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American Presbyterianism
  American Presbyterianism1 American Presbyterianism 1706, the year that the Presbytery of Philadelphia was first established, could be considered the beginning of  American Presbyterianism . Unlike their Dutch and German Reformed counterparts, however, this presbytery hadno ties to the old world. [1] In time, two other presbyteries would be formed, resulting in the Synod of Philadelphia in1717. In time, despite controversies over confessional subscription and the Old Side-New Side Controversy, whichhad led to a decade-long schism, the American Presbyterians, following American victory in the Revolutionary Warwould eventually form the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.At the same time, Covenanters and Seceders, with support from their churches in Scotland to establish congregationsin the American colonies, with the Seceders forming the Associate Presbytery in 1753 and the Covenanters formingthe Reformed Presbytery in 1774. Eventually, the some in the Covenanter and Seceder traditions merged to form the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Later on, in 1858, the Northern Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterians would merge with the Associate Presbyterians to form the United Presbyterian Church of NorthAmerica. Other Covenanters would come to form the Reformed Synod around the turn of the 19th century whichlasted until the € Old Light-New Light ã controversy split the Synod into two groups in 1833 with the Old Lightsforming the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and the New Lights eventually forming the ReformedPresbyterian Church, General Synod.The revivals of the Second and Third Great Awakenings in the nineteenth century won the support of  somePresbyterians, including Lyman Beecher and Charles G. Finney. In 1810, a group of pro-revivalist Presbyterians inKentucky broke away from the main-line Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. to form the Cumberland PresbyterianChurch. [2] In 1837, revivalism was one of the issues that led to the Old School-New School Controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Twenty years later, in 1857, as the United States edged closer to division, the New School Presbyterians split over slavery, with the southern New School Presbyterians forming the United Synod of the South. [3] In December of 1861, in the wake of the outbreak of the Civil War and the Gardiner Spring resolutions,the Old School Southern Presbyterians, which included men such as James Henley Thornwell and R.L. Dabney,formed the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America. Following the end of the war, the PresbyterianChurch in the Confederate States of America would rename itself the Presbyterian Church in the United States.In 1864, the Old School and New School Southern Presbyterians to reunite, with the New School Presbyteriansbeing effectively swallowed up by the much larger Old School majority. A reunion of the Old School and NewSchool Presbyterians, despite the protests of Old School Presbyterians, such as Charles Hodge, occurred amongst themainline Northern Presbyterians in 1869. But, unlike in the south, the Old School and New School reunion led to theentire denomination altering course. By the 1870's, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. began downplaying doctrinal disagreements in the name of ecumenism with other denominations. What resulted within the denomination was a testing of confessional orthodoxy, in one instance resulting in an 1893 heresy trial for Charles A. Briggs, aprofessor of Hebrew at Union Theological Seminary in New York, who questioned the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Eventually, in 1903, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. modified the Westminster Standards in order todownplay strict Calvinism. One of the results was the reunion of many of the Cumberland Presbyterians to thePresbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1906.In 1909, the presbytery of New York attempted to ordain a group of men who could neither affirm, nor affirm the Virgin Birth, leading to the affirmation of five fundamentals being required f or ordination: the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, and the resurrection. In time, these doctrines would be expounded upon in a series of essays known as The Fundamentals . In 1922, Harry Emerson Fosdick, a Baptist serving as a pastor of a Presbyterian church in New York City, delivered a sermon entitled Shall the Fundamentalists Win? , igniting the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. At Princeton Theological Seminary, a New Testament professor by the name of J. Gresham Machen, who stood in the tradition of earlier Princetonians such as Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield, responded with a book entitled Christianity and   American Presbyterianism2  Liberalism , in which he argued that liberalism and Christianity were two different religions. Machen wouldeventually found Westminster Theological Seminary in 1929, and following a controversy regarding theestablishment of an Independent Mission Board which resulted in his being suspended from the ministry in thePC-USA, Machen led an exodus of conservatives in 1936 to form what would become known as the OrthodoxPresbyterian Church. A group within that body, led by men such as Carl McIntire and J. Oliver Buswell, broke awayto form the Bible Presbyterian Church in 1937.The mainline Northern Presbyterians would continue to move away from its traditional Presbyterian past, includingordaining women in 1956 and eventually merging with the smaller and more conservative century old United Presbyterian Church in North America in 1958 to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of  America, which was celebrated in Pittsburgh that summer. In time, the UPCUSA, under the leadership of EugeneCarson Blake, the denomination's stated clerk, would join the Presbyterian Church in the United States, theEpiscopalians, the United Methodists and the United Church of Christ in meetings of the Consultation on ChurchUnion , and would come to adopt the Confession of 1967, which had a more neo-orthodox understanding of Scripture and called for a commitment to social action. 1967 also saw the publication of the  Book of Confessions forthe UPCUSA and a change in the ordination vows for their ministers. In the 1970s, the trial of a minister by thename of Walter Kenyon who refused to participate in women ‚ s ordination eventually lead to a ruling that UPCUSAchurches must ordain female officers.In 1942, the Presbyterian Church in the United States began to experiment with confessional revision, promptingPCUS conservatives, such as L. Nelson Bell, father-in-law of Billy Graham, to begin renewal efforts. In time, thePCUS, like its counterparts in the north, would begin to embrace neo-orthodoxy and liberalism, as well as open theposition of minister to women. In 1966, conservatives would come to found Reformed Theological Seminary inJackson, Mississippi, to educate students along Old School Presbyterian lines. Eventually talks came about with thePresbyterian Church in the U.S.A. regarding a merger. In 1956, a proposal was passed by the PCUS generalassembly, but the motion was rejected by the presbyteries. Despite the failure to pass the merger, the twodenominations collaborated on a hymnal and in 1970, a Plan of  Union was drawn up. Owing to the lack of an escape clause in the Plan of Union for churches that were opposed to the union and the increasingly liberal views of the denomination, a group of delegates from roughly 200 churches met in Birmingham in December 1973 to form theNational Presbyterian Church, which would eventually take the name the Presbyterian Church in America. In 1981,theological controversy in the UPCUSA, most notably, the General Assembly's affirmation of the National CapitolUnion Presbytery's reception of a United Church of Christ minister who allegedly denied the deity, sinless nature andbodily resurrection of Christ, led to the formation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a denomination whichputs a greater emphasis on their Essentials of the Faith, a brief statement of evangelical theology, as opposed to theWestminster Standards. With conservatives gone from both the UPCUSA and the PCUS, the denominations movedcloser to merger, eventually uniting in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).For the Bible Presbyterians, a disagreement over leadership and the direction of the denomination led to a split in1957, with the Bible Presbyterian Church-Collingswood Synod, under the control of Carl McIntire, splitting from theBible Presbyterian Church-Columbus Synod, which was renamed the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 1961. Fouryears later, the EPC merged with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Synod to form the ReformedPresbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. The RPCES, in turn, would join the Presbyterian Church in America in1982.In 1975, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, the ReformedPresbyterian Church in North America, and the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod joined theChristian Reformed Church in North America in forming the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council(NAPARC), an organization which now boasts thirteen confessional Continental Reformed and Presbyteriandenominations and federations.  American Presbyterianism31983 saw the creation of the theonomic Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States, which had broken off from the Presbyterian Church in America. In time, splits in the RPCUS would lead to the creation of the ReformedPresbyterian Church  ƒ Hanover Presbytery and the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly. In morerecent years, a group from the RPCGA formed the Covenant Presbyterian Church.In more recent years, in the PC(U.S.A.), the debate over homosexuality has caused rifts. Following the removal of the bar on homosexual clergy in the PC(U.S.A.) on the denominational level in 2010, many churches have left thedenomination, many joining the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and others joining the Evangelical Covenant Orderof Presbyterians, which became its own denomination in 2012.Other newer Presbyterian groups include the Free Presbyterian Church of North America, which initially hadoperated under the auspices of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster until becoming its own denomination in 2005,the Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States and the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches(the last of which allows for Continental Reformed and Reformed Baptists, as well). References [1]D.G. Hart & John Muether Seeking a Better Country: 300 Years of American Presbyterianism pgs. 24 & 25[2]Hart & Muether, pgs. 100 & 101[3]Hart & Meuther, pg. 150  Article Sources and Contributors4 Article Sources and Contributors American Presbyterianism   Source : Contributors : Bearcat, Caleb D Phillips, DGG, Editor2020, Frze, Josve05a, Malcolma, Signalizing,StAnselm License Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 // 
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