St Forsyth on St Paul


Paul‘[Paul] descended on the world … rather than arose from it. He defied it rather than deified it … He made the Church victorious by making it unpopular. He compelled the world to accommodate itself to him by preserving an evangelical isolation from it. He overcame the religious liberalism of his day by thought too profound to be welcome to the lazy public, and too positive to be welcome to the amateur discursive schools’. – PT Forsyth, Positive Preaching and Modern Mind: The Lyman Beecher Lecture on Preaching, Yale University, 1907 (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1907), 80.


  1. Every time you quote Forsyth, or I quote Denney, I’m reminded of the rich vein of Scottish theological plainspeaking that surfaced between 1870 and 1920. Publishers probably wouldn’t do it – but supposing a few bloggers were to put together a thematic anthology of Scottish theological plainspeak covering the period in question. Or supposing several of us invited such contributions as comments on several posts set up for the purpose? So much spiritual passion, theological enthusiasm and intellectually won insight – and could they write?


  2. Jim,

    What a great idea. Indeed (as I’ve blogged about before) one of the great joys of my research on Victorian/Edwardian dissenting thought has been the unearthing – for me – of some of the most exciting theological and profoudly preachable prose in the Church’s life, much born on Scottish soil.


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