In Defense of Theology, by Gordon H. Clark, Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1984, 119 pp.
This is the one and only book Gordon Clark had published with Mott Media. It seems that he chose this publisher at a time when John Robbins and the Trinity Foundation were fully busy publishing other volumes of Clark’s. It was the last book he had published with Mott Media because of how poorly things worked out with them on this volume. Clark wrote to Greg Reynolds (05?/??/1983) saying, “Next month my small MS on In Defense of Theology should appear, if the publisher can withdraw a series of ‘corrections’ which he made, spoiling emphasis and meaning.” But Mott resisted correcting the “corrections.” Clark wrote again to Greg Reynolds (12/9/1983) saying, “In Defense of Theology ought to come out in January. My relations with that publisher have turned sour. He tried to publish the book, after changing a good bit of the language, without letting me see the page proofs. He also tried to deceive me with falsehoods. But I could not break the contract.” Finally, in a letter again to Greg Reynolds (3/31/1984) Clark wrote, “In Defense of Theology is now published by Mott Media. These people are dishonest and conceited. But I had signed a contract and could not withdraw the MS. I think I pestered them enough to get them to correct most of their incompetent ‘corrections.’”
The original version of the book is in fairly large print. When the Trinity Foundation later published a new version of it, the original text fitting 119 pages was reduced to a standard font size and fit in just 57 pages.
The book looks at three groups who hold theology in contempt, or simply ignore it. The groups are devout people who lack theological training, atheists, and the neo-orthodox. Each of these groups receive their own chapters (though in the order Atheism, The Disinterested, and Neo-Orthodoxy) before Clark’s views are presented in two final chapters.
Typically Clarkian humor comes in the opening chapter when he writes, “Finally, the readers will be urged to come to their own conclusions, which is a polite way of saying that the author hopes they will agree with him.” (p. 4)
What I noticed for the first time in just now re-reading this volume is that In Defense of Theology copies some from the “Introductory Remarks” from Clark’s unpublished systematic theology. The copied sections include parts or all of pages 7, 8, 10, 11, 25, 26, and 29.
This volume repeats a lot of ideas that Clark has presented elsewhere. But, since parts of it are written in a more introductory fashion it could be valuable as a first book to read of Clark’s. Or maybe given some of the complicated parts, it functions better as a summary to read later on in one’s studies of Clark.
The original cover design is shown above. Below is a later Trinity Foundation version.
For the previous review in this series see here.
For the next review in this series see here.