This book unearths the practical social theology of the 19th Century Church in Scotland. It has been widely believed that the church was largely mute on the widespread poverty and deprivation which accompanied the rapid expanse of urban life. This study asserts that the church was not lacking in commitment to improving such conditions, through the example of theologians Robert Flint and the parish minister Frederick Lockhart Robertson. Flint's publication of Christ's Kingdom upon Earth led the Church of Scotland in Glasgow to investigate slum housing conditions and led to the idea that religion could not be complacent about the need for social action. It shines new light on the history of the Church of Scotland. It shows how religion was a reforming movement in an age of deprivation. It highlights the importance of social reformist writers within the Church.
Johnston McKay is a writer, broadcaster, theologian, lecturer and Church of Scotland minister. For nearly ten years, he presented the popular weekly programme Personal Touch on Radio Scotland. In 2007 he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh for his thesis on 'The Kingdom of God and the Presbyterian Churches' Social Theology and Action c1830-c1914.