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After the Reformation, the Marrow Controversy of the eighteenth century is noted as one of the most significant and defining events in the Scottish church. However, until now, there has not been a serious analysis of the theology of the Marrow Men as it relates to churches in Scotland during the aftermath of the controversy. In this important study, William vanDoodewaard identifies characteristic understandings of Marrow theology on the atonement, saving faith, and the free offer of the gospel and traces them out in the theology of the Seceder tradition. In doing so, he presents substantial evidence for the continuity of Marrow theology in the Associate Presbytery and Associate Synod in Scotland during the eighteenth century. He ably demonstrates that while Marrow theology was not the primary cause of the Secession churches, the Seceders were aware of the significance of Marrow theology and consciously made it an integral part of their churches.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: Views of the Gospel and Its Proclamation: The Era of the Marrow Controversy
1. The Marrow of Modern Divinity and the Marrow Controversy
2. Views of the Gospel and Its Proclamation: Supporters of The Marrow
3. Views of the Gospel and Its Proclamation: Supporters of The Marrow
4. Conclusions on the Doctrines of the Atonement, Saving Faith, and the Gospel Offer during the Marrow Controversy
Part 2: Views of the Gospel and Its Proclamation in the Associate Presbytery (1733-1747) and Associate Synod (1747-1799) Secession Churches in Scotland
5. A Historical Introduction to the Secession Churches
6. Historiographical Evidences for the Continuity of Marrow Theology
7. Theological Evidences for the Continuity of Marrow Theology in the Associate Presbytery (1733-1747)
8. The Associate Presbytery, George Whitefield, and the Cambuslang Revival
9. Theological Evidences for the Continuity of Marrow Theology in the Associate Synod: John Swanston to John Fraser (1748-1770)
10. Theological Evidences for the Continuity of Marrow Theology in the Associate Synod: George Lawson to Henry Belfrage (1771-1799)
11. Departures from Marrow Theology and the Growth of Latitudinarianism in the Associate Synod
12. Conclusions on the Continuity of Marrow Theology in the Associate Presbytery and Associate Synod Secession Churches in Scotland to 1799
William VanDoodewaard is associate professor of church history at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an ordained minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
“William VanDoodewaard has satisfied a scholarly need by carefully demonstrating the substantial theological continuity between Thomas Boston and the rest of Scotland’s early eighteenth-century Marrow Men and the later churches of the Associate Presbytery and Associate Synod. While this connection has long been assumed, it is now thoroughly demonstrated. The trilogy of doctrines at the heart of VanDoodewaard’s argument—the substitutionary atonement, saving faith, and the free offer of the gospel—are not of merely historical interest, but of perennial necessity for the truth of the gospel and the vitality of the Christian church.”- Philip G. Ryken, President, Wheaton College
“I warmly welcome The Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition, a fine piece of academic research. Dr. William VanDoodewaard provides us with a careful study of The Marrow’s influence, with an even-handed and judicious treatment of the issues and personalities involved in the Marrow controversy. An added bonus is the effective way he has woven into his narrative the teaching of leading but now forgotten ministers and theologians in the Scottish Secession tradition. I hope it will encourage theological students and ministers to wrestle with the issues involved in the Marrow controversy. If they do, they may well find, as Thomas Boston did, that the exercise adds a special ‘tincture’ to their preaching of the gospel.” – Sincalir B. Ferguson, First Presbyterian Church