James Wood on the Theological Divide of the Old and New Schools

James Wood (1799-1867) was a 19th century American Presbyterian pastor (in Amsterdam, New York), seminary professor (at New Albany, Indiana), and college president (of Hanover College and Van Rensselaer Institute). Charles Hodge had this to say about Wood: "In common with all his brethren, I ever regarded him as one of our best, wisest, and most useful ministers. The important positions which he was called upon to fill are proofs of the high estimation in which he was held. His sound judgment, dignified manners, amiable temper, combined with his learning and energy, secured for him a wide and happy influence in the Church."

One of his most important works was Old and New Theology: Or an Exhibition of Those Differences with Regard to Scripture Doctrines, Which Have Recently Agitated and Now Divided the Presbyterian Church (first edition, 1838, second edition, 1845). In this book, Wood lays out what divided the Old School and the New School theologically: the imputation of Adam's sin, original sin, justification, human ability, regeneration, and more. Anyone interested in knowing more about why the Presbyterian Church in the United States split in 1837 should read this book.