Orthodox Presbyterian Church Founded
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John Gresham Machen
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The heresy trial of liberal theologian Charles Augustus Briggs in 1892 did little to decrease tensions between conservatives and progressives within the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA).

By the 1920s, many conservatives felt that the liberals were winning the debate. For example, the Auburn Affirmation of 1924 denounced the practice of requiring Presbyterian ministers to affirm the infallibility of the Scriptures, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, substitutionary atonement, and Christ’s miracles.

The publication of William Ernest Hocking’s Re-Thinking Missions in 1932 became the last straw, as it pushed for a greater missionary emphasis on social services rather than conversion. New Testament professor John Gresham Machen at Princeton Theological Seminary charged that the Foreign Missions were straying away from teaching how Jesus Christ is the exclusive means to salvation. In response, Machen was convicted of disturbing the peace of the church. Subsequently, Machen and other discontented Presbyterians left PCUSA and formed the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
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Machen, John Gresham
McIntire, Carl

Lake Sherwood Orthodox Presbyterian Church- Flickr- photo by Mike Johnson (CC BY 2.0)

J Gresham Machen portrait- Hathi Trust- from J Gresham Machen, A Biographical Memoir by Ned B. Stonehouse
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 2009. Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, Eighth Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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