Trial of Albert Barnes
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Time Period
1835
Description
Albert Barnes was a controversial Presbyterian minister who was charged with heresy on two separate occasions. The first time was in 1830 after his sermon entitled "The Way of Salvation" challenged traditional Calvinist doctrines, specifically the doctrine of original sin. The General Assembly adjudicated the Philadelphia minister, giving him a warning for using "unguarded and objectionable passages."

The second trial had greater ramifications. In 1835, Barnes published his book entitled Notes on Romans, which challenged the doctrines of original sin, justification by faith, and the imputation of the sin of Adam. The Second Philadelphia Presbytery charged him with heresy, again, but the decision was appealed to the Assembly, where he was later acquitted and restored to his pastorate. His "New School" approach to scripture had pushed many "Old School" Presbyterian ministers to their limit.

The Presbyterian Church later divided into Old and New School denominations in 1837.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Albert Barnes portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-113696

Notes on Romans, title page- Internet Archive

First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, where Barnes was pastor- Internet Archive- from In Memory of the Rev. George D. Baker

The Way of Salvation, title page- Hathi Trust
Book/Journal Source(s)
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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