But avoidance of other issues miffs some conservatives.

Hoping to end a two-year-old theological controversy, commissioners to the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (UPCUSA) General Assembly adopted a statement saying Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Their stand, approved by all but two commissioners, quickly met with the approval of the minister who sparked the controversy. “It sounds good to me,” said Mansfield Kaseman from his home in Rockville, Maryland.

The northern-based UPCUSA met concurrently in Houston with the southern branch, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS). They are the nation’s two largest Presbyterian bodies, and their assemblies are annual.

Two years ago Kaseman gave an unusual answer to the Presbyterians’ installation-ordination question, “Is Jesus God?” His reply: “No, God is God.” Conservative members of the UPCUSA branded Kaseman a heretic, and his case was carried through six church tribunals, which left his status as a minister intact. Kaseman declined traveling to Houston for the final round in the battle. He said he has been misquoted and misrepresented so often in the debate that he would just as soon stay home and tend to his flock at the United Church of Rockville.

The UPCUSA’s William P. Thompson, who was reelected without opposition to a fourth five-year term as stated clerk, pointed out to the assembly that Kaseman was no longer the issue at the general assembly, since the church’s judicial council had ruled the issue was one for a local presbytery to decide. He said the action on the deity question had merely rightly restated past UPCUSA doctrine.

The UPCUSA commissioners adopted the following statement on the deity of Christ:

“We believe that God came to redeem this world of lost ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.