THE WHOLE CHRIST: Legalism, Antinomianism & Gospel Assurance - Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters
Since the days of the early church, Christians have wrestled with the relationship between the law and gospel. If, as the apostle Paul says, salvation is by grace and the law cannot save, what relevance does the law have for Christians today?
By revisiting the 'Marrow Controversy' - a famous but largely forgotten eighteenth-century debate related to the proper relationship between God's grace and our works - Sinclair B. Ferguson sheds light on this central issue and why it still matters today. In doing so, he explains how our understanding of the relationship between law and gospel determines our approach to evangelism, our pursuit of sanctification, and even our understanding of Godáhimself.
Ferguson shows us that the antidote to the poison of legalism on the one hand and antinomianism on the other is one and the same: the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ, in whom we are simultaneously justified by faith, freed for good works, and assured ofásalvation.
"This book has three things I'm very interested in: eighteenth-century Scottish church history, doctrinal clarity on the gospel, and learning from Sinclair Ferguson. As fascinating as this work is as a piece of historical analysis, it is even more important as a careful biblical and theological guide to the always-relevant controversies surrounding legalism, antinomianism, and assurance. I'm thankful Ferguson has put his scholarly mind and pastoral heart to work on such an important topic." - Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan
"This book could not come at a better time or from a better source. Sinclair Ferguson brings to life a very important controversy from the past to shed light on contemporary debates. But 'The Whole Christ' is more than a deeply informed survey of the Marrow Controversy. It is the highest-quality pastoral wisdom and doctrinal reflection on the most central issue in any age." - Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author,Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story
TABLE OF CONTENTS
How a Marrow Grew
Grace in the Gospel
Preparation, Distortion, Poison
The Order of Grace
Faces of Antinomianism
Causes and Cures
The Marrow of Assurance
How Assurance of Christ becomes Assurance of Salvation
'Hindrances Strew All the Way'
Appendix: Thomas Boston on Faith
Sinclair B. Fergusoná(PhD, University of Aberdeen)áis professor of systematic theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and the former senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia,áSouth Carolina.áHe is the author of several books, the most recent being By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me. Sinclair and his wife, Dorothy, have four grown children.
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