FOCUS ON REFERENCE
"Dictionary Of Scottish Church History And Theology," organizing editor, Nigel M. de S. Cameron; general editors, David F. Wright, David C. Lachman, and Donald E. Meek (InterVarsity Press, 906 pp.; $79.99, hardcover). Reviewed by Mark Noll, McManis Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.
The rich church history of Scotland has long needed a systematic effort to chart its ways. That history is exceedingly full—from the dedicated Celtic missionary-monks who came to Iona in the sixth century, through John Knox and his reforming colleagues (in battle royal with the Roman Catholic Mary Queen of Scots) in the sixteenth century, then more than three centuries of serious-minded Protestant civilization, and finally to the heavily secularized present, when Roman Catholics are again the largest churchgoing denomination in that nation. The new "Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology"—with more than 2,000 articles by nearly 400 writers—succeeds splendidly at charting that history.
The project was sponsored by Ruderford House, an Edinburgh study center organized primarily by evangelicals in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, but it is exceedingly fair-minded to all groups that have taken part in Scotland's religious history. The Dictionary's many informative articles on Roman Catholic individuals and institutions, for example, are mostly written by Catholics themselves, who provide welcome counterpoint in what is otherwise a largely Protestant story.
For Protestants, especially those with any connection to the Presbyterianism that so long dominated Scotland, the book can only be fascination. Its articles on individuals contain basic information ...1