Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Monument to a tragedy

On April 11th, God willing, I shall be giving a paper entitled 'Thomas Chalmers - Scottish Amyraldian?' at the 5th annual conference of the Amyraldian Association (details of the conference are available Here ). In preparation for this paper I have been reading a lot of Chalmers. Most important in any discussion of Chalmers' theology is his two volume 'Institutes of Theology'. This is not an easy book to find, but before Christmas I providentially located the two volumes in Canada (with two different booksellers there too). Volume one arrived this morning, securely wrapped. My thanks to Dr. Hoff of Dr. Hoff's Therapeutic Bibliotheca for getting the book to England.
The first thing I noticed about the book was that it had two library stamps in it, the first read 'Presbyterian Theological College Saskatoon', the second 'LIBRARY St. Andrew's College'. I identified the two colleges as the same college at different time periods.
The second thing I noticed was that the book had not been read. Ever. In over a century and a half! Apparently Thomas Chalmers wasn't appreciated in Saskatoon! That's a pity, because Chalmers is a very clear writer and particularly helpful for preachers.

A quick Google search revealed that St. Andrew's College still exists in Saskatoon here. That they'd sold a book no-one had read in about 150 years didn't surprise me, but what were the Saskatoon students reading instead of Chalmers? a little section on the library on their front page told me everything I needed to know.

The college library, with 36,000 volumes and 134 periodicals, specializes in feminist theology, church history, liberation theology and ethics.

The theology of Thomas Chalmers is pre-eminently a BIBLICAL theology. So instead of Biblical theology St. Andrew's College Saskatoon prefers feminist theology and liberation theology - both of which are properly ANTHROPOLOGIES, doctrines centred in man. But then, I reflected, they went with the flow, with the norm. WE who still follow in the footsteps of Thomas Chalmers, that great convert from the wastes of 'Moderatism' are the misfits. So my new book speaks to the evangelical Church with all the eloquence of Chalmers, and this is the message:
"Take heed, lest ye likewise perish!"

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Blogger D.R. Brooker said...

Would you maintain that Chalmers was an Amyraldian?

11:59 am  
Blogger Highland Host said...

Quasi-Amyraldian. He believed that there was a sense in which Christ died for all and that saying Christ died not die for all was 'unfortunate'. But in other matters he differs from Amyraldianism. Most notably Chalmers affirms double imputation, which Amyraldianism denies.

12:50 pm  
Blogger Highland Host said...

P.S. As the paper is still a 'work in progress' this is not a final verdict. I was actually surprised. Before I read through the ninth volume of his 'Posthumous Works' I expected to find he was a free-offer Calvinist.

12:51 pm  
Blogger D.R. Brooker said...

I'll look forward to you posting the paper.

7:59 pm  
Blogger michael said...

can you tell what works are included in vol 9 of his posthumous works? many thanks.

11:48 am  
Blogger Highland Host said...

Vol. 9 of the Posthumous Works of Thomas Chalmers contains prelections on Butler's Analogy, Paley's Evidences and Hill's Lectures in Divinity and his addresses given as Principal of New College, Edinburgh

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Martin Thorley said...

Presumably by "double imputation" you mean the standard reformed teaching of the believer's sins being imputed to Christ and Christ's righteousness to the believer?
I had not heard before any suggestion that Amyraldianism denies it. What are you basing that on / where have you read that?

Many thanks

11:18 pm  

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