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The Adorable TrinityStanding for Orthodoxy in Nineteenth–Century America

The Adorable Trinity

Standing for Orthodoxy in Nineteenth–Century America

Mantle Nance
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The Adorable Trinity investigates the little–known yet fascinating conflict between Trinitarianism and Unitarianism in the nineteenth century American South. It explores the lives, ministries, and theological contributions of three Southern Presbyterian pastor–scholars associated with Columbia Theological Seminary – James Henley Thornwell, Thomas Smyth, and Benjamin Morgan Palmer – and their winsome, fruitful stands for the Trinitarian faith in response to a burgeoning Southern Unitarian movement. In a readable and engaging way, the author provides readers with intriguing history that illumines the mind and warm theology that moves the heart to adore and serve the Triune God of love.    

Mantle Nance

About Mantle Nance

Mantle Nance (BA, Furman University; MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary; PhD, University of Aberdeen) is senior minister at Ballantyne Presbyterian Church and a visiting lecturer at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is married to Sally, and they have two sons, Jackson and Aaron.


  • Author: Mantle Nance
  • Release Date: May 2020
  • Pages: 256
  • Format: Large trade paperback
  • Dimensions: 216 x 138
  • ISBN: 9781527105188
  • Imprint: Mentor
  • Category: Church > Christian Church > Church History


A wonderful story of the triumph of the gospel through three faithful servants, who were giants of the southern Presbyterian church in the 19th Century. This book combines history and theology in a clear, accessible and edifying way.  It reminds us why the biblical doctrine of the Trinity is central to the Christian faith and vital for our salvation.  Even more, this work speaks to the heart, drawing believers in Christ to greater adoration of the Triune God.

William B. Barcley, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, North Carolina

With interest in the Trinity blossoming today broadly in both academia and practical ministry, Mantle Nance’s contribution to the field is most welcome. He introduces us to the labors of a forgotten portion of Christendom on this provocative subject — the nineteenth–century theologians of Old Columbia Seminary—James Henley Thornwell, Thomas Smyth, and Benjamin Morgan Palmer.  Tossed out with the bathwater of sectionalism, slavery, and Civil War, their almost disremembered struggles against the Unitarian rationalism of their day make the Columbians a fascinating read on so many levels.  Nance does not spare them where they fall short of their own Trinitarian belief.  But neither does he fail to grasp the creative core of their insight: that the Trinity is not an abstract doctrinal loci but rather an immense dynamus for both faith and life.

W. Duncan Rankin, Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Houston, Texas
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