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The Kirk and the KingdomA Century of Tension in Scottish Social Theology 1830–1929$
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Johnston McKay

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780748644735

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748644735.001.0001

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The House Divided Against Itself

The House Divided Against Itself

The Kingdom of God in the Context of Debate

(p.84) 5 The House Divided Against Itself
The Kirk and the Kingdom

Johnston McKay

Edinburgh University Press

From 1904 until the outbreak of the first World War, the United Free Church General Assembly was the place where the tensions between the contrasting attitudes towards social theology were most keenly displayed. In 1908 the General Assembly agreed to examine how it ought, if at all to fulfil its social mission. But that examination increasingly resulted in expressions of anxiety about any social involvement at all. Those who argued for it increasingly were marginalised and men like James Barr left the pastoral ministry to express their convictions elsewhere. This chapter suggests that the unravelling of the commitment to social criticism actually began not with the political divisions following the end of World War 1 but much earlier.

Keywords:   United Free Church, General Assemblies, Social Criticism, Eclipse

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