The Marrow Was Birthed To Avoid Legalism And Antinomianism”

The Marrow of Modern Divinity was regarded by the orthodox Reformed, in the 17th century, as a good summary of the orthodox view of law and gospel, justification, sanctification, and the third (normative) use of the law in the life of the Christian. It should have been accepted as orthodox since Edward Fisher was summarizing and quoting  orthodox Reformed writers such Beza, Ursinus, et al. As Donald John Maclean explains in this lecture, the Marrow was not well received, however, by the General Assembly of the Scottish Church in the 18th century. When Thomas Boston recovered it and started promoting it, controversy ensued. Today, most orthodox Reformed folk receive the Marrow and the Marrow Men as representing the standard, mainstream Protestant, evangelical, Reformed view but there remain those who either say outright or imply either that the Marrow was received as antinomian or ought to be regarded as such. I have already addressed this at length in the Heidelcast series linked below. Dr Donald John Maclean is a long-time student of the Marrow Controversy and the free offer of the gospel.

Dr Maclean is a ruling elder in Cambridge Presbyterian Church, Cambridge UK. He has just published All Things Are Ready: Understanding the Gospel In Its Fullness and Freeness (Ross-Shire, UK, 2021). More about this book forthcoming on the Heidelblog.


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