19 December 2005

presbyterian history

This winter term our adult Sunday School program is offering 12 weeks of classes entitled, "A Brief Survey of Presbyterianism in the Philadelphia Region," running from December 11 through February 26. The classes will cover the period from 1706 to the present day, a fitting program in light of next year's 300th anniversary of the formation, in Philadelphia, of the first American presbytery.

The class is being taught by a variety of teachers whose scheduled topics include "The 'Great Awakening' and the Old Side/New Side Schism" (D.G. Hart), "Presbyterians in the Revolution and John Witherspoon" (George McFarland), and "J. Gresham Machen, Westminster Seminary, and the Fundamentalism/Modernism Debate" (Stephen Nichols).

Darryl G. Hart's introductory lecture, overviewing Presbyterian history in the Philly area from 1706 to 2006, opened the class in a very helpful (even if occasionally provocative) way. This past Sunday George McFarland provided an interesting narrative of William Tennent, the Log College, and the eventual founding of Princeton. While, for an Old Side sympathizer such as me, McFarland's account was a bit too biased toward New Side distinctives, it was nonetheless an interesting and challenging presentation.

If anyone is in the Philadelphia area on a Sunday over the coming weeks, the class meets at 9am in Tenth PCA's Fellowship Hall west.