There are several histories that are presented here for those who desire to know about Presbyterianism and its history in the United States.
First of all we present the history of the American Presbyterian Church whose current existence reflects a continuing commitment to historic American Presbyterianism.
Secondly, we present the History of Presbyterianism in America. This consists of a set of 16 lessons starting with the founding of the first Presbyterian Churches in America and the first presbytery and continues up to the present with a review of the multiplicity of Presbyterian denominations that currently exist in the United States. It also includes a brief history of Scottish Presbyterianism so we can better understand and appreciate our roots and a brief history of the Christian Reformed Church as a the leading American representative of the “Reformed” faith that historically most closely paralleled Presbyterianism in this country. These lessons are copyrighted and are available from the American Presbyterian Press. They are also the basis for a forthcoming book on American Presbyterian church history.
Thirdly, we are offering in serialized form some key books on American Church History. The following books have been chosen not only because they are available (i.e. not copyrighted), but as being critical to an understanding of American Presbyterian Church History.
By Charles Hodge
This is a lengthy 2 volume work. We present an extensive section dealing with the Great Awakening and the Schism of 1741 between the “Old Side” and the “New Side.” The issues confronting the Presbyterian Church in this conflict have never really gone away and are critical to an understanding of more recent church history. The mythology that has taken over perceptions of the Great Awakening have obscured these issues. Hodge deals with them head on.
By Samuel Baird
This is the essential work for a proper understanding of the Schism of 1837 between the “Old School” and the “New School.” If the issues between the “Old Side” and the “New Side” were practical the issues here were theological. The issue was no longer how we practice our faith, but what faith will we practice. Baird’s excellent historical coverage as well as his insights as a strictly confessional Presbyterian are invaluable.
By John E. Ashbrook
This book is about recent church history, the second half of the twentieth century. The century started off with the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversies, especially in the PCUSA. This book documents how the Fundamentalist movement was corrupted from within, and neutralized, by a movement (the “New Evangelicals”) that substituted a strategy of compromise and accommodation with heresy versus the militant contending for the faith that had marked the “Old Evangelicals.” Although Ashbrook is a Presbyterian, (his father left the United Presbyterian Church over its apostasy) the book was written from a Fundamentalist perspective. In spite of that shortcoming it is still the best work available to document the destructive effects of the New Evangelicalism on American Christianity.
By Carl McIntire
Summary coming soon.
By Edward Rian
Summary coming soon.