• Apostasy and How it Happens Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2004

    I can still recall the conversation although it took place more than three decades ago. A shocked friend asked, “Have you heard that Sarah is no longer a Christian?” What was so alarming to my friend was that Sarah had been one of the most influential, and apparently fruitful, members of her Inter-Varsity group. What would those who had been influenced by her witness to Christ say, or do? Would they be shaken to the core and now doubt their own Christian faith? After all, the person who had pointed them to Christ no longer trusted Him. On occasion we … View Resource

  • The Author of Faith Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2004

    My last contact with the late Professor John Murray — to whose writings and influence I, like many others, owe a lasting debt — was particularly memorable for me, partly because I asked him a question to which he gave the answer: “That is a difficult question!” As a somewhat diffident young person it was something of a relief to know that my question wasn’t totally stupid. It is a question on which I have continued to reflect. So, what was the question? It may seem a rather recondite one. My question was about the translation and the theological significance … View Resource

  • 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 … View Resource

  • A Catechism on the Heart Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2012

    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 … View Resource

  • The Christ of the Three Appearings Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2004

    Many pastors, perhaps most, take a very deep breath before they commit themselves to preaching through Hebrews! Understandably so, for it brings most Christians into a world that is alien and distant: Melchizedek and Aaron, temple and furniture, blood and animal sacrifices, types and antitypes. Yet Hebrews is a key to the entire Bible, a roadmap to the whole history of redemption, as its opening verses make clear. And from time to time — as in the lofty opening verses — the author provides us with remarkable, and in some senses “simple,” summaries of the saving plan of God. Occasionally … View Resource

  • Columba: Missionary to Scotland Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    In reading the “lives of the saints” it is difficult to the point of impossibility to discover the unvarnished truth. That is certainly true in the case of Columba, or Columcille, the Irish missionary to the Scots and Picts in the second half of the sixth century. Columba’s biography, written by Adamnan one hundred years after his death, contains all the stock-in-trade elements of medieval hagiography: visions and revelations, prophecies, visitations of angels, healings, resurrection of the dead, and battles against dark forces (including, in Columba’s case, banishing by the sign of the cross a sixth-century ancestor of the Loch … 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 loss … 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 … 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, on other occasions, … 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

  • 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 called … 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

  • Hebrews— Does it “Do Anything” For You? Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2004

    A friend — his face wrinkled in a cheerful grin — described an incident that took place at the end of a conference address I had given recently. One hearer, apparently full of the blessings of the passage I had been trying to expound, turned to his neighbor — a stranger to him — and made some positive comments on the experience of the preceding hour: “Wasn’t that great?” — only to receive the somewhat chilling reply, “Didn’t do anything for me.” I suspect that if one were to do a kind of New Testament Random Letter Association Test (to … 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 also … View Resource

  • How Long Will it Last? Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2004

    He’s going through a religious phase.” How often did you overhear that being said about you in your early days as an openly professing follower of Jesus Christ? Admittedly the sheer force of conversion on an untaught mind can lead to us drawing confused notions of exactly what has happened to us. Looking back on my own conversion I feel sure my parents must have thought I was going through a decidedly unbalanced “religious phase” as the golf clubs to which I had long been devoted (even at the tender age of fourteen!) were relegated to the cupboard for months … View Resource