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Preach it, brother!

"Were the whole realm of nature mine

That were an offering far too small:

Love so amazing, so divine

Demands my soul, my life, my all."

Such was his fondness for Isaac Watt's iconic hymn that Professional William Barclay made a point of including it in every concert of his beloved Trinity College Choir, which he re-founded and conducted - despite his deafness. An ardent Motherwell football fan, he would have enjoyed the hype surrounding this evening's big game. Yet his over-riding passion lay in unlocking the treasures of the New Testament and making them accessible to everyone, from fellow preachers to fellow football fans.

Barclay was derided for his liberal theology (he was a "universalist"). As a young minister I recall an older Pentecostal colleague enthusiastically commending his Daily Study Bible series for the quality of its translation from the Greek and its wealth of visual illustrations "as long as you filter out the dodgy theology". Easier said than done!

Yet, possibly on account of his cavalier and spontaneous style, Barclay was often misunderstood by his critics. On closer acquaintance his work is actually quite orthodox and his passion to know Christ as Saviour and make him so known shines through, along with the genuine modesty which smoothed his rougher edges and endeared him to so many. Good reason to thank God for blessing Scotland and the world with one of her most effective communicators of the Good News of Jesus.



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