H. A. Ironside’s legacy
Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951) was the son of John and Sophia (Stafford) Ironside of Toronto, who were involved in the Plymouth Brethren. He had a strong interest in the Bible throughout his life. He was involved with the Salvation Army as a youth, and moved from that denomination to one of the sects of the Plymouth Brethren, known as open Brethren, and later he joined the closed Brethren, also known as the “Grant” section, or “Exclusive Brethren.” He was the author of A Historical Sketch of the Brethren Movement. His prophetic writings and commentaries promoted the interpretations and doctrines of John N. Darby and Dispensationalism. Through his preaching and books, Ironside had a considerable influence beyond the Brethren movement, and became the minister at the Moody Church, in Chicago, associated with the Moody Bible Institute.
In 1930 Ironside was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from Wheaton College.
Ironside was appointed to the board at Wheaton College, and was also on the board of Bob Jones University.
Ironside was the author of a scathing condemnation of Ultra-dispensationalism: Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, Ultra-dispensationalism examined in the light of holy Scripture.
The present faculty of Wheaton includes names of prominent critics of Christian Zionism and Dispensationalism. Many of the interpretations of prophecy that Ironside believed have been set aside, and abandoned at Wheaton and even at Dallas Theological Seminary. Ironically, some of Ironside’s teachings are now actively opposed by professors at the College where he was once honored — are the tares sown among the wheat being gathered up and burned?