NEWLY brought back into print by Hester Publications! Like a Meteor Across the Horizon: The Jesse B. Ferguson Story is actually three books in one. The main section of the book was written by Johnny Tucker and gains its title from a description from H. Leo Boles:
“Like a meteor that flashes across the horizon, making a trail of glorious light behind it, and then suddenly disappearing and leaving nothing but darkness in its wake, so Jesse B. Ferguson came above the horizon and shone as a great orator in the church of Christ at Nashville, Tennessee, and then as suddenly disappeared and dropped into obscurity. Perhaps no preacher of the gospel ever stood so high in the estimation of the people and received the plaudits of the populace and then dropped so low as did this man.” (Biographies & Sermons of Gospel Preachers, 1932)
In a succinct and eloquent manner, Johnny Tucker tells the tragic story and fascinating tale of the demise of the once-beloved Nashville preacher. As he gained influence and fame in the Restoration movement in the 1840s, Ferguson’s star flashed across the Nashville landscape as he rose to great prominence as a preacher, magazine editor, and thought leader among the churches of Christ.
Tucker’s research and analysis tracks Ferguson’s rise and ultimate downfall, demonstrating how the influential preacher began to espouse increasingly strange heretical doctrines in his writing and preaching, namely Universalism, Unitarianism, and Spiritualism, which would lead to great division and trouble in the congregation and in the brotherhood.
This book serves as a relevant and striking warning against false teaching, pride, and blind trust in human heroes and human wisdom. Any Christian will benefit from the valuable lessons found in Johnny Tucker’s insightful work.
In asking Sam Hester why he chose to bring this book back into print, he replied: "I chose to reprint Meteor because it shows that: (1) an individual who once preached the truth can turn aside, especially when a rising yet fickle multitude crowd into the church to hear the heretic’s ear-tickling (even hypnotic) eloquence; (2) good leaders and a faithful remnant of true believers can oppose the heretic and begin again, while the heretic and his followers fade away."
In addition to Tucker’s original book, first published in 1978, a helpful chronology from Scott Harp et al from therestorationmovement.com is also included in this printing. The last section of this book is a reprint of a document published in 1854, called the History and True Position of the Church of Christ in Nashville: An Examination of the Speculative Theology Recently Introduced from Neologists, Universalists, etc.
Andy Baumberger gives an excellent explanation of why this book was written. “Composed by a concerned group of Christians in the heart of the Restoration movement in the mid-nineteenth century, the book seeks to establish the original foundation for the church of Christ in Nashville…and show how the church gradually, yet dramatically, parted from that foundation due to the teachings and leadership of Ferguson…
Throughout the book, the authors strike a regretful and solemn tone as they acknowledge their solemn duty to renounce the gross error of Jesse Ferguson and the adherents of his teachings as those not in fellowship with those practicing the true Christian faith. No delight is taken in the denouncing. No pleasure accompanies this duty to defend the truth by calling out religious falsehoods…
The book reminds believers today of our responsibility to uphold the Bible, to be uncompromising in standing for truth, and to do so in a way that reflects compassionate love and genuine concern for those in error. If we are to be truly loving in this generation and in future ones, we must not abandon the realities of the coming judgment or the horrific nature of sin. Indeed, we must do as Fanning and others did in response to the error in the church of Christ in Nashville and point lovingly and unwaveringly to the unshakeable, unchanging truth of the Bible.”
Click here to purchase Like a Meteor Across the Horizon.