The Thinker: Gordon H. Clark [An Excerpt]

The_Thinker_Musee_Rodin[Douglas Douma over at A Place for Thoughts is currently putting together a biography on Gordon H. Clark. His research is very exciting, as it has unearthed quite a few unpublished writings of Dr. Clark, some of which I have been blessed with the privilege of transcribing and editing. The work can be difficult at some points, but it is very rewarding.

Anyway, if you are interested in reading the work by Dr. Clark that has been transcribed so far, you can read them at The Gordon H. Clark Foundation. Douglas is looking into some of the details surrounding the second work which I transcribed, so until then, it isn’t available for download. Please stay updated with The Gordon H. Clark Foundation for more information. 

Here is a short excerpt.


A Religious Revolution

In Hitlerized Germany they repudiate Christianity by governmental decree: in the United States we have methods at once more refined and more effective. When a minister, as recently reported in the papers, hurls his Bible to the floor and says, “The Bible is not the word of God,” we may consider it an isolated instance of spectacularlsm. When Northwestern University sends out a questionnaire and discovers that in spite of ordination vows approximately three-fourths of the ministers do not believe the Bible to be infallible, and that two-fifths think we are Sons of God just as much as Jesus was, this we may call a trend. But when organized ecclesiastical efforts are made to repudiate the historic position of the Church, then we face a religious revolution which claims the attention of the church member and the general public alike.

To be specific we refer to the proposed union of two Presbyterian denominations. Abstractly considered there is no reason why they should not unite; the plain people of the two bodies believe the same things, the two Churches have a similar historic background, and nothing should separate them. But the proposed union is not abstract; it is a concrete proposal, and embedded in it are radical doctrinal changes. The result of such a union would not be a larger Presbyterian Church, but a Church which retained hardly a vestige of Presbyterianism. To some this result appears desirable and that is why they work for it, to others it is undesirable; but to all it represents a religious revolution not only symptomatic of worldwide trends, but of first magnitude in its own right.

Dangerous as it always is to attempt predictions, one is tempted to guess the future when a parallel case is vivid in one’s memory. In Canada a union of Congregationalists, Methodists, and Presbyterians was recently engineered. About half of the Presbyterians refused, on doctrinal grounds, to enter the union, and a great deal of dissatisfaction has been aroused. Even if the creed of the union Church had been satisfactory — which it was not — there was another serious detect. What good is a creed it no one is obliged to subscribe to it? Such is approximately the case in Canada, and the situation here is similar. Heretofore, ministers have been required in some Churches to subscribe to every phase of the creed, or as is the case with one ot the two bodies now contemplating union, they have subscribed to the system of the creed, as the system taught in the Scriptures, which system they unfeignedly hold true. Now, however, the terms of subscription are to be made so loose that the creed will no longer be regarded as containing the system taught in the Holy Scriptures. This type of subscription embodied in the present proposal of union would produce a Church which would stand for nothing definite; and if the church politicians who are now rushing this union through succeed, the split in Canada will undoubtedly be duplicated here.



One thought on “The Thinker: Gordon H. Clark [An Excerpt]

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for sharing this; In particular from the website is the writing, ““Distinction Between Substance and Attribute” since in my previous reading of Clark I felt he noted the problem of defining substance but never got to a definition himself. I’ll have to take a look around some more later on the website!

    Liked by 1 person

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