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The History of Presbyterianism in the United States. Part 2: A Centuries of Change C – Charles Finney. Master Timeline. United States. Europe. 1620 – Mayflower lands 1730s-1743 – 1 st Great Awakening 1776-1783 – American Rev. 1790-1840 – 2 nd Great Awakening 1830 – Book of Mormon

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The history of presbyterianism in the united states

The History of Presbyterianismin the United States

Part 2: A Centuries of Change

C – Charles Finney


Master timeline

Master Timeline

United States

Europe

  • 1620 – Mayflower lands

  • 1730s-1743 – 1st Great Awakening

  • 1776-1783 – American Rev.

  • 1790-1840 – 2nd Great Awakening

  • 1830 – Book of Mormon

  • 1850-1900 – 3rd Great Awakening

  • 1861-1865 – American Civil War

  • 1870 – Scottish Common Sense

  • 1889 – Moody Bible Institute

  • 1891 – Briggs’ address

  • 1910 – Pres. G.A.: 5 Fundamentals

  • 1914-1919 – World War I

  • 1922 – “Shall Fund.s Win?”

  • 1923 – The Auburn Affirmation

  • 1925 – The Scopes Trial

  • 1929 – Westminster Theo. Seminary

  • 1936 – Orthodox Presbyterian Ch.

  • 1936 – John Mackay, Princeton Sem.

  • 1643 – Westminster Confession of Faith

  • 1650-1800 – Age of European Enlightenment

    & of Scottish Common Sense Philosophy

  • 1770s-1900 – Rise of German Higher Criticism

  • 1789-1799 – French Revolution

  • 1827 – Plymouth Brethren begin meeting

  • 1833 – Slavery Abolition Act of England

  • 1859 - Charles Darwin – Origin of Species

  • 1862-77 – Darby travels to the United States

  • 1919 – Rise of Neo-Orthodoxy

United States (cont.)

1937 – Death of J. Gresham Machen

- Bible Presbyterian Ch. (McIntyre)

1966 – RTS, Jackson, MI

1967 – Confession of ‘67, Book of Confessions

1973 – PCA

1983 – Union of UPCUSA & PCUS


The first great awakening 1730 1743

The (First) Great Awakening,1730-1743

Jonathan Edwards

John Wesley

George Whitefield


Old side new side 1737 41

Old Side/New Side, 1737-41

Old Side

New Side

  • Wanted prohibition against rogue itinerant preaching.

  • Wanted college diploma as minimum credentials for ordination.

  • Reserved judgment on the truth of the Great Awakening phenomenon.

  • Tended to dismiss rash conversions as not of the Spirit of God.

  • Encouraged itinerant preaching as “not the enemy”.

  • Higher education not always required or necessary.

  • Embraced the emotional conversion experience entirely.

  • Tended to criticize other side as “unconverted” themselves.


After the american revolution christianity was being transformed

After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed.

  • Christian faith had been on the decline since the Revolution, especially on the frontier.

  • Universalism and Deism were popular, self-excusing faiths.

  • Alcoholism, greed, abuse of slaves, and sexual immorality were rampant.

  • Only small, local signs of revival could be found.


After the american revolution christianity was being transformed1

After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed.

  • At nearby Cane Ridge, the phenomenon

  • grew wilder:

  • Preaching more dramatic

  • Fainting,

  • Shouting,

  • Wild genuflections

  • called “exercises”

  • Ecstatic utterances

  • Eventually,

  • confusion reigned.


Between 1816 26 the united presbyterian church saw

Between 1816-26the United Presbyterian Church saw:

  • 50,000 members added.

  • a jump from 43 to 86 presbyteries.

  • and a jump in number of pastors:

    from 543 to 1,140.


Father of modern revivalism

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge.

  • Began studying law in Adams, NY.

  • Began attending the local Presbyterian Church, leading the choir.

  • In solitude & isolation, he testifies to an instantaneous conversion – “like waves of liquid love”.

  • Immediately, he felt called to leave the study of law and become a preacher of the gospel.

Charles Finney

1792-1875


Father of modern revivalism1

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge

  • 1823 – taken under care by the St. Lawrence Presbytery & licensed to preach.

Charles Finney

1792-1875

“Unexpectedly to myself they asked me if I received

the Confession of faith of the Presbyterian church.

I had not examined it; - that is, the large work, containing the Catechisms and Presbyterian Confession. This had made no part of my study. I replied that I received it for substance of doctrine, so far as I understood it. But I spoke in a way that plainly implied, I think, that I did not pretend to know much about it.”

The Memoirs of Charles Finney: The Complete Restored Text

Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989, pg. 53-54


The adopting act of 1729

The Adopting Act of 1729

And in case any minister of this Synod, or any candidate for the ministry shall have any scruple with respect to any article or articles of said Confession or Catechisms, he shall, at the time of his making the said declaration, declare his sentiments to the Presbytery or Synod; who shall, notwithstanding, admit him to the exercise of the ministry within our bounds, and to ministerial communion, if the Synod or Presbytery shall judge his scruple or mistake to be only about articles not essential and necessary in doctrine, worship, or govt. …


Father of modern revivalism2

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge

  • 1823 – taken under care by the St. Lawrence Presbytery & licensed to preach.

  • 1825 - Began revivalism as a ministry in upstate New York

  • 1832 – Minister of 2nd Free Presbyterian Church (Broadway Tabernacle)

  • 1835 – President of Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Charles Finney

1792-1875

  • First preaching efforts were lackluster.

  • Revival dramatically started in

  • Western, NY.

  • His charisma and revival spirit gained

  • him a quick reputation

  • and an enthusiastic following.


Finney s controversial new measures

Finney’s ControversialNew Measures

  • He would visit towns without invitations/cooperation of local ministers & condemn them as unconverted if they resisted him.

  • Call individuals out by name as sinners headed for hell & then publicly prayed for their specific conversion.

  • He held protracted nightly meetings, employed women for public prayer and preaching.

  • He employed dramatic, emotional music to elicit an emotional response.

  • He would begin his messages with a Scr. reference but not give any specific attention to the text in his sermon.

  • He created the altar call, the “anxious bench” and decisional regeneration – a determination to live a morally righteous life.

  • Immediate admission of converts into church membership.

Charles Finney

1792-1875


Father of modern revivalism3

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • 1830-31 – Rochester, NY

    “A person visiting Finney told him that he had no feeling regarding the condition of his soul. At this Finney picked up a fire poker and threatened to strike the man. The defensive reaction from the man caused Finney to remark that he was demonstrating feeling and should have feeling about his salvation as well.”

    J. Johnson


The history of presbyterianism in the united states

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • Finney boldly preached a “modified Calvinism”

    • Unbelief is a “will not” rather than a “cannot”.

    • Appeared singularly qualified to identify unbelief in others and frankly proclaimed the judgment of hell for them.

    • Came to adamantly reject Old Side theology and training as insufficient for the ministry.

Charles Finney

1792-1875


Father of modern revivalism4

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge

  • 1823 – taken under care by the St. Lawrence Presbytery & licensed to preach.

  • 1825 - Began revivalism as a ministry in upstate New York

  • 1832 – Minister of 2nd Free Pres. Ch.  Chatham Street Chapel  Broadway Tabernacle

  • 1835 – Professor at Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

  • 1851-66 – President, Oberlin College

  • 1875 – Died at Oberlin

Charles Finney

1792-1875


Finney changed church

Finney Changed “Church”

  • “Worship” now was nothing but evangelistic revival.

  • Building constructed in a theater design.

  • No pulpit – an open stage -

    • for the conducting of acting/drama.

    • for the public seating of dignitaries/testimonials/etc.

  • Massive organ/choir placed behind stage for effect.

  • Special music provided for emotional appeal.


Father of modern revivalism5

“Father of Modern Revivalism”

  • 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge

  • 1823 – taken under care by the St. Lawrence Presbytery & licensed to preach.

  • 1825 - Began revivalism as a ministry in upstate New York

  • 1832 – Minister of 2nd Free Pres. Ch.  Chatham Street Chapel  Broadway Tabernacle

  • 1835 – Professor at Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

  • 1851-66 – President, Oberlin College

  • 1875 – Died at Oberlin

Charles Finney

1792-1875


Finney s impact and legacy

Finney’s Impact and Legacy

“His legal training had conditioned Finney to think logically, but it had also saddled him with a world of wrong presuppositions. Finney’s notions of justice, guilt, righteousness, transgression, forgiveness, sovereignty, and a host of other terms were drawn from his legal studies, not the Scriptures.”

John Macarthur

Ashamed of the Gospel, pp. 229-230


Finney s impact and legacy1

Finney’s Impact and Legacy

  • He magnified New Side interests to dominate the religious landscape.

  • He changed many people’s perception of church and worship.

  • He made the ancient heresy of Pelagianism standard and accepted fare among many evangelicals.

  • He made the “end” to be justified by any “means”.


Finney s rejection of calvinism

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

  • He appealed to Rationalism rather than the Scriptures in his theology.

  • He denied the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity.

  • He affirmed a universal, governmental atonement.

  • He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being.

  • He replaced the grace of God with moralism and held to Christian perfectionism.


Finney s rejection of calvinism1

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

“One need go no further than the table of contents in his Systematic Theology to learn that Finney’s entire theology revolved around human morality. … Not until the twenty-first chapter does one read anything that is especially Christian in its interest … ”

Michael Horton


Finney s rejection of calvinism2

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

  • He appealed to Rationalism rather than the Scriptures in his theology.

  • He denied the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity.

  • He affirmed a universal, governmental atonement.

  • He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being.

  • He replaced the grace of God with moralism and held to Christian perfectionism.


Finney s rejection of calvinism3

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

“[Arminians have] unconverted sinners who are dead in trespasses and sin bringing themselves to life by choosing to be born again. Christ made it clear that dead people cannot choose anything, that the flesh profits nothing and that a person must be born of the Spirit BEFORE he can even see the Kingdom of God, let alone enter it.”

R.C. Sproul

The Holiness of God, p. 232


Finney s rejection of calvinism4

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

“Does reason affirm that we are deserving of the wrath and curse of God for ever, for inheriting from Adam a sinful nature?”

Charles Finney

Lectures on Systematic Theology

p. 320


Finney s rejection of calvinism5

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

  • He appealed to Rationalism rather than the Scriptures in his theology.

  • He denied the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity.

  • He affirmed a universal, governmental atonement.

  • He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being.

  • He replaced the grace of God with moralism and held to Christian perfectionism.


Finney s rejection of calvinism6

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

“This [governmental atonement] view holds

that Christ by His death actually paid the penalty for no man’s sin. What His death did was to demonstrate what their sins deserved at the hand of the just Governor and Judge of the universe, and permits God justly to forgive men if on other grounds, such as their faith, their repentance, their works, and their perseverance, they meet His demand. But this is just to eviscerate the Savior’s work of all its intrinsic saving worth and replace the Christocentric vision of Scripture with the autosoteric vision of Pelagianism.”

Robert Reymond

A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith

p. 479


Finney s rejection of calvinism7

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

  • He appealed to Rationalism rather than the Scriptures in his theology.

  • He denied the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity.

  • He affirmed a universal, governmental atonement.

  • He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being.

  • He replaced the grace of God with moralism and held to Christian perfectionism.


Finney s rejection of calvinism8

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

“Some theologians have held that regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit alone … But I might just as lawfully insist that it is the work of man alone.”

Charles Finney

Lectures on Systematic Theology, abridged

p. 224


Finney s rejection of calvinism9

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

  • He appealed to Rationalism rather than the Scriptures in his theology.

  • He denied the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity.

  • He affirmed a universal, governmental atonement.

  • He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being.

  • He replaced the grace of God with moralism and held to Christian perfectionism.


Finney s rejection of calvinism10

Finney’s rejection of Calvinism

Perfection was the teaching that:

  • perfect obedience to God is attainable in this life.

  • sanctification was a work of the Spirit and not of the Christian.

  • led the way to later “victorious life” and “second blessing” teaching.


Finney s advocacy of social reforms

Finney’s advocacy of social reforms:

  • He tied choosing Christ to denying alcohol.

  • He preached the abolition of slavery.

  • He advocated for prison reform and voluntary societies for the improvement of society.


The burned over district

“The Burned-Over District”

  • Finney’s own term

    to refer to the area so heavily

    evangelized as to have no “fuel” (unconverted) left to burn (convert).

  • The area from which came:

    • Latter day Saint movement – late 1820s

    • Millerites (Adventism), 1833 (influence for JWs)

    • Spiritism (Communion with the dead), 1840s

    • Oneida Society (Polygamist communal living), 1848


The history of presbyterianism in the united states

New Covenant

Presbyterian Church

Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace

to a World of Need

128 St. Mary’s Church Rd., Abingdon, MD 21009

410-569-0289

www.ncpres.org

www.ephesians515.com


A survey of 19 th c presbyterianism

A Survey of 19th c. Presbyterianism

  • 1683 - Francis Makemie arrived in MD

  • 1706 - 1st Presbytery organized, Philadelphia

  • 1730s-43 – 1st Great Awakening

  • 1775-83 - American Revolutionary War

  • 1789 - 1st General Assembly, PCUSA

  • 1790-1830s – 2nd Great Awakening

  • 1837 - Old School/New School Controversy

  • 1861-65 – War Between the States

  • 1861 – Presbyterians split north to south


Old school new school

Old School/New School

Old School

New School

Charles Hodge

Lyman Beecher

  • Call to return to traditional Calvinism of the WCF.

  • Suspicious of Revivalism.

  • Call to maintain a Presbyterian form of Church government.

  • United in the north as war approached.

  • Passed the “exscinding act” removing entire synods

  • Embraced “New Divinity” which was Arminian and universal.

  • Desired and practiced revivalism.

  • Was being led away from Presbytrianism and into Congregationalism.

  • Divided in the south as war approached.

  • Drew up the “Auburn Declaration” defending their views.


Lyman beecher s vision for revivals and moral crusades

Lyman Beecher’s Visionfor Revivals and Moral Crusades

“[I]ndividual conversions were insufficient to prevent the United States from apostasy and ruin. … Beecher believed that Sabbath observance was essential to the protection of American liberty. [T]he United States would soon retrogress ‘after the influence of her Sabbaths has passed away.’”

Lyman Beecher


Lyman beecher s vision for revivals and moral crusades1

Lyman Beecher’s Visionfor Revivals and Moral Crusades

“Intemperance is the sin of our land … and if anything shall defeat the hopes of the world, which hang upon our experiment with civil liberty, it is that river of fire … .”

1830s – New School Presbyterians initiated an effort to have congregations switch from wine to grape juice in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

Lyman Beecher


Charles hodge

Charles Hodge

  • His efforts in the defense of doctrinal integrity kept Princeton Seminary in the Old School party.

  • Published Systematic Theology (3 vol.) in 1873.

  • Argued for Presbyterianism as the government prescribed in Scripture.

  • Openly critiqued Finney’s Pelagianism:

    Finney’s idea of moral ability “has not been adopted in the confession of any one denominational church in Christendom, but is expressly repudiated by them all.”


A survey of 19 th c presbyterianism1

A Survey of 19th c. Presbyterianism

  • 1683 - Francis Makemie arrived in MD

  • 1706 - 1st Presbytery organized, Philadelphia

  • 1730s-43 – 1st Great Awakening

  • 1775-83 - American Revolutionary War

  • 1789 - 1st General Assembly, PCUSA

  • 1790-1830s – 2nd Great Awakening

  • 1837 - Old School/New School Controversy

  • 1850s-1900s – Third Great Awakening


Third great awakening 1850s 1900s

Third Great Awakening – 1850s-1900s

  • Protestant Denominations grew quickly.

  • Many Christian colleges started.

    • 1848 – Geneva College, Northwood, OH

    • 1876 – Grove City College, Grove City, PA

  • Rise of the Republican Party

  • Revivalism of Dwight Moody

    • 1886 – Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL


Third great awakening 1850s 1900s1

Third Great Awakening – 1850s-1900s

Issues:

  • A Postmillennium vision of culture

  • Temperance => Prohibition

  • Women’s Sufferage

  • Child Labor laws

  • Rise in the Social Gospel, esp. in missions

  • “All purpose” Church facilities/services


Third great awakening 1850s 1900s2

Third Great Awakening – 1850s-1900s

Other Creations:

  • Holiness/Pentecostal Movements

  • Young Men’s Christian Association

  • Salvation Army, Catherine & William Booth

  • The Society for Ethical Culture (Jewish)

  • Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses – Charles Taze Russell


A survey of 19 th c presbyterianism2

A Survey of 19th c. Presbyterianism

  • 1683 - Francis Makemie arrived in MD

  • 1706 - 1st Presbytery organized, Philadelphia

  • 1730s-43 – 1st Great Awakening

  • 1775-83 - American Revolutionary War

  • 1789 - 1st General Assembly, PCUSA

  • 1790-1830s – 2nd Great Awakening

  • 1837 - Old School/New School Controversy

  • 1850s-1900s – Third Great Awakening

  • 1861-65 – War Between the States

  • 1861 – Presbyterians split north to south


The approaching storm

The Approaching Storm

  • 1818 – First firm stand by Presbyterians against slavery.

    “voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another” was a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human nature, … utterly inconsistent with the law of God, which requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves, … totally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the gospel of Christ.”


The approaching storm1

The Approaching Storm

  • 1818 – First firm stand by Presbyterians against slavery.

  • 1845 – General Assembly

    • New School: slavery was the decisive issue – a moral crusade

    • Old School: preserving the nation was decisive issue.

      • On one hand, slavery not absolutely condemned in Scr.

      • On the other hand, the “evil connected with slavery” must not be countenanced.


The approaching storm2

The Approaching Storm

  • 1818 – First firm stand by Presbyterians against slavery.

  • 1845 – General Assembly

  • 1857 – New School churches divided from the north to form the United Synod of the Presbyterian Church.

  • 12/4/1861 – Old School churches in the south hold their first G.A. with 45 presbyteries, 840 ministers, 72,000 communicant members.


The history of presbyterianism in the united states

PCUSA –

Old

School

PCUSA –

New

School

PCUS –

New

School

PCUS –

Old

School


The approaching storm3

The Approaching Storm

For the southern church, the hardening of political opinions meant a shift on slavery.

‘the institution of slavery is divinely recognized and sanctioned. … We are upholding and defending a sacred trust, committed to us by the providence of God.’

a North Carolina Presbyterian newspaper

H&M


The approaching storm4

The Approaching Storm

At the same time, many southern ministers continued to oppose and seek reform.

In addition to seeking a reform of slaves’ domestic relations, [James A. Lyon of Mississippi] advocated that blacks and white gather together for worship, … that African-Americans be catechized, and that there be a repeal of laws prohibiting slaves from learning to read and write.

H&M


After the war

After the War

The Old and New Schools in the North reunited in 1869. But the division between North and South would be hardest for Presbyterians to overcome. The northern and southern Presbyterians could not accept each other until 1983.

H&M


The history of presbyterianism in the united states

New Covenant

Presbyterian Church

Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace

to a World of Need

128 St. Mary’s Church Rd., Abingdon, MD 21009

410-569-0289

www.ncpres.org

www.ephesians515.com


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