Friday, June 25, 2010

Going off track (3)

The Primitive Methodist movement began to go off track with the adoption of Protestant liberal theology. The crisis developed in Adelaide in South Australia, from 1889 onwards.
Hugh Gilmore’s successor, John Day Thompson, was an even more outspoken exponent of religious liberalism. … For Thompson there could be ‘no final or absolute theology. There must come new theologies whether we like them or not.’

The Bible “is a record of man’s discovery of spiritual truth; it is to be treated as ‘any serious human book’ should be treated. The climax of the Bible’s moral development was the ethical principles of Jesus, and the church of today must be released from ‘the dead hand of Paul’.” These were familiar themes in Protestant liberalism, and Thompson’s espousal of them did not leave him unscathed. He had to answer a heresy charge from within his own denomination in 1896.

It was the first time in the history of the movement that a serious charge of heresy had been made.

Quotations from "This side of heaven", Arnold D Hunt, p137

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