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The Erosion of Calvinist Orthodoxy


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Ian Hamilton is the Associate Minister of Smithton Culloden Free Church of Scotland, Inverness. Prior to that he served as the minister of Cambridge Presbyterian Church. He serves on the Board of The Banner of Truth Trust.


The Erosion of Calvinist Orthodoxy is an invaluable historical case study of the fascinating and complex issues of Christian orthodoxy. In it Ian Hamilton carefully traces the arguments and positions which eventually fed into the theological liberalism of the 19th and 20th centuries that has left the church moribund.But perhaps the chief value of Ian Hamilton's work is the sobering message it carries for the contemporary church, where some views regarded as new and ground-breaking bear an uncanny resemblance to those that once led to the spiritual wasteland. Ignorance of the past often leads to the repetition of its mistakes. Ian Hamilton here provides an important historical antidote for such theological amnesia. -- Sinclair B. Ferguson

Ian Hamilton's The Erosion of Calvinist Orthodoxy is the seminal modern study of confessional subscription in the Scottish tradition. His recounting of the story, and his conclusions, are of direct relevance, not only to Presbyterians, but to all who are committed to confessional fidelity in the great evangelical Protestant tradition. Any further study of this important topic must reckon with Hamilton's account and findings.

-- Ligon Duncan

In an era where the drive in some quarters to watering down confessional commitment precisely as a means of strengthening orthodoxy seems almost irresistible, Ian Hamilton's study of nineteenth century Scottish Presbyterianism is a timely reminder: revisions of confessions and terms of subscription have often proved to be anything but friendly towards a robust Christianity, a point made here with scholarly grace and theological acumen. It is good to see this book back in print and made available to a wider audience.

-- Carl R. Trueman

What strikes me most about this revised edition is its relevance to our situation today and Pastor Hamilton's careful research, scholarly precision, and warm style make the book very useful to the scholar and accessible to the ordinary reader.

-- Joseph A. Pipa Jr.

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