Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Going off track – heresy


John Day Thompson had to answer a heresy charge in 1896. It was the first time in the history of the movement that a serious charge of heresy had been made.

The heresy accusation was made by two former principals of the Primitive Methodist Theological Institution, James Macpherson and Joseph Wood. The charge was based on a published address delivered by Thompson in Adelaide in 1894 on ‘The Simple Gospel’ in which he attacked the view that it was the duty of ministers to proclaim ‘the Simple Gospel and leave on one side critical questions’ and what came to be called ‘the Social Gospel’. Thompson’s address in Adelaide outraged the old guard.

Which was it to be? The Simple Gospel of the missionary pioneers or the Social Gospel of the liberal theologians?

Quotes from "A Little Primitive", Kenneth Lysons, p140, "Modern Religious Rebels", Stuart Mews, p216

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