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9781433548000

That’s a quote from Derek Thomas. Here is his full statement about Sinclair Ferguson’s new book, The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters:

It is no exaggeration to insist that the issue dealt with in this book is more important than any other that one might suggest.

For, as Ferguson makes all too clear, the issue is the very definition of the gospel itself. The errors of antinomianism and legalism lie ready to allure unwary hucksters content with mere slogans and rhetoric. I can think of no one I trust more to explore and examine this vital subject than Sinclair Ferguson.

For my part, this is one of the most important and definitive books I have read in over four decades.

Tim Keller, who wrote the foreword to the book (and was the one who suggested Sinclair write the book in the first place), writes that Sinclair

wants to help us understand the character of this perpetual problem—one that bedevils the church today. He does so in the most illuminating and compelling way I’ve seen in recent evangelical literature.

Here are some other folks talking about the importance of this book:

“This book could not come at a better time or from a better source. . .  . It is the highest-quality pastoral wisdom and doctrinal reflection on the most central issue in any age.”
Michael Horton

“This may be Sinclair’s best and most important book. Take up and read!”
Alistair Begg

“Without hesitation, this will be the first book I recommend to those who want to understand the history and theology of this most precious doctrine [sanctification].”
Burk Parsons

“It’s hard to imagine a more important book written by a more dependable guide.”
Jeff Purswell

You can read this post for a little bit a background on why Sinclair Ferguson wrote this book.

In fact, you can read Keller’s foreword, the table of contents, the introduction, and the first chapter online for free here.

WTS has the book in stock now—for 45% off the retail price of this hardcover book. If you buy it with the older Marrow book (recently retypeset with helps), you’ll automatically receive 55% off both titles at checkout.

You could also pre-order it from Amazon if you prefer.


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7 thoughts on ““This Is One of the Most Important and Definitive Books I Have Read in over Four Decades””

  1. Roy says:

    Get both (the new and old Marrow books) delivered to your Kindle for $9.00 ($4.50 each) from WTS.
    I needed to call them (888-987-2665) due to a bug on their website.
    FYI:
    The new Keller Kindle book is not yet available from Amazon
    while the older Marrow book is available for $2.99

    1. Hermonta Godwin says:

      Are you saying that such will be the deal? For it seems that currently one can only get both books for 19.90 at checkout.

      1. Unfortunately we (WTS Books) are not able to offer the eBooks of The Marrow of Modern Divinity and The Whole Christ for 55% off ($4.50). The bug mentioned above concerning our eBooks was that the 55% off for two or more note was on the product pages for both eBooks, though it should not have been. We apologize for this error. We have now corrected it so that the note is no longer there. Each of those eBooks are available for $9.99.

  2. Hugh McCann says:

    We say yea and amen to these:

    George Gillespie: I cannot understand how there can be such a universal love of God to mankind as is maintained. Those that will say it must needs deny the absolute reprobation; then a love to those whom God hath absolutely reprobated both from salvation and the means of salvation.*

    Samuel Rutherford: The love in the iii of John 16 is restricted to the church. . . . It is an actual saving love, and therefore not a general love.**

    * David Blunt, “Debate of Redemption at the Westminster Assembly,” British Reformed Journal, January-March 1996: 5, page 8.

    ** Blunt, page 10.

  3. Unfortunately we (WTS Books) are not able to offer the eBooks of The Marrow of Modern Divinity and The Whole Christ for 55% off ($4.50). The bug mentioned above concerning our eBooks was that the 55% off for two or more note was on the product pages for both eBooks, though it should not have been. We apologize for this error. We have now corrected it so that the note is no longer there. Each of those eBooks are available for $9.99.

  4. Hugh McCann says:

    More to [please!] think about:

    V. Amyraldianism and Apostasy

    1. Amyraldianism has been rightly identified as a compromise position.

    A. A. Hodge: “Their own system was generally styled Universalismus Hypotheticus, an hypothetic or conditional universalism. They taught that there were two wills or purposes in God in respect to man’s salvation. The one will is a purpose to provide, at the cost of the sacrifice of his own Son, salvation for each and every human being without exception if they believe—a condition foreknown to be universally and certainly impossible. The other will is an absolute purpose, depending only upon his own sovereign good pleasure, to secure the certain salvation of a definite number … This view represents God as loving the non-elect sufficiently to give them his Son to die for them, but not loving them enough to give them faith and repentance … It represents God as willing at the same time that all men be saved and that only the elect be saved. It denies, in opposition to the Arminian, that any of God’s decrees are conditioned upon the self-determined will of the creature, and yet puts into the mouths of confessed Calvinists the very catch-words of the Arminian system, such as universal grace, the conditional will of God, universal redemption, etc. The language of Amyraldus, the ‘Marrow Men,’ Baxter, Wardlaw, Richards, and Brown is now used to cover much more serious departures from the truth. All really consistent Calvinists ought to have learned by now that the original position of the great writers and confessions of the Reformed Churches have only been confused, and neither improved, strengthened nor illustrated, by all the talk with which the Church has … been distracted as to the ‘double will’ of God, or the ‘double reference’ of the Atonement. If men will be consistent in their adherence to these ‘Novelties,’ they must become Arminians. If they would hold consistently to the essential principles of Calvinism, they must discard the ‘Novelties’” (The Atonement [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,1953], pp. 374-375).

    Charles Hodge “[Amyraldianism] was designed to take a middle ground between Augustinianism and Arminianism” (Systematic Theology, vol. 2, p. 322).

    George Smeaton: “By those who were competent to take the measure of Amyraldianism—such as Rivetus, Maresius, and Spanheim—it was regarded as a subtle form of Arminianism” (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, p. 361).

    George Smeaton: “[Amyraldianism is] a revolt from the position maintained at the Synod of Dordt, under the guise of an explanation” (The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement, p. 540).

    B. B. Warfield: Amyraldianism is “bad Calvinism.” It “is not … an acceptable form of Calvinism, or even a tenable form of Calvinism. For one thing, it is a logically inconsistent form of Calvinism and therefore an unstable form of Calvinism” (The Plan of Salvation, pp. 98, 96).

    Roger Nicole points out a purpose of Amyraut’s compromise doctrines: false ecumenism: “Amyraut intended to soften the edges of the traditional Reformed view and thus to relieve difficulties in the controversy with Roman Catholics and facilitate a reunion of Protestants in which Reformed and Lutheran could join ranks.” As is necessarily the case when one sells the truth (Prov. 23:23) to build false unity, Amyraldianism “tended to weaken the unity of Reformed thought and to open the door to increasing departures from Reformed orthodoxy” (“Amyraldianism,” in Sinclair B. Ferguson and David F. Wright [eds.], New Dictionary of Theology [Leicester: IVP, 1988], p. 17).

    Abraham Kuyper: Amyraldianism “was severely censured by the Reformed church in France, and by the Swiss, and by the Reformed church in our country [i.e., the Netherlands], and by the best theologians, namely, Molinaeus, Rivet, Spanheim, and Trigland” (Particular Grace [Grandville, MI; RFPA, 2001], pp. 169-170).

    John Owen’s exhortation against compromise and carnal unity is insightful and apposite here: “Hold fast the form of wholesome words and sound doctrine: know that there are other ways of peace and accommodation with dissenters [i.e., those in error] than by letting go the least particle of truth. When men would accommodate their own hearts to love and peace, they must not double with their souls, and accommodate the truth of the gospel to other men’s imaginations. Perhaps some will suggest great things of going a middle way in divinity, between dissenters; but what is the issue, for the most part, of such proposals? After they have, by their middle way, raised no less contentions than was before between the extremes (yea, when things before were in some good measure allayed), the accommodators themselves, through an ambitious desire to make good and defend their own expedients, are insensibly carried over to the party and extreme to whom they thought to make a condescension unto; and, by endeavouring to blanch their opinions, to make them seem probable, they are engaged to the defence of their consequences before they are aware.” Owen immediately proceeds to give a most appropriate instance of this sinful, doctrinal compromise: Moise Amyraut! “Amyraldus (whom I look upon as one of the greatest wits of these days) will at present go a middle way between the [Reformed] churches of France and the Arminians. What hath been the issue? Among the churches, divisions, tumult, disorder; among the professors and ministers, revilings, evil surmisings; to the whole body of the people, scandals and offences; and in respect of himself, evidence of daily approaching nearer to the Arminian party, until, as one of them saith of him, he is not far from their kingdom of heaven” (Works, vol. 12, pp. 48-49).

    Amyraldianism and the Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675)

    By the Rev. Angus Stewart

    http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/amyraut.htm#.VpgtHTY7Lr8

  5. Pedro Cheung says:

    Thank you for the announcement and preview of this important work. We are reviewing this topic in my systematic theology class this week, and this work has proven extremely helpful.

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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