Professor Macleod’s Books

The Monthly Record (Dec.98) contains a glowing review by the Rev I.D. Campbell of Professor Donald Macleod’s two recent books, The Person of Christ (IVP) and A Faith to Live By (Christian Focus Publications). He speaks of “Prof. Macleod’s mature presentation of Reformed doctrine” and “the orthodoxy of his position and the eminence of his scholarship”. Below we provide some quotations from these books so that our readership will be able to judge for themselves. We certainly find some of his statements far from acceptable.

The Person of Christ
p.73 His [God’s] love is astonishing precisely because at this point [Calvary] he put the world before his Son.
p.158 Apollinaris himself was a man of blameless life, powerful intellect and deep spirituality and his condemnation as a heretic of the great tragedies in the history of theology.
p.162 We must also believe that for Jesus, as for every other human being, the whole of his existence was conditioned by his sexuality....Temptation came through his sexuality as surely as it came through his need for food and his fear of pain.
p.177 He was sinless. He was the Son of God. But there, on Golgotha, he was a sinner....The ‘Why?’ of Golgotha is boundless, seeking the logic of sin and asking questions to which not even God himself could provide answers. Calvary, as a chaotic shambles, is God’s supreme exposure of sin.
p.218 As he hangs on the cross, bleeding, battered, powerless and forsaken, the last thing he looks like is God. Indeed, he scarcely looks human. He looks like nothing but a hell-bound, hell-deserving derelict. Everything about him says, ‘An atheist and a blasphemer!’ At last, his identity was obscured even from himself.
p.219 In the descent into the abyss, the Servant was renouncing control over his own destiny....From this point of view the obedience of Jesus involved breath-taking risks...He even had to place his faith in the servant-form he had assumed, venturing all on its power to sustain the shocks and pressures.
p.238 Once I stumbled upon the concept of the incarnation I could never venerate one who could not, or would not, become man.
p.263 The growing abandonment of the axiom of the divine apatheia (non-suffering)...has allowed us to take seriously the fact that the Son of God who suffers on the cross is homoousios [same substance] with God the Father who sent him; and that, in terms of the concept of perichoresis [each indwells the other], the Father occupies the same time and the same space as the crucified Son. We still have a long way to go in developing the Christological implications of this revolution.

A Faith to Live By
p.58 I...entertain the notion that these days [six days of creation] are creation-eras and not 24 hour periods.
p.62 I am not hostile to the notion of a universe thousands of millions of years old...and...accept that life-forms emerged according to a progressive pattern, from the simple to the more complex.
p.74 The Bible never suggests that man lost this image [of God]. It never even says that this image is marred in man.
pp.84-85 [Sexual love] eros [is] the most beautiful and noble thing in the world....The Psalmist [Ps.51] went to God and said...‘It isn’t what I have done that bothers me at all. It’s the way I am!’
p.202 Can we belong to a Masonic Lodge? Can the young folk go to a dance?...In every tradition there is a long list of taboos: on smoking, on drinking, on dancing, on make-up, on football matches, on pop-music....But none can claim the sanction of scripture; they are imposed simply on the basis of human tradition.
p.236 What is a heretic? An Arminian? A Modernist? No! In the New Testament a heretic is a divisive man. He is a man who causes divisions; who miscalls other Christians; who miscalls other Churches; who is factious.
p.283 In fact, the terrible thing about hell is that it puts God in an impossible position....And when that dreadful moment comes, God will listen carefully to every plea you can offer in mitigation. He will not condemn unless He absolutely has to. If we can honestly say that we had no chance or that it was done in ignorance or that we were led astray or that we never knew His law and never heard His gospel or that none ever told us of Jesus, then God will listen to us with holy patience. I can give you a categorical assurance that if you have a real case to offer in your own defence you have nothing to fear.
p.284 He [Christ] endured the torment of not knowing that God loved him.
p.285 There is no law to hell. Both sin and hell are outside the sphere of the possible....We sinners have put God in the impossible position that He has no option but to condemn us.
pp.298-299 [Heaven] The scenario is a thrilling one: brilliant minds in powerful bodies in a transformed universe. With energy, dexterity and athleticism here undreamed of, we shall explore horizons beyond our wildest imaginings.
p.301 [Heaven] It’s for the greatest hypocrite and worst Christ-hater who ever lived.

Any comments or questions please E-Mail me or Rev William Macleod the editor.

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