James Henley Thornwell and John Girardeau, with their incisive philosophical and theological acumen, would break ground for reform in ecclesiology with their writings on the offices, giving elders and deacons their rightful standing in the church. Ecclesiology was not the only contribution they made; how about the doctrine of adoption? While the debates were raging in Scotland over the Fatherhood of God, Girardeau sifted through the biblical data and set forth a beautiful directive for understanding adoption, “the apex of the gospel” (as Professor John Murray called it). Biblical-covenantal theology was alive and well in the Palmetto State and Thornwell and Girardeau provided the pulpits of the South men able to rightly preach the redemptive message.
|Anson Street Mission|
Lectures are richly enhanced by two days of travel to historic Columbia and Charleston. We visit some of the best Presbyterian treasures in the United States. We begin at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, where John Richard de Witt provides us a first-class introduction to the building and the church yard. We then visit the site of old Columbia Seminary where John Bailey Adger, Thornwell, William Plumer, and Girardeau shaped generations of young preachers and thinkers.