Ferguson: Selections

I’ve collected a few selections from Sinclair Ferguson’s work, In the Year of Our Lord: Reflections on Twenty Centuries of Church History. Enjoy:

“We should never forget that in actual fact most of the history of the Christian church remains unwritten, precisely because God delights to use the obscure.” (68)

“When the church begins to have power and influence not merely in society but over society, it tends to become more interested in its own voice being heard than in the word of the gospel being proclaimed. The decay of the church is never the fault of the world. Inward spiritual decline always precedes outward collapse.” (107)

“…there is no theology without psychology. Theological expositions and debates do not take place in purified and hermetically sealed intellectual vacuums. They always involve people. And people are always complex personalities with varied emotions, concerns, and ambitions. Even though theology is an activity of the mind—indeed, especially because it is an activity of the mind—it cannot be disassociated from the will, the emotions, and the motives of the fallen individual. There is no such thing as “pure theology,” although those who engage in theological debate do not always take this into account.” (117)

“We cannot avoid being citizens of two worlds. But we endanger the gospel if we confuse these two worlds.” (124)

“[Never] allow the agenda or even the style of the world to determine the agenda or lifestyle of the Christian Church.” (133)

“…penitence or repentance is not the action of a moment; it is the turning around of a life—the rejection of sin effected by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit. It cannot therefore be a single act completed in a moment; it is a style of life that lasts until glory.” (167)

-Sinclair Ferguson, In the Year of Our Lord: Reflections on Twenty Centuries of Church History

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