A Sad Departure is an evaluation of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly’s decision to depart from the teachings of scripture and a record of the experiences of ministers, churches and Christians who have had to depart from the Church of Scotland. The title is also a play on words – ‘A Sad Departure’ is not only a reference to those who have had to leave the Church of Scotland – it is a reference to the fact that the Church of Scotland has departed from its scriptural moorings.
The author is David J. Randall, a respected Church of Scotland minister who was ‘born and bred’ in the denomination and served as a minister for almost four decades. In his foreword, Sinclair Ferguson highlights, “David Randall is not, then, a hot-headed, division-creating, young rebel. He is rather a man whose record of humble and fruitful service, matched by very few, has, as they say, ‘earned him the right to be heard”
Who should read it? All Christians. Why? This book, whilst primarily being an account of the Church of Scotland is also about the church in Scotland. If anyone cares about the church, and the cause of the gospel in Scotland – and indeed the western world, this book is a must-read. Not least because there is a prophetic call – a call that is requiring of God’s people faithfulness, prayerfulness and obedience to the revealed truths of scripture. As Ferguson writes, ‘A Sad Departure’ is, “a heart cry that God would raise up leaders like those from Issachar, ‘men who understand the times, to know what Israel ought to do’” (1 Chron. 12:32).