When Justice Failed in Church and State

When Justice Failed in Church and State

Murdoch Murchison & Iain H. Murray

This important publication provides an explanation of the division which took place in the Free Church of Scotland in January 2000. Dr. Murdoch Murchison is a long-serving elder in the denomination and Rev. Iain H. Murray of the Banner of Truth Trust has had close connections with the Free Church over many years.

The book was published in 2001 and contains a Foreword by the two authors. Chapter 1 is entitled ‘Some Conspiracy!’ and contains the text of an address given by Dr. Murchison to the 2000 Annual General Meeting of Concern for Justice. Chapter 2 is entitled ‘Professor Donald Macleod and his “Opponents” ’ and is a reprint of a booklet published by Rev. Murray in 1996. Chapter 3 is entitled ‘The Division of the Free Church, 1996-2000’ and Chapter 4 is a review entitled ‘How the Position Changed and Hardened’. There is also an index.

The following words appear on the rear cover:

“Many across the world mourned when the Free Church of Scotland divided in 2000. The cause of the division has to be one of the most serious in Scottish and evangelical church history, yet there is no agreement on what that cause actually was. According to the Rev. Donald Macleod, now Principal of the Free Church College, Edinburgh*, it was all about the evil intent of ministers and women who conspired to ruin him by false allegations – allegations for which a criminal court cleared him in 1996. Because those same parties would not abide by the ruling of the Church (which also regarded him as innocent) the denomination seemed left with no alternative but to silence them. The case prompted wide publicity in the national press, and other media, where the ‘trouble-makers’ have been described as ‘hardline traditionalists’.

But why thirty-five Free Church ministers, and numbers of people, should choose to separate from brethren rather than accept this verdict has never been explained.”

An explanation was clearly needed and this book goes a long way to providing it.

* Professor Macleod retired as Principal in 2010 and as Professor of Systematic Theology in 2011.

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