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A Sad Departure: Why We Could Not Stay in the Church of Scotland (Randall)

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If you care at all about the Christian church you must brace yourself for a roller coaster of emotions as you read A Sad Departure.

The title contains a double entendre. On the one hand it alludes to the departure from the Church of Scotland of about forty ministers and many members. On the other hand it refers to the catalyst of these actions – the departure of the Kirk from its moorings in the authority of Scripture by its decisions on ‘the gay question’.

A Sad Departure tells a dark story, almost novelesque in character. A church’s Theological Commission reaches a unanimous conclusion on the teaching on marriage given in its ultimate authority, the Bible. But then its General Assembly acts in a way that ignores, demeans, and rejects that teaching. Thus behind these sad departures lies the prior and much sadder departure of the Kirk from its sacred constitution.

This is a thoughtful, honest and solemnising book written out of a deep personal and pastoral concern for the cause of the gospel. – From the Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson

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Table of Contents:

Foreword by Sinclair B Ferguson

  1. Introduction – What’s the Problem?
  2. Recent General Assemblies
  3. To Leave or Not to Leave?
  4. ‘Reach Me that Bible’
  5. ‘Scripture Cannot Be Broken’
  6. A Little History
  7. What Now?

A Selection of Stories and Testimonies

Appendix: Ministers and Congregations



David J. Randall was born in Edinburgh in 1945. He has served the wider church in various capacities, including a term as convener of the Church of Scotland’s Apologetics Committee (now ‘Why Believe?’). He is now retired from full-time pastoral ministry, and serves as chairman of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity based in Dundee.



"David Randall has written a lucid manifesto explaining why he and others are leaving the Church of Scotland now. While that may seem a narrow issue of no concern to believers in the rest of the world, it is certainly not. The arguments he proffers for departure from the historic church stand equally true and compelling for any believer or pastor in any denomination or association whose official doctrine declares a departure from the word of God, written and incarnate." — JOHN MACARTHUR