Thursday, June 21, 2007

Book Review: 'The Life of John Murray'

This well-presented paperback of 240 pages is the first appearance of this book in an independent form for a while, but in its form as part of volume three of John Murray's 'Collected Writings', it has been around for quite a while. We applaud the Banner of Truth Trust for publishing this valuable little work as a book in itself - for such it is.
Those who already possess the four volumes of Murray's writings (we do, and they are exceedingly precious) will no doubt be satisfied with possessing this work inside the 'Collected Writings', but those who have not the time or the money for the four bulky volumes (and we recognise that includes students and pastors) will particularly welcome this separate printing. It is a book to put next to 'Redemption Accomplished and Applied'.
We have long counted Iain Murray as one of the greatest living popular writers of Church History and biography, and this book is one of his finest.
This book tells the life-story of a man who was without a doubt one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. We count him as perhaps the most gifted 20th century expositior of the doctrines known as Calvinism, though we are forced to disagree with him on a few points.
John Murray was a son of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, a hardy Highlander. Yet he spent most of his life somewhat alienated from that denomination, and associated with Westmister Theological Seminary. This book gives a vivid picture of the early years of that institution, and the founding of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It shows a teacher of great heart and mind who still influences many today. Reading of his experience in the First World War (in which he lost an eye), and his love of manual labour on the family farm, helps the reader to recognise that Murray was no ivory tower theologian, but a man who had seen the real world, and a man who enjoyed getting his hands dirty - the sort of man whoalways remained true to his Free Presbyterian heritage in this - that he despised the secular academy and looked only to the Bible as his guide.
May God grant us more such men to stand for the faith.

'The Life of John Murray' by Iain Murray is priced at £ 7.25 and is published by theBanner of Truth Trust.



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