The Marrow of Modern of Divinity

I’ve come to believe that one of the  most significant theological controversies the modern church must acquaint itself with is the controversy surrounding the Marrow of Modern Divinity. The issues concerning Law and Gospel, legal and evangelical repentance, and the free offer of the Gospel to the unconverted are all bound up with the Marrow Controversy. Thomas Boston, and Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine are among the more well known Marrowmen. You can find Christian Focus’ newly reprinted edition of the Marrow of Modern Divinity (with Boston’s Notes and introductions by Phil Ryken and William Vandoodewaard) here. I would also be remiss if I did not recommend Sinclair Ferguson’s outstanding lectures on the Marrow. You can find them here. You can also find other helpful lectures here and here. Perhaps the most careful treatment of the Marrow controversy in print is William Vandoodewarrd’s The Marrow Controversy and Seceeder Tradition. Please spend the time familiarizing yourself with the Marrow theology.


7 Responses to “The Marrow of Modern of Divinity”

  1. Joe Holland says:

    I just finished reading The Marrow again last week. I heartily agree. Thanks for the post, Nick.

  2. Joe, I was greatly influenced by Marrow theology during my early days of seminary. Whenever I read Boston or the Erskines, the theology just resonated with what I read in the word. I am thankful, in a weird way, that the controversy occurred. How’s the church plant going?

  3. Joe Holland says:

    Early on I decided to make Boston the Puritan I specialized in. You’re right that the Marrow is illustrative of all his work (even though he didn’t write it). The plant is doing well. It’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in ministry.

  4. Shawn Anderson says:

    More Resources:

    1) Video of Bill VanDoodewaard on the Marrow Controversy at Puritan Seminary (different than Sermon Audio lecture):

    2) Interview by Gentle Reformation with VanDoodewaard about his book:

  5. Nick, I couldn’t agree more. Sinclair’s series (see link above) was immensely helpful to me.

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I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve. (Romans 16:17-18)

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