a little something about Barnes

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Mathew Haferkamp | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, May 16 2010 9:02 AM

Though a Presbyterian, Barnes argued that man possesses freewill; he urged his auditors exercise their power of choice, and to respond to God’s offer of salvation. These views brought him into serious conflict with strict Calvinists. After the publication of his commentary on Romans, Barnes was charged with doctrinal heresy, and put on trial (1835) by his presbytery. Ultimately, the church’s general assembly acquitted him, though with some censure. His teaching on “unlimited atonement” (contra Calvin) helped generate a split in the Presbyterian Church in 1837. Unfortunately, the celebrated commentator was unable to divest himself of all his Calvinistic baggage.                                     

I picked up this little quote from Wayne Jackson, christiancourier.com.  It would be nice to see this collection put into the under contract status.

It is a sad footnote to history that Barnes has largely been ignored in the biographical sketches of influential theological writers. In the New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, he merits only a half-dozen sentences, while the infamous Karl Barth is granted an entire page. In the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church he is mentioned not at all.

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Donovan R. Palmer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 11:10 AM

Poor Barnes just can't get up over 60%! I think it has the record of the longest standing community pub!

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 11:43 AM

And to think I just thought he was a Pastor who runs the 4:14 blog!

http://www.4-14.org.uk/

 

Just out of curiosity, who wrote the description (1st paragraph) on the first post? It's got some "less than accurate" information in it. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 12:33 PM

Robert Pavich:

Just out of curiosity, who wrote the description (1st paragraph) on the first post? It's got some "less than accurate" information in it. :)

When Matthew posted it, he included this line below it: "I picked up this little quote from Wayne Jackson, christiancourier.com."

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 1:03 PM

Rosie Perera:
When Matthew posted it, he included this line below it: "I picked up this little quote from Wayne Jackson, christiancourier.com."

Oh..thanks Rosie. I saw that and I thought that he was referring to the text at the end....ok...got it.

 

Just for the record...not starting an argument just for the sake of future info...

 

Calvinists believe that everyone makes choices, everyone has a will, and that we should all call all men to repentance and faith...

The quote made it seem like we thought that men didn't have a will to do that.

 

Just clarifying... Stick out tongue

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 2:27 PM

Robert Pavich:

Just for the record...not starting an argument just for the sake of future info...

Calvinists believe that everyone makes choices, everyone has a will, and that we should all call all men to repentance and faith...

The quote made it seem like we thought that men didn't have a will to do that.

Just clarifying... Stick out tongue

I agree with you BobYes.

However what are you trying to say? That you were predestined to bring about this clarification in such a way that you freely choose to do so though prompted by secondary causality Big Smile.

 

Ted

 

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 2:30 PM

Ted Hans:
However what are you trying to say? That you were predestined to bring about this clarification in such a way that you freely choose to do so though prompted by secondary causality Big Smile.

 

Ahh...a run on sentence that only a Calvinist could love... Wink

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 2:53 PM

Donovan R. Palmer:
Poor Barnes just can't get up over 60%

Perhaps if his supporters such as Wayne Jackson would tout his praises rather than insult other theologians, I might be more inclined to look at his work.

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 3:49 PM

Albert Barnes.[Credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Digital File Number: cph 3c13696)]

U.S. Presbyterian clergyman and writer.

Of Methodist parentage, he intended to study law but, while at Hamilton College, decided to enter the Presbyterian ministry. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary and became a pastor in Morristown, N.J. In 1830 he moved to the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. At that time he became involved in the controversy between Old School Presbyterians, who held to traditional doctrine, and those of the New School, who wished to relax it. For a year he was suspended from the ministry on charges that he departed from the doctrines of the Westminster Confession, but he was reinstated by the Assembly of 1836.

The rest of his career was devoted to pastoral work and to writing numerous books on the Scriptures and on theology and ethics. He stood strongly against slavery, arguing that the Bible condemned it. He also lent his support to the Prohibition movement, to the development of the Sunday school, and to the New School Presbyterians. He was a director of the Union Theological Seminary. In 1870 the first assembly of reunited Presbyterians was held in his church.

Citations

"Albert Barnes." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 16 May. 2010 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1351313/Albert-Barnes>.

 

Blessings,
Floyd

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 3:58 PM

Here is a mini-biography from CCEL:

Albert Barnes  -  (1798 - 1870) , American theologian

Albert Barnes was born at Rome, New York, on December 1, 1798. He graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, in 1820, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1823. Barnes was ordained as a Presbyterian minister by the presbytery of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1825, and was the pastor successively of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey (1825-1830), and of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia (1830-1867).

He held a prominent place in the New School branch of the Presbyterians, to which he adhered on the division of the denomination in 1837; he had been tried (but not convicted) for heresy in 1836, the charge being particularly against the views expressed by him in Notes on Romans (1835) of the imputation of the sin of Adam, original sin and the atonement; the bitterness stirred up by this trial contributed towards widening the breach between the conservative and the progressive elements in the church. He was an eloquent preacher, but his reputation rests chiefly on his expository works, which are said to have had a larger circulation both in Europe and America than any others of their class.

Of the well-known New Testament Notes, it is said that more than a million volumes had been issued by 1870. The Notes on Job, the Psalms, Isaiah and Daniel found scarcely less acceptance. Displaying no original critical power, their chief merit lies in the fact that they bring in a popular (but not always accurate) form the results of the criticism of others within the reach of general readers. Barnes was the author of several other works of a practical and devotional kind, including Scriptural Views of Slavery (1846) and The Way of Salvation (1863). A collection of his Theological Works was published in Philadelphia in 1875.

In his famous 1852 oratory, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?", Frederick Douglass quoted Barnes as saying: "There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it."

Barnes died in Philadelphia on December 24, 1870.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/barnes/?show=biography

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Floyd

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 3:59 PM

Floyd Johnson:
He stood strongly against slavery, arguing that the Bible condemned it. He also lent his support to the Prohibition movement, to the development of the Sunday school, and to the New School Presbyterians. He was a director of the Union Theological Seminary. In 1870 the first assembly of reunited Presbyterians was held in his church.

Thank you. This is the kind of recommendation that makes him interesting - enough so that I'll put in a bid.

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Mathew Haferkamp | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 4:02 PM

Yes MJ, the reason I put it up was to stir a little interest in Barnes in community pricing.  But I did notice that you said you were offened at the statment that was made, but you did not say he was wrong in what was stated.  I am no expert in Barnes, or dare say probably not an expert in very much, but he was put on trial for heresy I would say that is true and it might make one curious as to what Barnes had to say on a few subjects on the Bible.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 4:10 PM

Mathew Haferkamp:
but you did not say he was wrong in what was stated.

What annoyed me was using the term "infamous" in regards to Karl Barth. That is a fallacy of character assassination rather than a reasoned response. Not to mention that Karl Barth is (a) more than a generation later (b) from the European Reformed tradition and (c)  a major figure in a new theological movement. In short, the only reason for comparing Barnes to Barth was to slam Barth. Bad manners, bad logic, bad taste.

Logos4catholics Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 4:14 PM

More details from Appleton's Biographical Encyclopedia:



Click on an image to view full-sized

Albert Barnes

BARNES, Albert, theologian, born in Rome, New York, 1 December 1798; died in Philadelphia, 24 December 1870. He was graduated at Hamilton College in 1820, studied theology at Princeton seminary, was licensed to preach in 1823, and became pastor of the first Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia in 1830, where he remained until 1867, when poor health and partial blindness caused him to resign. His annotations on various parts of the Scriptures, originally prepared as lectures to his congregation, were published and attained a wide circulation, being adapted for the use of Sunday-schools. He was tried for heresy on account of certain passages in his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, and was acquitted; but was advised to alter the phraseology of his notes, which was accordingly done. He was a leader of the new-school Presbyterians, when, soon after his trial, a definitive rupture occurred in the denomination. Of Barnes's "Notes " more than 1,000,000 volumes were sold before the last revised edition, in six volumes, was issued (New York, 1872). His other writings were " Scriptural Views of Slavery" (Philadelphia, 1846) ; " The Way of Salvation" (1863) ; " Manual of Prayers"; "The Atonement"; "Claims of Episcopacy" ; "Church Manual" ; "Practical Sermons for Vacant Congregations and Families"; " Closet Companion" (New York, 1854); " How shall Man be Just with God?" (1855); "The Church and Slavery" (1856); "Miscellaneous Essays and Reviews" (1855) ; " Way of Salvation Illustrated" (1856); "Inquiries and Suggestions in regard to the Foundation of Faith in the Word of God" ; "Life at Three Score" (1858) ; " The Atonement";" Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity in the Nineteenth Century" (1868); and "Prayers for Family Worship." The "Defence" that he made at his trial on charges of heresy has also been published (New York), and a report of the trial (Philadelphia). He published besides several volumes of sermons and a series of question-books for Sunday-schools. A collection of his " Theological Works" was published in New York in 1875.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

http://famousamericans.net/albertbarnes/

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Floyd

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 5:06 PM

MJ. Smith:

Mathew Haferkamp:
but you did not say he was wrong in what was stated.

What annoyed me was using the term "infamous" in regards to Karl Barth. That is a fallacy of character assassination rather than a reasoned response. Not to mention that Karl Barth is (a) more than a generation later (b) from the European Reformed tradition and (c)  a major figure in a new theological movement. In short, the only reason for comparing Barnes to Barth was to slam Barth. Bad manners, bad logic, bad taste.

I remember when I was a kid, my mother had a box of books she was going to give away in the basement. One of the books near the top of the box was something by Karl Barth whom she dismissed as a "liberal" and therefore she didn't want to have his book around the house anymore. I knew nothing more about him and didn't bother researching him at the time (wouldn't have known how if I'd wanted to). That was back when I believed whatever my mother told me about anything theological. But I never forgot the name or that exchange.

Fast forward to when I was in my mid-20s, attending University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, under the excellent teaching and pastoral leadership of Earl Palmer, that I heard about Barth again only in a completely different context. You see, Barth was one of Earl's favorite theologians. He used to quote from Dogmatics in Outline in his sermons frequently (e.g., "Tell me how it stands with your Christology, and I shall tell you who you are."; “Christian faith is the gift of the meeting in which men become free to hear the word of grace which God has spoken in Jesus Christ in such a way that, in spite of all contradicts it, they may once and for all, exclusively and entirely, hold to his promise and guidance.”; “Here I am in front of you, like a teacher in Sunday school facing his kiddies, who has something to say which a mere four-year-old can really understand. ‘The world was lost, but Christ was born, rejoice…!’”  ).

Earl also told us the story of when Professor Barth came to give a series of lectures in the US and he (Earl) had the privilege of hearing him at Princeton Seminary. It was just after the Nuremburg trials, and Adolf Eichmann had recently been hanged. During the Q&A time, a young man in the audience asked Barth if, now that Eichmann had been executed, the sins of Germany had been put upon his shoulders. Barth replied, in slow but perfect English (he'd been doing all the Q&A in German with his son Markus translating for him up to this point): “No, the sins of Germany fell on quite another man’s shoulders.” Awesome response, and it left the audience dumfounded.

Earl also told us about what an influence Barth had on the Confessing Church movement in Germany during the Nazi era when most of the churches caved in to Nazi ideology, but pastors like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoeller in the Confessing Church refused to. Barth was one of the primary drafters of the Theological Declaration of Barmen, which took each point of Nazi "theology" and refuted it with biblical truth. The Barmen Declaration became part of the Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian denomination my church was part of.

So through all of this, Barth was rehabilitated in my eyes. And I learned from that never to totally dismiss someone based on a dismissive comment about them made by someone who doesn't give the reason for their judgment, especially when I know nothing about the person in question. I learned that I need to investigate further whenever I hear such abbreviated dismissals. I still had more to learn about Barth which would have to wait until seminary when I took systematic theology and learned about Barth vs. Brunner on natural theology. I have still more to learn now that I've bought Barth's complete Church Dogmatics in Logos format. I do recognize that he was not entirely an uncontroversial figure, yet no theologian is without blemish. And I sometimes like to read the controversial ones because I learn more from them than I do from hearing the same old regurgitated and "approved" stuff from the supposedly "safe" ones.

Anyway, I can certainly understand why Barth merits significant mention in a Dictionary of the Christian Church, regardless of whether one agrees with his theology.

[Ironically, before posting this, I just saw Floyd's post with Barnes's bio and saw that Barnes too graduated from Princeton Seminary and was a leader of the "new-school Presbyterians"; so he too would have been thought "liberal" by some in his era, as would any graduates of post-split Princeton Seminary, including my dear pastor Earl Palmer, by some folks today. So I'm not sure Barnes and Barth are all that different after all...]

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Shawn Drewett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 6:56 PM

I am thankful for all of this info on Barnes, and mostly for the interest which might push his works over the top eventually.

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Dan Sheppard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 7:02 PM

Rosie Perera:
And I sometimes like to read the controversial ones because I learn more from them than I do from hearing the same old regurgitated and "approved" stuff from the supposedly "safe" ones.

 

You rabble rowser!!

 

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 7:28 PM

Dan Sheppard:

Rosie Perera:
And I sometimes like to read the controversial ones because I learn more from them than I do from hearing the same old regurgitated and "approved" stuff from the supposedly "safe" ones.

You rabble rowser!!

Hey - no name calling.  Smile

 

Blessings,
Floyd

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2010 7:29 PM

Dan Sheppard:

Rosie Perera:
And I sometimes like to read the controversial ones because I learn more from them than I do from hearing the same old regurgitated and "approved" stuff from the supposedly "safe" ones.

You rabble rowser!!

 

Smile

I said I read them, I didn't say I spread their ideas.

Anyway, if the rabble are asleep, it's about time someone rowse them. Rabble rowsers have been getting a bad rap all these centuries. But they play an important role in society. Can you imagine what we would be without them? A bunch of somnolescent riffraff. Sounds like a bad horror movie! Wink

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