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Offering and Embracing Christ: The Marrow Theology of John Colquhoun of Leith by John C. Biegel

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Reformation Heritage Books.  lfpb.  304pp.

The free offer of the gospel and the relation of saving faith to assurance, justification, and repentance were central issues in the Marrow controversy of the mid-eighteenth century. In Offering and Embracing Christ, John Biegel finds an unlikely stronghold of Marrow theology in the Established Church of Scotland: John Colquhoun. Biegel demonstrates that Colquhoun’s evangelical Calvinism reflected the thought of the Marrow men on offering and embracing Christ. Foreword by Sinclair Ferguson.

Contents

Acknowledgments  

Abbreviations 

Introduction  

PART I: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 

  1. Theological and Ecclesiastical Context  
  2. A Biographical Sketch of John Colquhoun  

PART II: OFFERING CHRIST: THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL OFFER 

  1. The Gospel Offer in Marrow Theology  
  2. The Gospel Offer in Colquhoun’s Theology 

PART III: EMBRACING CHRIST: THE DOCTRINE OF CONVERSION 

  1. Saving Faith and Assurance in Marrow Theology  
  2. Saving Faith and Assurance in Colquhoun’s Theology  
  3. Faith, Justification, and Repentance in Marrow Theology 
  4. Faith, Justification, and Repentance in Colquhoun’s Theology 

Conclusion 

Bibliography 

Index 

Endorsements

“The theology of Thomas Boston and his fellow ‘Marrow men’ represents one of the finest streams of Scottish theology. However, while Boston has been much studied, John Colquhoun, one of the great later exponents of the Marrow theology, has been unjustly neglected. In this excellent survey of Colquhoun’s theology, this neglect is remedied, and the reader is introduced to the finest of Scottish theology on topics of perennial relevance, such as the gospel offer, assurance, faith, and repentance. This work on Colquhoun is of significant academic and pastoral value.”

—Donald John MacLean, assistant professor of historical theology, Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary

“In this work, John Biegel offers the church a multilayered blessing. Most importantly, Biegel gives a clear theological account of how the gospel not only saves God’s people but also calms their inmost fears and uncertainties. In the gospel there is salvation and assurance; Biegel makes that plain to us. Dig just a little deeper, and Biegel helps introduce this extraordinary minister and theologian John Colquhoun. Widely unknown today, Colquhoun was an exquisite minister of the gospel of grace, and the rediscovery of his work will be clarifying and edifying for many. Dig even deeper still, and there is encouragement here for ministers of the gospel today. As Biegel shows us, Colquhoun’s ministry centered on the gospel, not on public acclaim or theological novelty, and in that ministry, the beauty of Jesus was seen. May we all be encouraged and cheered to walk in these paths of Christ-centered faithfulness.”

—Stephen G. Myers, professor of systematic and historical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“I am glad to commend John Biegel’s excellent study of the Marrow theology of John Colquhoun of Leith. In its pages you will come to know not only the life and preaching of a faithful Scottish minister from the past but even more so the marvelous sufficiency of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for sinners.”

—William VanDoodewaard, academic dean and professor of church history, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

About the Author

John C. Biegel (ThM, Cairn University) serves as lead pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, Virginia.

 

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