News & Events
Retired professor defends Sundays as day of rest
May 10, 2012
A retired Free Church of Scotland professor has hit back at claims that observing Sunday as a day of rest is “silly and harmful”.
On Saturday a letter in the Scotsman newspaper from Campbell Mackie was critical of Lord David Puttnam’s lecture on Eric Liddell, alleging that his “veneration of Sabbatarianism” was “religious fundamentalism”.
Lord Puttnam directed the film Chariots of Fire, which showed how Liddell, an Olympic champion sprinter, refused to participate in races on Sundays because of his scriptural beliefs.
Reverend Dr Donald M MacDonald praised Liddell’s “commitment to keeping the Lord’s Day special”, and said it was “difficult to take Mr Mackie’s assessment seriously”.
In a letter printed in the Scotsman in response, Dr MacDonald said: “The film was an entertaining and inspiring study of contrasts between two characters working out the consequences of their personal beliefs, personalities and ambitions in a very public arena.”
The former Professor of Practical Theology at the Free Church College added: “Eric Liddell was living out his faith in Jesus Christ, who said: ‘The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.’”
He concluded: “The principle of one day in seven for worship, rest and “the works of necessity and mercy” (Westminster Shorter Catechism) is a good one for individuals and society as a whole.”
You can read an extract from Lord Puttnam’s lecture by clicking here.