One of the happy events at this year's General Assembly was the appointment of Professor John L. Mackay as Principal of the Free Church College. I have interacted with him at different levels over the years and in each of them he has maintained a consistently high Christian character. Many others can say the same.
Before I went to the Free Church College as a student for the ministry, I imagined I knew a bit about the Old Testament. My time in the Old Testament classroom not only told me how little I knew (I was and am grateful for that discovery), but also showed me how it is possible to make the Old Testament very relevant for Christians – and for others searching for the true God. In his classroom, we knew we would not travel down pointless roads; instead we anticipated ascending spiritual heights.
His commentaries for Christian Focus (Exodus, Jeremiah, Lamentations and most of the Minor Prophets) and Evangelical Press (Isaiah) are outstanding examples of Reformed scholarship and should be in every minister's library. They are faithful to the text of Scripture, which would be expected from a Free Church of Scotland professor. In addition, they are lucid and understandable, which makes them very user friendly in sermon preparation. Hopefully, more such commentaries will come.
This appointment is evidence of the degree of confidence the Free Church has in him and of the affection it has for him.