• A Catechism on the Heart Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    Sometimes people ask authors, “Which of your books is your favorite?” The first time the question is asked, the response is likely to be “I am not sure; I have never really thought about it.” But forced to think about it, my own standard response has become, “I am not sure what my favorite book is; but my favorite title is A Heart for God.” I am rarely asked, “Why?” but (in case you ask) the title simply expresses what I want to be: a Christian with a heart for God. Perhaps that is in part a reflection of the … View Resource

  • Is There a God? Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2017

    Answer the question “Is there a God?” in around 775 words? Is this perhaps the easiest assignment Tabletalk has ever commissioned, since the answer is so clear? There are no consistent atheists, only people hiding from God. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). God is the inescapable given who undergirds all things. Or, is this the hardest assignment Tabletalk has ever commissioned? A comprehensive answer might fill an entire library. What follows, then, is only a stray fragment from one chapter in a book in that library. ➝ 1 God … View Resource

  • God’s Covenant People Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2017

    God’s covenant commitment to His people, made in successive promise-bonds, forms the scaffolding within which He builds His church; its shape and growth are determined by it. But like a medieval cathedral, the church is built over centuries; and like a great book, its story is divided into chapters. The word covenant (Hebrew berith, Greek diathēkē) first occurs in the context of the judgment-flood from which only Noah and his family were saved: “I will establish my covenant with you,” God promised (Gen. 6:18). While God brought judgment-curse on the earth (vv. 11–13), by contrast He promised to … View Resource

  • To Enjoy Him Forever Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2017

    While shaking hands at the church door, ministers are sometimes greeted with a spontaneous, “I really enjoyed that!”—which is immediately followed by, “Oh! I shouldn’t really say that, should I?” I usually grip tighter, hold the handshake a little longer, and say with a smile, “Doesn’t the catechism’s first question encourage us to do that? If we are to enjoy Him forever, why not begin now?” Of course, we cannot enjoy God apart from glorifying Him. And the Westminster Shorter Catechism wisely goes on to ask, “What rule hath God given to direct us how we … View Resource

  • The Whole Christ Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2016

    Antinomianism takes various forms. People do not always fit neatly into our categorizations, nor do they necessarily hold all the logical implications of their presuppositions. Here we are using “antinomianism” in the theological sense: rejecting the obligatory (“binding on the conscience”) nature of the Decalogue for those who are in Christ. Antinomianism, it was widely assumed in the eighteenth century, is essentially a failure to understand and appreciate the place of the law of God in the Christian life. But just as there is more to legalism than first meets the eye, the same is true of antinomianism. Opposites Attract … View Resource

  • Oh How I Love Your Law! Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2016

    At a PGA Tour tournament in October 2015, Ben Crane disqualified himself after completing his second round. He did so at considerable financial cost. No matter—Crane believed the personal cost of not doing it would be greater (encouraged by a devotional article he had read that morning by Davis Love III, the distinguished former Ryder Cup captain). Crane realized he had broken one of the more recondite rules of golf. If I followed the story rightly, while in a hazard looking for his ball, he leaned his club on a stone. He abandoned the ball, took the requisite penalty for … View Resource

  • The Holy Spirit Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2016

    Many people come to faith in Jesus Christ long before they are able to articulate the theology of regeneration and conversion. Slowly, we realize that what seemed a “simple” act—trusting in Christ—was in fact a complex experience of divine activity. The Holy Spirit needed to be secretly active, since “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). Woven into this work of grace, then, is the unnoticed activity of the Spirit as He persuades us that the Scriptures—our ultimate source for knowing Christ—are the Word of the God. Coming to this conviction … View Resource

  • Our New Affection Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2015

    In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” At the top was Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Second on the list (presuming no bias in the choices made by the magazine) came the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” This song, both in its intended sense and even when pruned of its innuendo, has served as the anthem of the past half-century (it was released in 1965). It therefore comes as no surprise that USA Today reports that the majority of Americans, in every age group, feel that they have never … View Resource

  • Growing in Christ, Serving in Ministry: An Interview with Sinclair Ferguson Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2015

    Tabletalk: How did you become a Christian, and what brought you to the United States from your native Scotland? Sinclair Ferguson: I was brought up in a close family, with loving parents who tried to get me to keep the commandments, but outside of the church. However, they enrolled me in the local church Sunday school—that was still considered the “decent thing” to do for your children. In God’s providence, I had a series of Christian teachers who impressed me, although I did not understand why. One of them encouraged me to join a U.K. Bible reading organization … View Resource

  • Does Christology Really Matter? Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2014 | Philippians 2

    We all unanimously teach that our Lord Jesus Christ is to us one and the same Son, the self-same perfect in Godhead, the self-same perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man … acknowledged in two natures, unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably … the properties of each nature being preserved.” So wrote the church fathers in the Definition of Chalcedon in AD 451. But even if they spoke “unanimously,” their doctrine of Christ sounds so complex. Does it really matter? Given the sacrifices they made to describe Christ rightly, one can imagine that if these Christians were present at a group Bible study … View Resource

  • Guidelines for Separation Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 18

    I stood at the graveside of a dear, gentle, gracious, and generous saint and looked around at the mourners. I was puzzled by the presence of a group of people who had been absent from the earlier church service. Then I remembered—my friend had once belonged to a church that practiced “second-degree separation.” These were his former fellow pilgrims. They knew we believed and preached the gospel; but we did not practice the levels of separation they did. For them, separation from our worship was an expression of faithfulness. For me, it left only a taste of sadness. NEW TESTAMENT … View Resource

  • John Knox Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2014

    It might be difficult for a visitor to Scotland in 2014 to believe that the nation was a backwater country five hundred years ago. In fact, however, one sixteenth-century writer could, without fear of contradiction, describe it as “a corner of the world separate from the society of men … almost beyond the limits of the human race.” However, in the early 1500s, Scotland had one thing in common with the rest of Europe: a deeply corrupt and spiritually impoverished church, with morally moribund leadership. To cite one notorious example, David Beaton, cardinal and archbishop, legitimated at least fourteen children as … View Resource

  • Faith and Repentance Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2013

    When the gospel is proclaimed, it seems at first sight that two different, even alternative, responses are called for. Sometimes the summons is, “Repent!” Thus, “John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 3:1–2). Again, Peter urged the hearers whose consciences had been ripped open on the day of Pentecost, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38). Later, Paul urged the Athenians to “repent” in response to the message of the risen Christ (Acts 17:30). Yet … View Resource

  • Union with God the Trinity Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2013

    Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be within hours of death—not as an elderly person, but as someone condemned to die although innocent of every crime? What would you want to say to those who know and love you best? You would, surely, tell them how much you loved them. You might hope you could give them some comfort and reassurance—despite the nightmare you yourself were facing. You would want to open your heart and say the things that were most important to you. Such poise would surely be praiseworthy. Of course, it would be human … View Resource

  • Consider the Glory of God Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    John Newton (1725–1807) is best known today for his great hymns (including “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”). But in his own day, he was perhaps more highly prized as a letter writer — “the great director of souls through the post,” as someone described him. Such was the value of his correspondence that he published several volumes of his letters (including one of his letters to his wife, which called forth the comment by one reviewer, his friend Richard Cecil, that wives would be in raptures reading such love letters while “we [husbands] may suffer … View Resource