Cairns, David Smith, Scottish theologian, born Stitchel, Roxburghshire, Scotland, 8 November 1862, died Edinburgh, 27 July 1946.
David Cairns left Edinburgh University after a crisis of faith, and attended the United Presbyterian Theological Hall from 1888. In 1895 he became minister in Ayton, Berwickshire, and in 1907 Professor of Dogmatics and Apologetics at the United Free Church College, Aberdeen. He was later Principal. He chaired the 1910 World Missionary Conference commission which produced The Missionary Message in Relation to Non-Christian Religions. He lectured in America, China and Japan. His writings include The Faith that Rebels (1928) and The Riddle of the World (1937). He supported the incipient Iona Community, and was known for his personal diffidence, sensitivity, humour and love of poetry, especially Browning.