Counsel of Chalcedon
You are here:Home-Resources-Counsel of Chalcedon Magazine-1998 Issue 3-A Solemn Trust, The Church and Slavery in the Mind of the Southern Proslavery Minister

A Solemn Trust, The Church and Slavery in the Mind of the Southern Proslavery Minister

"We are pleased to welcome Stephen N. Barnes, Jr. as a special contributor for this issue. Mr. Barnes is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the law school at the University of Georgia. He was recently married to Miss Jennifer Christian Rogers, the daughter of Wayne and Judy Rogers, church planters for the RPCUS. It is our prayer that Mr. Barnes' paper expositing James Henley Thornwell's views on slavery will be appreciated by our readers and clarify the issue in the minds of many." - Chris Strevel

The Christian church has often wrestled with its place in society. Since the early persecution of the church during the Roman empire, Christians have struggled to understand the relationship of the church militant to the world in which it resides. The biblical call to be in the world, but not of the world - "to keep oneself unspotted from the world" - has spawned many interpretations, ranging from Anabaptistic dichotomies between church and society to medieval Roman Catholic notions of church over state. American Protestant Christianity, resting on the shoulders of the Reformers, has not been oblivious to these questions. The American religious experience, complex and diverse, has provided a unique environment from which distinctly American perceptions of the relation of the church to the world have emerged.