A Tale of Two Churches-Abbeville Institute

“Scriptural authority was no longer central to Congregational teaching or preaching by the mid-eighteenth century, and it was not only the so-called five points of Calvinism, or even the Five Solas of the Reformation, that were at stake but the doctrines of: the atonement, the virgin birth of Messiah, and the Holy Trinity. The ancient Creeds of the Church Universal linking Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant alike were being questioned or denied. In short, the noble protestant savage of New England, with his Bible alone in hand, was becoming a Unitarian.

It was from Southern pulpits and publishers that opposition to the growing Darwinian consensus was most loudly voiced. Clergyman such as the Rev. J. H. Thornwell were outspoken against these liberal theologians and scientists insisting upon the full humanity of Africans on a Scriptural understanding: “The Negro is of one blood [Acts 17:26} with ourselves – that he has sinned as we have, and that he has an equal interest with us in the great redemption …We are not ashamed to call him our brother” (Pg.33). One can almost feel the Yankee ridicule for a deplorable, such as Thornwell, clinging to his Bible and guns.”

A Tale of Two Churches