Sinclair Ferguson on the Marrow Controversy


The Marrow Controversy surrounded a book written in the 1640’s by a man named Edward Fisher entitled The Marrow of Modern Divinity. The book, written as a dramatic dialogue between four men debating the gospel and it’s implications for the Christian life, the men being Neophytus, Evangelista, Nomista and Antinomista. Neophytus is a young Christian, Evagelista a minister, and Nomista who believes in law over grace and Antinomista who believes in grace over law. The theological engagement centers on the relationship of grace and law in the Gospel.

Fisher’s book was banned by the Church of Scotland in 1740, accusing the book of preaching antinomianism and Universal salvation.  In response, Thomas Boston and a group of other men opposed the ban arguing that the Church had taken Fisher’s teaching out of context.


Why all the fuss?  Fisher’s book is widely regarded as one of the most important doctrinal books ever written, skillfully unravelling the difficult relationship between grace and law, and bringing to light the great dangers of the two polar evils of legalism and antinomianism (lawlessness).  Ferguson has given two series of lectures on the Marrow, and is about to release a book about it called The Whole Christ.  I would encourage you to read the endorsements for the Marrow of Modern Divinity and The Whole Christ at WTS Books.

Ferguson’s book The Whole Christ is, in part, based upon the following two series of lectures.

The Marrow Controversy lectures >>>

Pastoral Lessons from the Marrow Controversy lectures >>>

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