Tag Archives: Sinclair B. Ferguson

Ichthus by Sinclair Ferguson and Derek Thomas

IchthusFerguson, Sinclair B. & Derek W.H. Thomas. Icthus: Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Saviour. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2015. 184 pp. $15.00. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

While I have read a number of books by Derek Thomas, I have not reviewed any of them to my knowledge. I have, however, reviewed a number by Sinclair Ferguson. You can read those here. Derek Thomas serves as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC as well as a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary.

On the back of the book, it states that it is “written by two friends who, between them, have been following Christ for almost 100 years.” What a testimony.

Summary

Divided into nine chapters over 180 pages or so of text, the book is arranged to follow Christ’s earthly ministry from cradle to grave and then from the resurrection to His Second Coming.

The book is saturated with Scripture and offers a condensed and concise summary of what Christ accomplished during His time on earth and what He will accomplish when He returns.

Review

Reading Ichthus is akin to sitting in a seminary class looking solely at the person of Jesus through the lens of both Scripture (most important) and two men who have served the Lord for nearly a century. In other words, for the cost of a book, you could legitimately have a seminary class on the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Written with knowledge and experience that escapes most, Ferguson and Thomas offers the Christian church a wonderfully well-researched yet accessible book. Many books like this offer a section for application or questions for further study. Ichthus does not.

One may think this to be a negative, but as you read the book you realize that the entire book is one of application and one designed for deeper study simply by the questions you will want to answer. All this to say, that this book is one of those resources you will read and reread for years to come because of its meditative nature.

Recommendation

The Banner of Truth Trust has offered to monumental (not due to size, but subject) resources in the last few months. I have reviewed Knowing Christ and found it to be one of the best books on Christ I have read in recent memory. I can safely add Ichthus to this list of books I will return to through the years. I believe you will, too. I highly recommend this book to all Christians.

Deserted by God? by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Deserted by GodFerguson, Sinclair.  Deserted by God?  Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1993 (reset using the ESV, 2013).  158 pp.  $14.00.  Purchase at Westminster Books for less.

Introduction

Sinclair Ferguson serves as Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC.  He also is Professor of Systematic Theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX.  He has written a number of books all of which can be purchased here.  I have reviewed his three biographical children’s books of men from the early church.  You can read those reviews here.

Summary

Divided into eleven chapters, Ferguson looks at the ever pervasive issue of feeling as though God is no longer walking with you even though you are a believer.  Chapter one seeks to answer the question “Can anyone help me?” while chapter two looks hard at the next question, “How long must this last, Lord?”

Chapters three through eight look at various trials and tribulations in the life of the believer that leaves him or her feeling alone.  In these chapters, Ferguson deals with discouragement, sin, death, depression, and the like.  By the time the reader has waded through this middle section of the book, he will begin to understand that he is not the only one who struggles with feelings of isolation and desertion.

The final three chapters teach the reader how to learn contentment and offer an apologetic for the truth that the believer is never deserted by God.

Review

As one who has struggled mightily with isolation and (apparent) desertion by God, Ferguson’s words are a sweet balm to a healing soul.  There is no blame shifting or accusing found in these pages.  Rather, as a pastor who has wrestled with these issues in both his own personal life and the life of his congregation, Sinclair Ferguson offers sweet biblical truths to exhort the believer to faith.

Every page of this resource points the reader to Christ.  In the end, you will be equipped with the head knowledge that Christ has promised that He will never leave you or forsake you and that you are not the only one dealing with your current struggles.  I say “head knowledge” because there are times in the life of the believe when this is the only faith you have — what you know to be true — in a given situation when your experience does not seem to align with Scripture.  It is this head knowledge, when pressed in times of tribulation, that becomes heart knowledge and is used by the Holy Spirit to equip the believer to persevere through life knowing that a future glory awaits.

Recommendation

I cannot recommend this resource enough.  This will be a book that you read once and then read sections over and over again on an as needed basis.  This will be one of those books you want to have extra copies of to give away to fellow believers who are also struggling with isolation and desertion.

Polycarp of Smyrna by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Ferguson, Sinclair B. Polycarp of Smyrna: The Man Whose Faith Lasted. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2010. 42 pp. $14.00. Purchase at Westminster for $9.80.

Introduction/Summary

Sinclair Ferguson is well known in Reformed circles. He is a noted author and speaker and is now working on helping parents pour a solid foundation of early church history through the children’s series, Heroes of the Faith.

Polycarp is the “linchpin” of the first three books in the series. He connects Ignatius to Ireneaus and also goes back to when the Apostle John was still alive as did Ignatius. The children will learn that he was burned at the stake for his faith in Christ. This is important as all too often today we are told that the Christian life is one of ease and comfort. The life of Polycarp will prove that to be false.

At the end of this short little book, as with the rest of the books in the series, Ferguson offers a one page bio that helps to summarize the book. He includes a helpful timeline that spells out, I believe, the titles forthcoming in the series. The last word of exhortation from the author concerns itself with the use of the word heroes and the child’s propensity to have heroes.

Review

Reading about Polycarp, in the Heroes of Faith series, should be done after reading about Irenaeus and Ignatius as he does bring those two lives together. What is more, the early life of the church, post apostolic age, really comes to life in these children’s books. There is much learned without the child even realizing what is being learned!

Recommendation

Once again, Sinclair Ferguson delivers in his work. This time, he offers a simple and concise biography of one of those who are in that great cloud of witnesses that has gone before us. His work will be appreciated by the adults and the children will find themselves wanting to read more about these heroes whose faith is in Christ. I praise the Lord for the gift of writing that has been given to Sinclair Ferguson.

Irenaeus of Lyons by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Ferguson, Sinclair B. Irenaeus of Lyons: The Man who Wrote Books. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2010. 42 pp.$14.00.  Purchase at Westminster for $9.80.

Introduction

Sinclair Ferguson is well known in Reformed circles. He is a noted author and speaker and is now working toward helping parents pour a solid foundation of early church history through the children’s series, Heroes of the Faith.

Summary

Irenaeus looks quickly at the life of one of the early apologists for the Christian faith. Over the course of 40 short pages, the reader (both child and adult) will be introduced to the central role Irenaeus had in defending the faith against heresy. Specifically, Irenaeus sought to establish the truth of Genesis 1-3 as the foundation for the necessity of Christ.

At the end of this short little book, Ferguson offers a one page bio that helps to summarize the book. He includes a helpful timeline that spells out, I believe, the titles forthcoming in the series. The last word of exhortation from the author concerns itself with the use of the word heroes and the child’s propensity to have heroes.

Review

The colorful pictures help the children to remain engaged to the story. The large print helps the child learning to read continue to read. The adult reading the book will find that in 20 minutes or less, you can introduce children to truly some of the greatest heroes this world has ever known. Ferguson keeps the story of Irenaeus short, sweet, and to the point. In the end, your child will want to reread this book numerous times.

Recommendation

I am so thankful to these children’s books that continue to pour forth from publishers. In a day and age when all our children want is to be entertained mindlessly, we are being presented with resources that will engage the children. The Heroes of Faith series promises to be a wonderful series that you will certainly want to invest in both with your money and your time.

Ignatius of Antioch by Sinlcair B. Ferguson

Ferguson, Sinclair B. Ignatius of Antioch: The Man Who Faced Lions. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2010. 42 pp.  $14.00.  Purchase at Westminster for $9.80.

Introduction/Summary

Sinclair Ferguson is well known in Reformed circles. He is a noted author and speaker and is now working toward helping parents pour a solid foundation of early church history through the children’s series, Heroes of the Faith.

Ignatius of Antioch traces the life of the saint of old who stood against the Roman Empire because of his faith in Christ. We learn that Ignatius was born when the Apostle John was still alive thus creating a continuity through church history from Christ on down to the present day. Perhaps what will be most impactful to the children is the truth that he stood before lions and though he was not saved as Daniel was, he never did renounce his faith in Christ. Here, the child learns that Jesus keeps his promises even in death.

At the end of this short little book, as with the rest of the books in the series, Ferguson offers a one page bio that helps to summarize the book. He includes a helpful timeline that spells out, I believe, the titles forthcoming in the series. The last word of exhortation from the author concerns itself with the use of the word heroes and the child’s propensity to have heroes.

Review

I appreciated the way Ferguson treated the death of Ignatius. He never explicitly states that the lions ate him or killed him; rather, he allows the thought to hang there for the child to grasp on his own. Again, the artistic qualities of the book come to the fore as the child is enraptured by the colorful drawings as well as the story line. It is most helpful to see that while Daniel and the Lions Den had a favorable ending, the truth found in Daniel 3:17-18 still holds true. Ignatius is an example of that faith.

Recommendation

Um…get this book. Your children will be amazed that Christians faced lions and were not saved miraculously. They will be surprised to know that faith that leads to death is real. If the Lord is willing, their definition of heroes will begin to change and this is not a bad thing at all.