Princeton Versus The New Divinity

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Behind the new methods in evangelism aggressively promoted by Charles Finney and others in the United States in the 1830s and 40s lay the "New Divinity", a system with revolutionary views of the fallen condition of man, the nature of the atonement, the kind of change brought about in regeneration, revival, and the possibility of attaining perfection in the present life. This system was strenuously opposed by the professors and teachers of Princeton Theological Seminary, including Archibald Alexander and Charles Hodge. Some of the best of their articles from the Biblical Repertory and Theological Review (later known as the Princeton Review) are reprinted here. The Princeton men were deeply convinced that the new views meant a return to old errors long rejected. If the church accepted them she would reap a bitter harvest. Time has proved them right. The issues discussed cannot be dismissed as a long-forgotten controversy. They vitally concern the well-being of the church in every age. A fresh look at what the Princeton men taught will assist in the recovery of a more biblically-based approach to preaching and evangelism today.