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Reformed Literature
A Presbyterian Internet Journal

Hold Fast Your Confession

(Studies in Church Principles)

Ed. D. Macleod

Knox Press

This book was first published in 1978 and it is a collection of articles all written by ministers of the Free Church of Scotland to give a contemporary vindication of the distinctive principles of the denomination.

The first article by G. N. M. Collins is on the Free Church with an outline of its history and witness. In many ways, despite the author, it is one of the poorest articles in the book. It seeks to join the post-1900 Free Church with the 1843 Free Church and conveniently avoids all reference to the 1893 split of the Free Presbyterian Church. Nevertheless, it does have value at it charts in broad sweep a large tract of Scottish Church history.

The second article by Clement Graham on the Confession is again a popular sweep through the history of the confession. There are more academic histories available but, this article was never intended to rival them.

The third article on Church and State by Neil A. Macleod is a useful summary of the ongoing commitment of the Scottish Church to the Establishment principle. A useful breezy read in a Christian world that is largely voluntary in its approach.

The fourth article on Presbyterianism by Murdo A. Macleod summarises many important points. He does sticks properly to a two office position that equates ruling and teaching elders, however, he notes with this position is safely guarded in theory it is not always done so in practice.

The fifth article on Purity of Worship must be a sharp reminder to some in the modern Free Church as it has seeks to defend psalms without musical accompaniment and outlines the case for the establishment principle.

The sixth article on the Lord's Day is a useful reminder on the perpetual obligation of the Christian Sabbath. At times he does not state his case as strongly as he might but is broadly a follower of A.A. Hodge's useful pamphlet on the subject.

The seventh article on the Ordination of Women hardly seems necessary in most reformed contexts - but is useful to a wider world.

The following articles tackle the Unity of the Church and Infant Baptism. None of the book is ground breaking but it is a useful reminder of the theological and Biblical basis for much Church practice.

No image of the cover of this book is available