GHC Review 24: Predestination in the Old Testament

ghc review 24; predestination in the old testament
Predestination in the Old Testament, by Gordon H. Clark, Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1978, 43 pp.

This short book of only forty-three pages was part of the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company’s International Library series on Philosophy and Theology. As Clark summarizes at the end of the volume, it contains references to seventy-five passages showing the doctrine of predestination in the Old Testament.

The volume is essentially a treatise on Calvinism over against Arminianism with the writings of Clark H. Pinnock used as a representative of the latter position. One of Gordon Clark’s main focuses is to show that God controls all things including the will and thoughts of men. The doctrine of predestination then naturally comes forth. While certainly making philosophical arguments, Clark is constantly referring to the Scripture text as well, something he notes Arminians tend to skip over.

As for a longer treatment of the topic at hand Clark recommends Loraine Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination as an excellent book. (p. 23)

Here reproduced is a letter from Boettner to Clark which was sent with a free copy of Boettner’s book. It is the only extant letter between the two men.

Rock Port, Missouri.

Feb. 21, 1951.

Dr. Gordon H. Clark,
Indianapolis, Ind.

Dear Dr. Clark:

I am sending you a copy of a book, “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination,” which I hope may prove helpful in connection with your work in Butler University. I do not know how directly this may fit in with the subjects that you cover, but if you can recomment [sic] it to your students, perhaps as supplementary reading, I shall be glad to send copies for any who want them at $1.50 each. That is less than cost to me. The publisher’s price is $4.50.

It is with pleasure that I recall having met you personally at the 1949 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Cincinnati. It was not possible for me to attend the recent meeting in New York as I was in Los Angeles at the time, but from the Secretary’s report I gather that it was as successful or more so than the meeting in Cincinnati.

Sincerely yours,

Loraine Boettner.

Boettner’s efforts paid off, since, in order to recommend it, Clark must have read the volume Boettner sent to him.

Other items of interest included in Clark’s book are his comments on the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart (p. 8) and his comment that “predestination is a form of necessitarianism” (p. 24).

The original volume seems to be quite rare, though I managed to acquire a copy. It is easily available in Predestination (1987), the combined edition of Biblical Predestination and Predestination in the Old Testament.

For the previous review in this series see here.
For the next review in this series see here.