Brown, John (of Haddington)
A minister of the Presbyterian Church in the United States for more than sixty years, William Childs Robinson’s career spanned the great events of twentieth-century history from the Great Depression to the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. These were difficult years for America and for Protestant Christianity in America. In this book, David Calhoun tells of how Robinson tirelessly labored to arrest the Southern Presbyterian Church’s slide toward a liberal theological position and preserve the old Calvinism that had marked the church from its beginning. In seminary classrooms, in pulpits across the South and beyond, and in the courts of the church, Robinson’s voice was heard “pleading for a Reformation vision” based on faithfulness to Scripture and supported by the testimony of Reformers, English Puritans and Scottish Covenanters.
There then follows a selection of twenty-three articles from Robinson’s pen which show something of the breadth and depth of Robinson’s vision. In them one sees a man who exercised an all-round ministry as evangelist, pastor, church historian, and theologian, equally at ease writing on such diverse subjects as “The Savior of Sinners”, “Under His Wings”, “The Theological Emphases of the Old Columbia Seminary”, and “The Trinity: God in Action”. Though unsuccessful in halting the church’s decline into theological liberalism, Robinson’s long years of ministry influenced successive generations of students and ministers, many of whom preserve his legacy by pleading for the same “Reformation vision”.
David B. Calhoun is Emeritus Professor of Church History at Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri. He has taught at Covenant College and Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University) and served as principal of Jamaica Bible College. Prior to his appointment to Covenant Seminary in 1978, he was the overseas director of Ministries in Action.A Presbyterian minister, he has preached widely in many churches and has conducted Bible and missions conferences.
"I have often said that Dr. William Childs Robinson was the greatest scholar I had the privilege of studying under. I believe that I took every elective that he offered and would say that his theological influence on my thinking was greater than that of any other teacher. I have quoted him more than probably all of other professors combined." — Dr. James Kennedy, Formerly Senior Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
"Dr. Robinson lived in the presence of the living God. He honored his convictions against the pressures of the time and the lure of career ambitious...Even though his work was against the times, this very facts is perhaps the best reason for taking his work seriously. It is likely that his work as a churchman and teacher of ministers was more lasting than can now be estimated. In any case, the final judgment, as he knew so well, belongs to God. Few of Robinson's critics have been able to match his brilliance, his diligent churchmanship and scholarship, his commitment to the faith and to participation in the organized life of the church." - John H. Leith, Formerly Professor of Theology, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia
“William Childs Robinson was a key figure in the history of Presbyterianism in the South, and in the whole country. When the struggle in the Southern Presbyterian Church was at its height, Dr. Robinson was right there. If you asked the ‘founding fathers’ of the Presbyterian Church in America, they would all point to him as the stalwart of the faith in those critical days.” – O. Palmer Robertson, Director and Vice Chancellor, African Bible University, Uganda