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  • Writer's picturePresbyterian Reformed Church

REVIEW: Reformed Thought: Selected Writings of William Young

By Roy Mohon

Reformed Thought: Selected Writings of William Young

Edited by Joel R. Beeke and Ray B. Lanning

Reformation Heritage Books; 430 pages; $27; ISBN 978-1-60178-159-8 currently £22.67

Young maintained a long, robust defence of Reformed thought. Paul Helm, writer of the Introduction comments of Young’s writings that “they reveal the depth of his theological knowledge, and the acuteness of his judgment, and most of them indicate the strength of his adherence to the Reformed faith in its purest and most uncompromising expression…” (

Much of section one, “Theology and Doctrine” is directed to the pew rather than the academy and is within the scope of the average reader serious about “experimental religion”.

Section two contains “Sermons and Pastoral Writings”. Chapter 12 “Looking Upon the Pierced Christ” shows that Young’s material originates from a pastor for whom the soul’s communion with Christ is paramount. This explains why the technical chapters never sink to abstract intellectualism. They reflect the outworking of Young’s wise statement in Chapter 12 (page 231): “Don’t ask me how little a person might need to believe in order to be saved … But I will say this: a person who does have faith even ‘as a grain of mustard seed’, wants to know more and more.”

The final two sections, “Christian Philosophy” and “Reviews” reveal that when the humble believer is by training an academic philosopher, the resources that he brings to his search for truth are enhanced. Young proceeds carefully and surely through complex issues always respecting the authority of Scripture.

This is a timely book. It puts the secularist’s sneer that Christians have renounced the use of reason for unthinking believing or emotionalism back in its box. Here is reason in its highest conceivable employment searching to better understand God’s salvation and to live to the glory of his name.

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