A Sad Departure: Why we could not stay in the Church of Scotland,

David J. Randall
Banner of Truth, 2015.

Reviewed by Peter Barnes

This is indeed a sad book. In May 2009 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decided that a congregation at Aberdeen could call a pastor who had divorced his wife and was living in a homosexual relationship. Rank heresy was then followed by the triumph of “weasel words”, as in the 2013 General  Assembly which voted to “affirm the Church’s historic and current doctrine and practice in relation to human sexuality; nonetheless permit those Kirk Sessions who wish to depart from that doctrine and practice to do so”. This is yet another example of theological liberals taking refuge in illogical jabberwocky. David Cook from Australia rightly lamented: “Our mother Church has tragically left the family home.”

The schisms and secessions in Scotland in the 18th century and up to the end of the 19th ASadDeparture-804x1280century were largely to do with the issue of patronage – whether a patron could impose his will on a congregation by calling the particular  minister of his choice. With the onset of higher biblical criticism, however, the issue shifted from patronage to the authority of the Bible.

How the gospel is to be proclaimed in Scotland in the years to come is in God’s hands. It is difficult to attach much hope in the misplaced confidence of those in the Covenant Fellowship who have tried to uphold some kind of orthodoxy, but reassured their liberal opponents that they stand firmly against any secession. One can only sympathise with Randall’s conclusion: “This sad departure from Scripture necessitates a sad departure from the denomination.”

Buy it here from Reformers Bookshop



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