In my last blog, I summarized Nevin and Schaff’s critiques of the Stone-Campbell Movement and other Baptist and Congregational churches. In this post, I will assess their critique.
Some of the critiques of the Mercersburg theologians stemmed from simplistic understandings of the
As to creeds and confessions, although we may appear to our brethren to oppose them, yet this is to be understood only in so far as the oppose the unity of the Church, by containing sentiments not expressly revealed in the word of God; or, by the way of using them, become the instruments of a human or implicit faith, or oppress the weak of God’s heritage. Where they are liable to none of these objections, we have nothing against them. It is the abuse and not the lawful use of such compilations that we oppose.
Elsewhere in the Declaration and Address, Thomas Campbell claimed that creeds and confessions have catechetical value and purpose.
Influenced by his father’s view, Alexander Campbell defended believers’ baptism and the weekly practice of the Lord’s Supper by using not only scripture, but also tradition.
While some of their critiques were simplistic, the Mercersburg theologians’ critiques have merit. While the
In my next post, I will discuss the Mercersburg theologians’ relevance for contemporary Protestantism at large and more specifically, for the Stone-Campbell Movement.
 William Tabbernee, “Alexander Campbell and the Apostolic Tradition, in The Free Church & the Early Church: Bridgint the Historical and Theological Divide, ed. D.H. Williams (
 Thomas Campbell, Declaration and Address, 37. Emphasis his.
 Paul M. Blowers, “Creeds and Confessions,” in The Encylopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas A. Foster, et al (
 D. Newell Williams, “The Future of the Restoration Movement: A Disciple of Christ’s Response,” Leaven 14, no. 4 (2006): 176–177. Williams regards the Stone-Campbell movement as not anti-tradition, but instead as anti-sectarian.
 Tabbernee, 167–175.
 Alexander Campbell, “Reply to Barnabas,” Millenial Harbinger (1832): 602.
 Tabbernee, 168.
 Ibid., 166–168.
 Nevin, Antichrist and the Sect, 112–113.
 Ibid., 264–265.
 Noll, 380.