Review of The Basis of Christian Faith by Floyd Hamilton

The Basis of Christian Faith, A Modern Defense of the Christian Religion by Floyd E. Hamilton, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1927, Third Revised Edition 1946, 354 pp.
Though largely overlooked today, Floyd Hamilton was an important figure in the early history of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. For many years he was a professor at the Presbyterian seminary in Korea. He also backed Gordon Clark during Clark’s ordination controversy in the 1940s and had his own challenges with the denomination in succeeding years. Three of his books have similar titles: The Basis of Christian Faith, The Basis of Evolutionary Faith, and The Basis of Millennial Faith.
Hamilton’s The Basis of Christian Faith basically follows the approach of the Old Princeton tradition. He builds up from various evidences to make a case for Christianity. His understanding of philosophy seems to be rather poor and his logic choppy. He is an example all-too-common among Christian authors of one who has more confidence than knowledge. An example of one of his logical blunders is in a section arguing against evolution when he writes, “Since man is the so-called highest animal he ought to have either the highest number of chromosomes or the lowest number, with the other animals ranging up or down the scale in correspondence with the evolutionary classification.” (p. 72) Would Hamilton perhaps see his error if “chromosomes” were replaced with “fingers”?
In the preface to this third edition, Hamilton notes “the newer apologetics of that last few years” which has “affected my thinking extensively.” But while he says that this led to changes in Chapters one and three, I don’t see much of evidence of either a Clarkian or Van Tillian influence on him.
While Hamilton sounds like the talkative uncle who’s trying to tell you everything he’s ever learned, he occasionally stumbles upon some good ideas. I particularly liked his section on the reasons for the growth of early Christianity and how it compares with the growth of other faiths. I also found it funny (though true) when he argues that Buddhism praises laziness and teaches its adherents to be beggars and therefore parasites on society.
Overall, the book is too dated and too scattered in its thoughts for me to recommend anyone reading it.