I’ve been reading and enjoying Thomas Isham’s recent biography of Bishop McIlvaine, the best known of all the evangelical bishops of the Episcopal Church in the 19th century. He was Bishop of Ohio from 1832–1873, and a famous defender of the Protestant heritage of the Episcopal Church when Anglo-Catholicism was beginning to undermine it. He was also well known for his preaching (which caused a revival among West Point students when he was chaplain there), and his insistence that those who upheld the authority of Scripture had to support the abolition of slavery. Isham covers every aspect of McIlvaine’s ministry, and readers of this blog will find much in this biography to encourage their own witness to the authority of Scripture in today’s church. It’s also worth reading just for the joy of knowing that there once was a time when it was not unusual for a bishop to stand so publicly and uncompromisingly for that authority.

Isham is a member of the Episcopal Church, and was a member of EFAC-USA when that organisation was active. Thanks for keeping McIlvaine’s evangelical witness before the church!

The book is available here. The Banner of Truth edition of a collection of McIlvaine’s sermons, Preaching Christ: The Heart of Gospel Ministry, is also still in print, and available here.

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