Thomas Scott and Evangelical Missions
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This dissertation examines how Thomas Scott navigated the tension associated with being an Evangelical Anglican in the realm of missions. The paper’s thesis is that the nature of Scott’s Evangelical identity, which combined elements of the broader evangelical movement with a decidedly Anglican confessionalism, led him to devote himself primarily to Anglican missionary causes but did not preclude him from engaging in other Protestant missionary enterprises when circumstances permitted. Chapter 1 examines the challenges Evangelical Anglicans faced within the Church of England as a despised minority. In many ways, Evangelicals had more spiritual kinship with Dissenters, and this tension had its effects on Evangelical missions. Chapter 2 gives an overview of Thomas Scott’s life and legacy. Scott’s life story is told chronologically, and his legacy is described with respect to his writings and his personal influence on several key figures in English religious history. Chapter 3 examines the general characteristics of Scott’s Evangelical identity, including his theological beliefs about the Bible, justification, conversion, baptism, the Modern Question, and eschatology are examined. Chapter 4 studies the ecclesiastical elements of Scott’s Evangelical identity. The subjects treated are Scott’s views on the nature of the English establishment, ecclesiastical irregularity, episcopal ordination, and Christendom. Chapter 5 addresses Scott’s role in the Evangelical Anglican missions movement. Scott’s devotion to the Church Missionary Society is attributed to the correspondence between his Evangelical identity and the Society’s founding principles. Chapter 6 explores Scott years as the Secretary for the Church Missionary Society. Emphasis is given to instances of the Evangelical Anglican tension in the first few years of the Society’s existence. Chapter 7 provides an overview of Scott’s work as a pastoral advocate for the Church Missionary Society and as a missionary instructor in the years after he resigned as Secretary. Chapter 8 surveys Scott’s work with non-Anglican missionary societies, including the Baptist Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. Chapter 9 is the conclusion.