The fifth main message of the 2012 Ligonier Ministries National Conference was from Dr. Sinclair Ferguson and titled, "Losing My Religion." Dr. Ferguson described the endemic problem of doctrinal shallowness. He encouraged all of us to wrestle with the deep things of God and to stretch ourselves by reading some of the great theologians of the past.
Below is an overview of his message.
Dr. Ferguson opened today's lecture with a reading of Psalm 119:97–100.
In the conservative Christian community, there is an enormous tendency to blame the world for everything that goes wrong and to blame ourselves for very little.
- Christianity in our culture really is a mile wide and an inch deep.
- Unfortunately, however, we are specialists at blaming others for this problem.
- We need to be delivered from the notion that we have gotten it right in our churches. Until we do, the church can never grow strong.
- The people of God, the Church, needs to recommit themselves to being Bible people who call on the name of the Lord in constant pleading prayer.
Dr. Ferguson provided three reasons to pursue deeper knowledge of God.
Pursuing a deeper knowledge of God is the reason for which God regenerated us.
We need to pursue a deeper knowledge of God because of the specific teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ who commanded us to love the Lord our God with all of our mind.
We have to pursue a deeper knowledge of God because this is what has life-transforming power.
What do you think about when you have nothing else to think about? This question will tell you a lot about yourself.
He then explained three strategies that might enable us to do it.
We must place our lives under a living ministry of the Word of God.
Dr. Ferguson quoted John Stott who said: "Sermonettes produce Christianettes."
We must dig deeply into the Word of Go for ourselves.
We must learn together with all the saints – don't be embarrassed if you can't discuss the latest book if you can discuss the greatest books.
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson is a pastor, professor of systematic theology, and Ligonier Ministries Teaching Fellow. He is also a member of the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, a prolific author whose many books include By Grace Alone, and one of the most renowned Reformed theologians of our day.