. The truth is that nothing would as readily silence gainsayers against the Reformed faith as would this. Far more important, it is only through such empowering that we will get beyond witnessing to fellow Christians about the Reformed faith and start witnessing to non-Christians about saving faith.

His zeal for Scripture is evident:

[A]biding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our
minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections. In other words, our relationship to Christ is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles!

For those who have a hard time with the book of Hebrews (although I’m not sure why there are so many), Ferguson explains how “there is no letter in the New Testament that tells us more about Christ and His work” in the chapter entitled: Hebrews—Does It Do Anything for You?

Some of the later chapters seem a bit disjointed. Maybe this is because the book began as articles in Table Talk and Eternity Magazine. However, this is only a stylistic point and doesn’t detract from the quality of the content.

Other than that minor point, I have nothing negative to say about this book. While reading it I found myself worshiping our Savior, learning more about Jesus, having some questions answered and looking foreword the the next chapter. It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time, and so far it’s my favorite of the books I’ve read from Reformation Trust. I highly recommend it.

Book details:

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing
  • Publication Date: December 15, 2007
  • ISBN-10: 1567690890

Buy it from:

Ligonier Ministries – New Blog

Ligonier Ministries has a new blog. Of particular interest is an interview with Sinclair Ferguson which has some insight into Calvin, who Jesus is, doctrine, salvation etc.

HT: Challies.com