Rev. Dr. Workman states his views
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REV. DR. WORKMAN

STATES HIS VIEWS

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Hearing of the Ten-thousand-dollar

Libel Suit.

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REMARKABLE TESTIMONY.

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Divinity of Christ a Matter of Doubt.

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Tiie Virgin Birth, the Atonement, Original Sin, and Other Theological Questions Form Subject of His Examination.

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(Special Despatch to The Globe.)

Montreal, May 10.—

Rev. Dr. Workman was closely examined this afternoon regarding his theological views, in the course of a hearing on his $10,000 libel suit against the Wesleyan Theological College. Dr. Workman at first objected to this examination, claiming that his religious belief was not germane to the case, since he had formally denied the allegations made against him, and which had led to the loss of his position as a professor at the college.

Judge Weir, however, held, that it was important that Dr. Workman should state his views on doctrinal points.

He was examined regarding the virgin birth of Christ, and expressed the opinion that the contentions of Matthew and Luke that Joseph was the father of Jesus- were unhistorical, and declared that he had an open mind regarding the virgin birth, it being a question yet to be settled.

With regard to the doctrine of the atonement, Dr. Workman said he did not regard the crucifixion as a propitiatory or expiatory act on the part of Christ, and that the effects of the atonement were on man, not God. As to the resurrection, Dr. Workman said he accepted it. But there were four theories as to whether Christ rose in his earthly body or in a spiritual body, all of which were left open to accept by the Methodist Church, the general view being that of a spiritual body. As to Christ having eaten bread and Ash after His resurrection, Dr. Workman was inclined to view this as allegorical, and this view, he contended, was not at variance with Methodist doctrines. He supported this by declaring that the writings of Duke on the subject did not concur with those of Paul, who was a theologian.

Dr. Workman also combated the doctrine of original sin, declaring that children must be born innocent, since sin implied consciousness of wrong, which could not exist in a new-born.

Doctrine of the Trinity.

As to the doctrine of the Trinity, Dr. Workman said it had always been a moot question whether Christ was God or not, and that the Trinity referred to the tri-personality of God rather than God in three persons.

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with regard to the Scriptures, Dr. Workman divided them into their divine element and the human, the former being inspired, but the latter open to laws of literary criticism. In any event he argued that a professor must be allowed more latitude than a preacher.

The case will continue tomorrow.

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Dr. CARMAN CALLED

TO WORKMAN CASE

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Contradicts Plaintiff's Testimony in Several Points.

METHODIST THEOLOGY.

Doctrine of Original Sin and the New Birth.

Belief in the Corporeal Resurrection and the Divinity of Christ as Essential to the Church's Existence— Power of Dismissal.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)

Montreal, May 11.—

Dr. Carman, General Superintendent of the Methodist Church in Canada, took the witness stand in the Workman libel case today and gave evidence on points of Methodist belief involved in the alleged assertions of Dr. Workman. Dr. Carman claimed that from his position his testimony could be regarded as the voice of the Methodist Church. His statements on points of Methodist belief, he declared, were the interpretations of the Methodist Church courts. His testimony on many points was directly opposed to that of Dr. Workman, who in testifying yesterday refused to admit that the beliefs which he held were not in accord with the standards of Methodism.

On the question of the corporeal resurrection of Christ he differed from Dr. Workman, who thought the gospel allegorical in this particular, while Dr. Carman held that it could be literally interpreted. Dr. Carman also declared that, according to the doctrinal standards of the Methodist Church, Christ was truly God, and that this point was not open to investigation. Without the doctrine of Christ being Deity the Church could not exist. Contrary to Dr. Workman's testimony, Dr. Carman declared that the Sacrifice of Calvary in the eyes of the Methodist Church was both a propitiatory and expiatory act, and that the atonement had its effects not only manwards but Godwards. Original sin, he said, lay not in the fall of Adam, but in the corruption of human nature whereby man is inclined to sin. Pressed for an answer as to whether a new-born babe is sinful, he answered in the affirmative: "Because it must be born again." This, he said, was the view of his Church. Dr. Workman held, on the other hand, that man was born a innocence.

Dr. Carman also,declared that the Methodist Church held the historic accuracy of the Gospel as beyond a doubt, and could never countenance investigation on this point. "The scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation," he said.

As to Dr. Workman's dismissal, he

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latitude on points not regarded as essential to salvation ; "but Dr. Workman seemed, according to his testimony, to have attacked the fundamentals.

Rev. Dr. Sparling of St. James' Methodist Church stated that in his opinion Dr. Workman had not been legally suspended. He believed that as a clergyman, as well as a professor, he was responsible only to the Conference for his religious beliefs, and that the board Of the college had no right to dismiss him.

Mr. A. R. Oughtred, one of the board, testified that he had seconded the motion for dismissal because he believed it the best thing for the Methodist Church, but that he had protested against the legality of the move.

Dr. Workman again was questioned on a number of minor points of belief.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Types:
Clippings
Articles
Description:
Newspaper clippings with two reports on a trial of Rev. Dr. Workman against Wesleyan Theological College in Montreal for dismissing him from his professorship at the college on the grounds that his teachings were unorthodox. The two principal allegations against him being that he denied the virgin birth and the truth of the Bible story of the fall of man.
Undated but before November 10, 1911 when Justice Weir delivered judgment in the heresy case: College ordered to pay Dr. Workman $3,500 for dismissing him.

Three newspaper clippings. Unknown publication [The Globe?].
From Armstrong family collection.
Notes:
George Coulson Workman (1848-1936) was a Methodist minister, editor and controversial theologian. He was born in Grafton, Ontario and ordained as a Methodist minister in 1876. He was assistant editor of The Christian Guardian, 1876-1878; professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Victoria University, 1882-1884; post-graduate student at Leipzig University, 1884-1889. Back in Toronto, his public lecture on "Messianic Prophecy" in 1890 led to a great controversy about the method of Biblical interpretation. He resigned from Victoria the next year. He spent the rest of his life in study, writing, and supply preaching, except for a period of teaching at Wesleyan Theological College in Montreal, 1904-1908, when he again became embroiled in controversy about his liberal views. He moved back to Toronto in 1910.
[Source:https://www.archeion.ca/workman-george-coulson-1848-1936]
Date of Publication:
1911
Subject(s):
Last Name(s):
Workman
Personal Name(s):
Workman, George Coulson (1848-1936)
Local identifier:
QC00616
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Quebec, Canada
    Latitude: 45.50884 Longitude: -73.58781
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Rev. Dr. Workman states his views


Newspaper clippings with two reports on a trial of Rev. Dr. Workman against Wesleyan Theological College in Montreal for dismissing him from his professorship at the college on the grounds that his teachings were unorthodox. The two principal allegations against him being that he denied the virgin birth and the truth of the Bible story of the fall of man.
Undated but before November 10, 1911 when Justice Weir delivered judgment in the heresy case: College ordered to pay Dr. Workman $3,500 for dismissing him.

Three newspaper clippings. Unknown publication [The Globe?].
From Armstrong family collection.