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W. Stanford Reid An Evangelical Calvinist in the Academy

A moving personal account of one man’s spiritual and intellectual journey.

Paper 0773528180
Release date: 2004-09-30
CA $27.95  |  US $29.95  |  UK £21.50

Cloth 0773527702
Release date: 2004-09-30
CA $85.00  |  US $85.00  |  UK £62.00

6 x 9
25 black & white photographs
W. Stanford Reid’s career affected both university and religious life in Canada during the post-war period. Donald MacLeod traces Reid’s career in the university, first at McGill, where Reid was a history professor for twenty-four years as well as dean of residences, and then at the University of Guelph, where he set up a history department, organized a large graduate program, and created a Scottish Studies emphasis.MacLeod’s in-depth analysis examines how an observant Christian academic, unapologetically Calvinist, openly articulated his faith in a secular environment and helped convince evangelicals to abandon their ghettoizing anti-intellectualism. His discussion of Reid’s international networking serves as a reminder of the way in which Canadian evangelicalism was influenced by and in turn influenced the United States, where Reid’s influence was appreciable, both as a trustee of Westminster Seminary for thirty-seven years and as editor at large of the nascent “Christianity Today.” “W. Stanford Reid” is a poignant, in-depth investigation of the life of a man whose career spanned academia and church.

Review quotes

“This is a well researched, carefully written, and interesting biography of a significant figure in recent Canadian academic and religious history. MacLeod successfully rescues Reid from the obscurity that descended on his reputation even before his death at the end of 1996, and also shows the significance of his consequential life and times.” 

Mark Noll, McManis Professor, Department of History, Wheaton College


“This book delivers all that it promises. In its seventeen chapters of approximately equal length it judiciously reflects the able historian’s avoidance of “over-determination;” i.e., it recognizes the interplay of religious, social, historical, economic and national factors. It begins with the significance of Reid’s foreparents in Nineteenth Century Anglophone Quebec; it concludes with an exhaustive bibliography of Reid’s writings. It never drifts, however, from its orientation as advertised in the title: Reid as Calvinist by conviction and history teacher by profession. In substance, style and lucidity it is exemplary … No doubt unintentionally and certainly unobtrusively yet no less unmistakeably, MacLeod’s “heart” is revealed. Trained in history at Harvard, currently pastor to a small-city congregation, like Reid he loves the denomination he will not leave. There is no bitterness here, no self-exempting accusation, no angry denunciation; there is however, the sober acknowledgement that sin blinds and corrupts, with the result that doors providentially opened do close, and opportunities for appointing prophets pass. While MacLeod has spent much more of his working life as a congregational pastor than Reid did, as Adjunct Professor of Missions at Tyndale University College & Seminary he too is “an evangelical Calvinist in the academy.” Yet he remains himself.”

Victor Shepherd in the Toronto Journal of Theology


“The value of this biography, I suggest, is that it enables us to view contingent factors in the formation of Reid, which, had they unfolded differently, would have made for a very different story. We owe to MacLeod, who knew Reid as an academic mentor and fellow churchman, a debt of gratitude for a task carried out with élan.”

Kenneth Stewart in March/April 2006 Books and Culture


“I am glad that a friend and former student of Stanford Reid, Donald Macleod, took on this task of being his biographer, a task that he has accomplished superbly. This book not only presents the life of a distinguished Christian scholar, but it also provides a model for biographical writing. It blends the personal details that are a necessary part of biography along with the intellectual assessment of his work and influence. Here was an evangelical Calvinist who not only maintained his faith in academia but who showed that adhering to confessional Christianity was no barrier to becoming a noted scholar.”


Allan Harman in Reformed Theological Review