The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism

Hutchison, William R.

Harvard University, 1976

pp. 48-54

In 1874, David Swing, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago (then called Westminster Church), was summoned before the Chicago Presbytery to answer charges of heresy, and especially the heresy of seeming to deny justification through faith alone.  “To make salvation dependent on ‘faith in Christ,’ Swing asserted, is all very well; but how can one claim faith in Christ and then ignore what Christ taught?  And Christ taught the doctrine of good works in every speech he uttered.  The church that condescends to make a real place for the importance of good works, the preacher added sardonically, merely gives Jesus his due.  ‘To the teachings of  Calvin and Luther,’ he said, ‘it adds the teachings of the Savior as an important supplement.’”