The Background to ‘Believing Criticism’ in the Free Church of Scotland

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Allan Harman

Abstract

This article argues that the introduction of ‘believing criticism’ in the Free Church of Scotland in the 19th century was not just a sudden development in the 1870s. Rather, the seeds of it go back much further, even to the Disruption itself. Some inappropriate decisions of the Free Church General Assembly, among other factors, paved the way for A. B. Davidson to commence lecturing on Pentateuchal criticism. His student, William Robert Smith, was not so discreet, and openly espoused views that departed from the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Dealing with him took several years, until he was relieved of his position in 1881, though not deposed from the ministry. By that time, ‘believing criticism’ was firmly entrenched in the Free Church.

Article Details

How to Cite
Harman, Allan. “The Background to ‘Believing Criticism’ in the Free Church of Scotland”. Reformed Theological Review 81, no. 3 (December 1, 2022): 202–227. Accessed April 21, 2024. https://rtrjournal.org/index.php/RTR/article/view/330.

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