In Which I Confess to Being a Fan Boy
There is I suspect a difference between being grateful and being a fan boy. God has blessed the church with all manner of godly men who preach and teach faithful to the Word. My own desire is to cultivate deeper gratitude while avoiding the awkwardness of being a fan boy. But I suppose part of the point of being a fan boy is you just can’t help it. And I can’t help it. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson is all that, the bomb-diggity, my homeboy.
I have been privileged to count him as a friend for more than twenty years now (though he may ditch me for calling him my homeboy). When I served as the editor of Tabletalk magazine, and planned content for Ligonier conferences back in the day, I called him so often that he took to calling me “boss.” As in, “What do you want me to do now boss?” I took, and take the position, “If you’ve got a cannon, fire it.”
Of course I wouldn’t be honest if I totally discounted the accent. Everyone sounds like they are from somewhere, and where better to be from than Scotland? More important still than his accent has been his genius. One doesn’t get a post teaching systematic theology at Westminster Seminary being a lightweight. Getting closer to the heart of the matter, Sinclair loves the Bible, and it shows.
That particular skill set, while rare and valuable, however, isn’t unique. What sets Sinclair apart in my judgment is that he loves Jesus, and, like a simple child, is persuaded to his toes that Jesus loves him. In my world we don’t value this as we ought, and are the poorer for it.
What has goaded me to come out of the closet as a fan boy was reading one of his books. I am privileged to teach this semester on the doctrine of salvation at Reformation Bible College. We covered election and predestination. We covered justification and sanctification. While planning the class I sent out a request. “I really want to cover adoption in this class. Any suggestions for a good book on adoption?” Someone, to whom I am forever grateful, let me know not only was there a book, but that Sinclair wrote it—Children of the Living God.
Like a sweet dessert, we saved this book for last. And sweet it has proven to be. Page by page, text by text Sinclair simply shows us the most precious gospel truth, that we are His children; we have been adopted into His family; we are joint heirs with Christ. There is no heavy, complex, logic chopping. There is no heated polemics. There is only a simple, glorious, simply glorious exposition of what the Bible tells us, we are His children. I heard Sinclair’s voice as I read, and with each page grew younger and younger, safer and safer, until finally I found myself in the very lap of Jesus as He laid His hand on me and blessed me. Read it friends, and rest.
Sinclair is a gentle giant, a man whose piety exceeds his prodigious intellect. He is a man who knows that he is a boy. Would that we who are Reformed were more like him.