Church of Scotland minister says to teach Jesus died for sins is "ghastly theology"
Tue 29 Sep 2015
By Hannah Tooley
The Free Church Moderator of Scotland is preparing to debate the foundations of Christianity with a Scottish minister who does not agree that Jesus died for sinners.
Revd Scott McKenna, minister of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church in Edinburgh, openly denies one of the most accepted teachings of mainstream Christianity and told his congregation that it was "ghastly theology" to believe that Jesus Christ died for sinners.
Following the comments, the footage was uploaded online and the current Free Church Moderator Revd David Robertson responded by writing a blog post on the subject, saying such preaching was profoundly anti-Christian.
Mr McKenna, who has the potential to be a Church of Scotland Moderator, then contacted Robertson and the men met to discuss theology.
A debate has been set for Wednesday at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church to talk about the death of Jesus, as well as faith schools and other issues brought up in the Bible.
Revd Angus Morrison, present Church of Scotland Moderator, will chair the debate.
Revd David Robertson said: "After writing the article Scott got in touch with me and we had a coffee.
"I felt we got on well and as a result we agreed to have an open discussion in his church on this subject and others to do with the Christian gospel.
"At a personal level I confess that I liked Scott - I prefer an honest liberal to a dishonest evangelical! However this does not mean that I agree with him at all.
"To me this denial of the Gospel is not a form or variant of Christianity, it is not Christianity at all, because it strikes at the very heart of the Christian faith.
"Therefore it is a vital subject for us to be discussing."
Revd Scott McKenna, who denies that Christ died for sins, has written for the Church of Scotland's monthly magazine.
More recently he was part of the campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.
The bill was rejected for a second time at Holyrood by 82 to 36.
Former Free Church Moderator Revd David Meredith was also unhappy with the comments: "This is not just an academic discussion but goes to the heart of the gospel.
"Atonement is not simply a doctrine which 'does not enter into the substance of the faith.'
"In any confessional denomination the material of this sermon would be part of the evidence for a heresy trial.
"I suspect in Revd McKenna we are looking at a future Moderator of the General Assembly."