March 14, 2007

Coming This April - #6 of 8

Truth's Victory Over Error
David Dickson

April is fast approaching and I still have two other titles to post after this one, so I will try to get these "sneak peaks" out before they are no longer "sneak peaks." I'm at the GPTS theology conference this week, but will try to get this done soon. In the meantime, here is our "publisher's description" for #6.

This book is not merely of historical interest; it is also of considerable value now because many of the errors refuted within its pages have surfaced again in the 21st century church under new guises. Christians today can learn a great deal from the faithful witness of former generations who experienced ‘truth’s victory over error’.

Truth’s Victory Over Error contains David Dickson’s lectures on the Westminster Confession of Faith, delivered to the divinity students of Edinburgh University in the early 1650s. Here then is a commentary written just a few brief years after the Westminster Divines drew up their famous Confession of 1647 by one of their senior contemporaries. Dickson's comments reveal the burning issues of the day and supply fascinating insight into the robust theology of the Scottish Puritans.

In the Introduction to the book Robert Wodrow writes that the author ‘as it were, breaks the truths of our Confession small, and prepares them for the meanest capacities.’ Here, then, is a useful aid for Christians who want to study and understand the doctrines of the Confession itself.

Dickson was concerned to explain the truth and refute error. Not content merely to establish the Confession’s articles from Scripture, he also ‘guards against the gangrene and poison of contrary errors, with judgment and perspicuity’ (Wodrow). Like all true evangelicals, Dickson saw the vital need of expressing the Bible’s teaching in both negative and positive propositions.

David Dickson (1583-1663) was the son of a wealthy merchant in Glasgow. His early aspirations to enter the family business were diverted through an illness and a subsequently lengthy period of convalescence. The result was that he entered the University of Glasgow (then under Principal Robert Boyd) and prepared for the Christian ministry. Following graduation he remained in the University as a regent until, in 1618, he was called to the parish of Irvine in Ayrshire. Deprived of his ministry in 1622 by the Bishop of Glasgow for his opposition to the Five Articles, he was banished for a year to Turiff in Aberdeenshire, but on his return was the instrument in the hand of God of numerous conversions. It was out of his pastoral experience that his famous manual of spiritual counsel, Therapeutica Sacra, was written. In 1638 he was present at the famous Assembly which restored Presbyterian government in Scotland, and the following year was chosen Moderator of the Scottish Church. In 1640 he became Professor of Divinity in Glasgow, transferring to Edinburgh ten years later. During that period he played a considerable part in establishing vital, orthodox Christianity throughout the land. He helped to draw up the Directory for Public Worship, and with James Durham compiled the Sum of Saving Knowledge (a work instrumental in later years in the conversion of Robert Murray M‘Cheyne). Restoration troubles after the return of King Charles II in 1660, hastened his death. As the end drew near, he spoke the memorable words: ‘I have taken all my good deeds, and all my bad and cast them in a heap before the Lord, and fled from both, and betaken myself to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him I have sweet peace.’


Geoffrey R. Kirkland said...


What an encouragement your blog has been to me. I appreciate you reading and commenting on my blog regarding Iain Murray's book "Evangelicalism Divided."

As a matter of fact, I have one more year left at The Master's Seminary here in LA ( and then, Lord willing, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. at BBS (Baptist Bible Seminary) in the NT dept under Dr. Rodney Decker.

If you have any advice or connections, let me know :=). My email is

Thanks for your kind words and introducing yourself to me.

Many blessings to you and the folk at "The Banner."

Geoff Kirkland

Steve Burlew said...

Well, Geoff, that will put you in our Pennsylvania neighborhood! About five guys from BBS/BBC took a road trip a few weeks back and visited our Banner of Truth "slightly damaged/50% off book section" in the front of our office. You will have to get in on that annual trip after you arrive in NE PA. I dare say you will experience some weather that you may not have seem much there in CA!

pilgrim said...

So I found this on the net-

Is this the full text of this book?
I'm curious because I'd love to check the book out--but I don't like reading long works off my computer screen...


Steve Burlew said...

Dear "Pilgrim" -
I passed your question on to our editor in Edinburgh, Scotland and learned that the soon-to-be-released Banner version "has been carefully edited by Dr. J.R. deWitt, who has collated and compared the George Sinclair and the Thomas Wodrow editions of "Truth's Victory," producing what he believes to be the best text. It also comes with his own Preface and the Wodrow Introduction. Needless to say it is attractively typeset and will have a quality binding and cover, typical of Banner books! So much easier on the eye than a computer screen!!!"
I hope you find this reply (sorry for the delay). I would email it to you, but as far as I know, I do not have an email address for you.

pilgrim said...

I saw the answer on my blog as well.
I have ordered the book, and look forward to reading it.

(And also reviewing it on my blog.)