Saturday, 14 May 2011

Festschrift for Donald Macleod, the People's Theologian

On the evening of Friday, May 13, I attended a very pleasant evening in the Free Church College, Edinburgh. It was the annual close of the academic year and there were the usual student contributions as well as the awarding of prizes, plus a suitable address from Principal John L. Mackay encouraging the students who have completed their course and are about to begin pastoral ministry.

The occasion was enhanced by the presentation of a festschrift to Donald Macleod, the former Principal of the College, who has also filled the Systematic Theology chair for over thirty years. Prior to becoming Professor of Systematic Theology, he was pastor of two congregations, one near Fort William and the other in Glasgow. In addition, he was editor of the denominational magazine The Monthly Record from 1977 to 1990; he has contributed a regular column called Footnotes to The West Highland Free Press; he has authored several books, and also written many articles for Christian magazines and theological journals. Those who studied under him in the Free Church College remain grateful to him for the stimulating lectures that he gave. Throughout those years of service, he has been regarded as an outstanding preacher, and many listeners can still recall vividly sermons they heard by him years ago.

The festschrift is entitled The People’s Theologian, a title that admirably sums up the ministry of Donald Macleod (theology is not just for academics and it must be the basis of effective preaching). Dr Iain D. Campbell and I had the privilege and pleasure of editing the book, which has been published by Christian Focus Publications (who have published many of his titles – William Mackenzie, the Managing Director of Christian Focus, also gave to Donald a copy of one of his books (Priorities for the Church) which has now been published in Japanese.

The festschrift, which contains contributions from colleagues, former students and friends, is divided into sections and the chapters are as follows:

Introduction by Alex J. Macdonald
1. Logic on fire: the life and career of Donald Macleod (by his son, John Macleod).

2. Footnotes Columnist in The West Highland Free Press (by Brian Wilson)
3. Editor of The Monthly Record by Iain D. Campbell
4. Writings of Donald Macleod by Martin Cameron

Historical Theology
5. Robert Bruce and the Lord’s Supper by Malcolm Maclean
6. Glory, Glory Dwelleth in Immanuel’s Land by Guy M. Richard
7. William Cunningham and the Doctrine of the Sacraments by Mike Honeycutt

Systematic Theology
8. ‘More Than That’ – Christ’s Exaltation and Justification by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.
9. Spirit-Baptism and The Clash of the Celts by Derek W. H. Thomas
10. Re-Visiting The Covenant of Redemption by Iain D. Campbell

Theology and the Church
11. The Preacher as Prophet: Some Notes on the Nature of Preaching by Carl R. Trueman
12. David and Derrida: The Psalms and Postmodernism by Fergus Macdonald
13. Layered Reading: The Preacher as Reader of Scripture by Alasdair I Macleod
14. Leadership in the Church by Donald M MacDonald
15. Systematic Theology and the Church by Rowland S. Ward

16. Appreciations by Changwon Shu, Mary Ferguson, David George, Donna Macleod and David Meredith.