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'Christian doctrine matters for Christian living.' This is 'one of the most important growth points of the Christian life', writes Sinclair B. Ferguson. From this starting point, The Christian Life expounds such key biblical themes as grace, faith, repentance, new birth and assurance with clarity and contagious enthusiasm. 'Chrisitan doctrines are life-shaping', explains t 'Christian doctrine matters for Christian living.' This is 'one of the most important growth points of the Christian life', writes Sinclair B. Ferguson. From this starting point, The Christian Life expounds such key biblical themes as grace, faith, repentance, new birth and assurance with clarity and contagious enthusiasm. 'Chrisitan doctrines are life-shaping', explains the author, because 'they show us the God we worship'.


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'Christian doctrine matters for Christian living.' This is 'one of the most important growth points of the Christian life', writes Sinclair B. Ferguson. From this starting point, The Christian Life expounds such key biblical themes as grace, faith, repentance, new birth and assurance with clarity and contagious enthusiasm. 'Chrisitan doctrines are life-shaping', explains t 'Christian doctrine matters for Christian living.' This is 'one of the most important growth points of the Christian life', writes Sinclair B. Ferguson. From this starting point, The Christian Life expounds such key biblical themes as grace, faith, repentance, new birth and assurance with clarity and contagious enthusiasm. 'Chrisitan doctrines are life-shaping', explains the author, because 'they show us the God we worship'.

30 review for The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Dumitru

    The front page of this book says that this reading is a doctrinal introduction which indeed it is. It covers a multitude of subjects that are of utmost important for the Christian life. Starting with the first few chapters it might seem like a hard to digest reading, however it gets better with each chapter. The old basic truths of the Gospel are presented in a very profound manner giving a thorough overview. Knowing these theoretical aspects of the gospel is the starting point for living a prac The front page of this book says that this reading is a doctrinal introduction which indeed it is. It covers a multitude of subjects that are of utmost important for the Christian life. Starting with the first few chapters it might seem like a hard to digest reading, however it gets better with each chapter. The old basic truths of the Gospel are presented in a very profound manner giving a thorough overview. Knowing these theoretical aspects of the gospel is the starting point for living a practical Christian live. It encourages the heart to rest in the deep truths that the Word of God provides. These doctrines are meant to mold us so that our lives begin to look more and more like that of Christ. Reading this book will help even long practicing Christians to verify their roots and fine-tune their beliefs, which in turn will assure believers of our rightful place as children of God.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    A must read. Ferguson takes the reader through the doctrinal heart of the Christian life. Anyone who believes that doctrine lacks life and passion has not read Sinclair Ferguson. This is a book for all Christians to read and savor.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Excellent read. A very approachable book on important doctrines. I was encouraged, reminded of many beautiful truths, and learned a lot!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru Croitor

    A heart-warming, intellectually-engaging doctrinal introduction to the Christian Life; I loved how the whole "doctrine leads to doxology" bore its fruit in each chapter of this book. Every doctrinal stance (scripturally exposited and illustrated) made a clear point: Doxology is the goal of theology! "Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven; To His feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Who like thee His praise should sing Praise Him ! Praise Him! Praise the everlasting King." A heart-warming, intellectually-engaging doctrinal introduction to the Christian Life; I loved how the whole "doctrine leads to doxology" bore its fruit in each chapter of this book. Every doctrinal stance (scripturally exposited and illustrated) made a clear point: Doxology is the goal of theology! "Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven; To His feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Who like thee His praise should sing Praise Him ! Praise Him! Praise the everlasting King."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Keller Hackbusch

    Must read for the Christian. Excellent.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kottman

    This is a great introduction into basic Christian theology. As Christians we live out our lives through doctrine. It isn't always something we look at, but it is something we live, and so gaining a solid understanding of the Christian faith affects the way we live. This is a great introduction into basic Christian theology. As Christians we live out our lives through doctrine. It isn't always something we look at, but it is something we live, and so gaining a solid understanding of the Christian faith affects the way we live.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    A surprisingly digestible, practical theological guide to the Christian walk. Thoroughly enjoyed the read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Overall this was a really solid book on biblical doctrine. Most major areas are covered and done so with a clarity that is difficult to obtain in these types of work. Complex biblical analysis is concise and practical. There is a balance between summarizing concepts and analyzing scripture. This would be a great reference work or helpful for someone wanting to learn about a key doctrine without having to read something too heady. My only issue was there could have been better references. There i Overall this was a really solid book on biblical doctrine. Most major areas are covered and done so with a clarity that is difficult to obtain in these types of work. Complex biblical analysis is concise and practical. There is a balance between summarizing concepts and analyzing scripture. This would be a great reference work or helpful for someone wanting to learn about a key doctrine without having to read something too heady. My only issue was there could have been better references. There is a helpful index and scripture reference. "how we think is one of the great determining factors in how we live" "The message is that the knowledge of God and the sure understanding of his character and ways provide the basis for all practical Christian living" "The doctrines of the gospel are meant to mold us so that our lives begin to "set" in the likeness of Christ" "We will never properly understand the work of God which takes place in the Christian life unless we first of all have some kind of grasp of why we need the grace of God." "It is the glory of the gospel that it meets our need." "He puts into effect an intricate design which will be made clear only when the finished garment is held up to the admiring onlookers...It is because God's ultimate purpose is to make us like Christ." "We know that two people can listen to the same evangelistic sermon and one will hear the voice of Christ calling him to faith while the other hears only the words of the preacher. Again, we do not know why this happens. We are at a loss to fathom the difference between a general call and this powerful, effectual call. We only know that the difference is real." "But he who calls them creates in them the ability to respond so that in the very act of his calling he brings them into new life."

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Turner

    Rating - Must Read Level - Quick, easy read Summary The subtitle of this book is really illustrative of what this book is about. It is an introduction to doctrine for Christians, more specifically reformed theology. This is probably the best intro book I've ever read. You won't get the full intro that you'd need to tackle Systematic Theology, there is no doctrine of church, sacrament, eschatology, etc., but his chapters on man, sin, grace, election/adoption, justification, and christian living are Rating - Must Read Level - Quick, easy read Summary The subtitle of this book is really illustrative of what this book is about. It is an introduction to doctrine for Christians, more specifically reformed theology. This is probably the best intro book I've ever read. You won't get the full intro that you'd need to tackle Systematic Theology, there is no doctrine of church, sacrament, eschatology, etc., but his chapters on man, sin, grace, election/adoption, justification, and christian living are possibly unmatched in their accessibility to the average Christian. I'd highly recommend this book for anyone looking to understand more about doctrine, to go above a Sunday School level, and it may even work as a gateway book into deeper study of theology. Ferguson was a theologian and professor, but this book is written by a pastor first and foremost and can easily be read by any Christian at any level of education and knowledge. My Thoughts If I've somehow been unclear, I'm really high on this book. Clocking in under 200 pages but with 18 chapters, anyone can hope in and out of the different doctrinal chapters with ease. As I mentioned above, this is a great intro for anyone looking to expand their knowledge. It is also a great reminder to pastor and theologians of the basics of doctrine. A way to bring those who greater knowledge back down to a simpler level, a more concise study of what others need to know. This is written almost as a series of sermons and could be a great book for a Bible study or community group looking for something to read. For pastors and elders in the church, this should be the go to suggested reading for anyone inquiring about doctrine. Overall, it is a must read for every Christian. More reviews - https://MondayMorningTheologian.com/

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ben Cooper

    As far as it does, this is a workable and mostly readable summary of a number of key categories in systematic doctrine, not unlike many others. The good things outweigh the less good. Loads of heartening truths. But don't expect a page-turner. It's written in standard 'Reformedese'. That is, everything, especially each heading, is part of some enormous long list. Great for those who like lists, a bit dull for the rest of us. The text is fragmented by long quotations from other authors or passage As far as it does, this is a workable and mostly readable summary of a number of key categories in systematic doctrine, not unlike many others. The good things outweigh the less good. Loads of heartening truths. But don't expect a page-turner. It's written in standard 'Reformedese'. That is, everything, especially each heading, is part of some enormous long list. Great for those who like lists, a bit dull for the rest of us. The text is fragmented by long quotations from other authors or passages of Scripture. The language is quite 'musty'. That is, rather too many sentences beginning 'We must...' And anyone hoping that is is about the Christian life in any meaningful or personal way will be disappointed, whatever the title may claim. It's 'applied' in only the broadest, vaguest sense, with very little connected to actual life experience. That said, it does pick up about half way though. The chapters on Union with Christ, The Christian's Conflicts, and Crucifying Sin are especially good.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matt Pelto

    The Christian Life, while not a full systematic theology, is a doctrinal exposition of, well, the Christian life. Ferguson, in a wonderfully pastoral way explains the doctrines ranging from the sinfulness of man, to justification, to union with Christ, to our glorification. As should be the case when dealing with the thing of God, Ferguson writes in a way that will lead to worship and a deeper love of God. I would recommend this book both to new Christians and to ones who have been in Christ for The Christian Life, while not a full systematic theology, is a doctrinal exposition of, well, the Christian life. Ferguson, in a wonderfully pastoral way explains the doctrines ranging from the sinfulness of man, to justification, to union with Christ, to our glorification. As should be the case when dealing with the thing of God, Ferguson writes in a way that will lead to worship and a deeper love of God. I would recommend this book both to new Christians and to ones who have been in Christ for years.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Coleman

    An important reminder that doctrine matters. While many argue that theology is "impractical," the truth is that how we think about God, what He has done/ is doing in Christ, and where we stand in relation to these things will have the most practical implications in the world. Ferguson: "But we cannot obediently hear our Lord (surely the most practical man who ever lived), if we turn away from his doctrine. For he teaches doctrine in order to fill our lives with stability and grace." An important reminder that doctrine matters. While many argue that theology is "impractical," the truth is that how we think about God, what He has done/ is doing in Christ, and where we stand in relation to these things will have the most practical implications in the world. Ferguson: "But we cannot obediently hear our Lord (surely the most practical man who ever lived), if we turn away from his doctrine. For he teaches doctrine in order to fill our lives with stability and grace."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    It would be difficult to recommend this book too highly. It is a work that could be read every year by the confessing Christian, and easily referenced continually throughout the year for refreshment and encouragement. It provides a very simple, clear, immediately practical explanations of the core doctrines of the Christian faith and the impact that these doctrines ought to have on everyday life. This is not a dry, heady book in the least, but a refreshing, practical look at Christianity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily Schmader

    Finally finished! I chipped away at this book one chapter at a time. It’s both doctrinally meaty and somewhat simple at the same time. Ferguson takes us through the Christian Life, starting with preliminary features like the plan of grace, calling, conviction of sin, into repentance and faith, followed by various other aspects of the Christian’s life. I really enjoyed the perseverance chapter! Highly recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Brown

    A really solid work on the order of salvation. Ferguson is doctrinally precise and this work very devotionally. I greatly enjoyed it. His language is poetic which might be hard for some. My only critique is it occasionally read more like a systematic theology rather than a sermon: he would explain a doctrine well but not illustrate or teach it in a way those unfamiliar with the idea would understand.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Winokan

    Ferguson writes on Christian doctrines with deft clarity and practical implications in mind, touching on topics like grace, conviction of sin, faith, repentance, justification, adoption, regeneration, election, in dwelling sin, perseverance, and glorification to highlight several. A helpful, accessible read for Christians, young and old, and thrusts forward the adage: Christian doctrine shapes Christian living.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    I read this book to gauge it as a discipleship book. While it might not be great for that purpose, it is great as a personal devotional book. I read it over a five day period, each day reading doctrines and truths from scripture but explained and presented in a practical way. Sinclair Ferguson never disappoints. I enjoy his style of writing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hezekiah Brown

    An easy to read and solid introduction to the doctrines of the Christian life in a practical format. Ferguson manages to be theologically solid and rich without being too abstract or wordy for the lay reader. An excellent introduction.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    This is a concise and eminently readable book. It was very helpful for me as one who could not face heavy theological writing and requires a digestible overview of many core doctrines.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Renee Williams

    Excellent overview of the major doctrine of the Bible. It was easy to read and understand.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Recommended for those who want to understand the doctrines of the Christian faith.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    A short, logical, clear step by step introduction to Christian doctrine. I would recommend this to a new/young believer who is interested in deepening their understanding of their faith.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Solid as always for Sinclair

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tim Franks

    Another generation's 20 Christian beliefs covering the major tenets of the Christian faith. It lacks a little in practical nature of these doctrines, but a great read nonetheless. His ordering was unique and I think helpful for the actual understanding of these doctrines. I have always really appreciated the works of Sinclair and this doesn't disappoint. Another generation's 20 Christian beliefs covering the major tenets of the Christian faith. It lacks a little in practical nature of these doctrines, but a great read nonetheless. His ordering was unique and I think helpful for the actual understanding of these doctrines. I have always really appreciated the works of Sinclair and this doesn't disappoint.

  25. 5 out of 5

    JT Stead

    Modern day Redemption accomplished and applied. Sinclair is one of my favorite modern day theologians. read this with students and they were floored by God's grace. Such a great book. Modern day Redemption accomplished and applied. Sinclair is one of my favorite modern day theologians. read this with students and they were floored by God's grace. Such a great book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    This book is an excellent primer for Christians to begin studying basic theology. Ferguson touches upon most of the important doctrinal themes in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow approach. His perspective is definitely Reformed but the content would still be beneficial to all Protestants and evangelicals. My only complaint with this work is that there are no study questions provided. Had there been, I would have used it as a discussion guide for church training. If you're looking for a Bibl This book is an excellent primer for Christians to begin studying basic theology. Ferguson touches upon most of the important doctrinal themes in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow approach. His perspective is definitely Reformed but the content would still be beneficial to all Protestants and evangelicals. My only complaint with this work is that there are no study questions provided. Had there been, I would have used it as a discussion guide for church training. If you're looking for a Biblically-solid primer on Christian doctrine, I highly recommend it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael Philliber

    I first read this volume in 1997 while in Seminary. Recently, my wife and I read it together as part of our family devotions and found it beneficial. Sinclair Ferguson, Chancellor's Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and an assistant minister at St. Peter's Free Church of Scotland, Dundee, penned this manuscript in 1981 and it has gone the distance, outrunning many more popularly written pieces. "The Christian Life" truly is a 228-page doctrinal introduction, writ I first read this volume in 1997 while in Seminary. Recently, my wife and I read it together as part of our family devotions and found it beneficial. Sinclair Ferguson, Chancellor's Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and an assistant minister at St. Peter's Free Church of Scotland, Dundee, penned this manuscript in 1981 and it has gone the distance, outrunning many more popularly written pieces. "The Christian Life" truly is a 228-page doctrinal introduction, written in a style that is straightforward and spry. The author covers foundational biblical doctrines in a tidy and tender manner. Young believers and and seasoned disciples will gain immensely from the subjects addressed, and the way each is graciously handled. Ferguson doesn't simply proof-text his subjects, but often spends time developing a full biblical passage, showing how a particular doctrine flows beautifully from a text in its context. Readers will be aided, inspired, roused and reassured as they follow the author's amiable presentation. They will similarly be challenged in their faith as they come across little gems like this: "The great temptation most of us face is to believe that very little has happened to us through grace" (104). "The Christian Life" needs to be dog-eared, marked up, read, reread, prayed over and ponder on. This is a volume that should find a home in every Christian's hand, whether they're seminarians, pastors, elder, deacons, women's ministry leaders, Bible teachers, parents, or singles. I highly recommend the book, and so does my wife.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob Mongeau

    I really enjoyed reading this book. A very accessible and easy reading. I really appreciated the pointing out of the fact that we are saints, not sinners and that our struggle with sin isn't due to a black dog and white dog fighting but to our new nature and new affections. But i think it should have simply be called "A Doctrinal Introduction" cause I haven't really seen the connection between the doctrine and the christian life. Like how does doctrine affect our living the faith. What is the im I really enjoyed reading this book. A very accessible and easy reading. I really appreciated the pointing out of the fact that we are saints, not sinners and that our struggle with sin isn't due to a black dog and white dog fighting but to our new nature and new affections. But i think it should have simply be called "A Doctrinal Introduction" cause I haven't really seen the connection between the doctrine and the christian life. Like how does doctrine affect our living the faith. What is the implications and consequences of believing or not believing the doctrine of the sovereignty of God in salvation, for e.g. Or, how is the state of the church (a faint echo) today and it's lack of influence on the world, as before, the result of the abandonment of that doctrine? I wanted or expected to see more direct link and /or effect of what we believe on the christian life. The book ends "... The biblical teaching on glorification has a practical goal. It encourages and challenges us to live the christian life" what is that practical goal? And how does it encourage and challenge us?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Practical, Theology: two words that are actually not mutually exclusive. Though the writing style is a little old-fashioned, the book is a both great reference and cohesive explanation of key doctrines in the Christian faith. For someone who teaches a small group or interacts with people who have lots of questions about the finer points of Christianity, this would be a great starting point to help think through what doctrine really means. Additionally, Ferguson emphasizes that our theology and u Practical, Theology: two words that are actually not mutually exclusive. Though the writing style is a little old-fashioned, the book is a both great reference and cohesive explanation of key doctrines in the Christian faith. For someone who teaches a small group or interacts with people who have lots of questions about the finer points of Christianity, this would be a great starting point to help think through what doctrine really means. Additionally, Ferguson emphasizes that our theology and understanding of God really does impact our day to day living, in terms of how we process things we encounter. I would offer one criticism, just to say that there are a lot of references to hymns in this book. I like hymns, but after a while I just skipped over them while I read. I'll definitely use this book to supplement Bible studies or small groups I might lead, and I'll definitely refer back to it for my own personal understanding.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This overview of the Christian life in terms of its key components as expounded in biblical doctrine is one of the most deeply scriptural, Christ exalting, and personally edifying books a young Christian - really, ANY Christian! - could read. Ferguson covers the full scope of a believer's saving relationship with God in simple language with incisive biblical explanation and warm pastoral application. In reading this book of just over 200 pages, I felt that there were no wasted words - no fluff i This overview of the Christian life in terms of its key components as expounded in biblical doctrine is one of the most deeply scriptural, Christ exalting, and personally edifying books a young Christian - really, ANY Christian! - could read. Ferguson covers the full scope of a believer's saving relationship with God in simple language with incisive biblical explanation and warm pastoral application. In reading this book of just over 200 pages, I felt that there were no wasted words - no fluff in this book - just good solid food. Reading it was like eating an exquisite steak dinner with all the trimmings at a high class restaurant - I simply wanted to savor every bite and enjoy the whole meal! I hope this is persuasive enough to get you to buy and read this book. After reading it, purchase five or ten more and give them away to others - this is really a very good book that deserves much wider distribution.

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