Professor Donald Macleod, writer and theologian who trained a generation of ministers in the Free Church of Scotland, has died aged 82. A statement from the church announced that he passed away on Sunday 21st May at his home in Morningside, Edinburgh.
In a tribute on the Gospel Coalition website, Hunter Nicholson, minister-in-training at St. Columba’s Free Church, wrote: "Over the past six decades, he was acknowledged as one of Scotland’s preeminent theologians and cultural commentators. For many Scottish believers, he was also their beloved teacher."
Donald Macleod was born in Ness, Isle of Lewis in 1940. He was ordained and inducted to the congregation of Kilmallie Free Church at the age of 24, and was quickly recognised for his academic gifts. He was appointed to the Chair of Systematic Theology at the Free Church College, Edinburgh, where he went on to teach and train aspiring ministers for thirty years, becoming the college Principal in 1999.
He wrote several publications over four decades, achieving a international reputation as a writer, and as one of Scotland's most important contemporary theologians.
Retired pastor Alex J. MacDonald said of him, "Donald Macleod is the people’s theologian. He combines a profound grasp of the language of Scripture and the history of Christian doctrine with a penetrating understanding of the dilemmas of life...
Through it all shines his adoration of Jesus Christ and his deep sympathy with people. He never loses sight for a moment that he is addressing people – people who are hurting, or confused or ill-informed or tempted. This is theology straight from the heart of a great preacher of the gospel."
Rev Paul Blackham, from St Crispin's church in London remembers hearing Macleod preach as a teenager, and described him teaching with "powerful truth and pastoral warmth."
The Principal of Edinburgh Theological Seminary and current Free Church Moderator, Rev Iver Martin, paid tribute to Macloed's legacy saying, “His immense influence as well as his contribution to the theological education of a whole generation of pastors is incalculable.”