Notes on the thought of Gordon H. Clark

The Grand Old Doc

[You can listen to my recorded speech here: tinysa.com/sermon/102519161232368] “The Grand Old Doc” or “Gordon Clark: A Presbyterian Philosopher and His Influence on American Evangelicals” by Rev. Douglas J. Douma Presented at the Presbyterian Scholars Conference Wheaton College October 22, 2019 In the numerous extant letters from Edward J. Carnell to Gordon H. Clark the …

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Letter of GHC to Floyd Hamilton, Jan. 28 1947

[I’m glad to have received this letter from Wayne Sparkman of the PCA Historical Center who has been working on the newly acquired papers of Floyd Hamilton. This is the first new discovery of a Gordon Clark letter in a while. And it is an important letter as it was written during the Clark – …

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The Gravesite of James Armstrong Clark

While driving through western Pennsylvania this morning I stopped in the town of Prospect where there is buried Rev. James Armstrong Clark, the paternal grandfather of Gordon H. Clark. The gravesite is at the cemetery of the Presbyterian Church of Prospect where an obelisk marks the location.  A number of other family members are apparently …

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Γορδονος Κλαρκος Απομνημονευματα (Gordon Clark Remembrances)

[Here is something that to my knowledge I haven’t posted previously. It is a transcript of a document of Gordon Clark’s remembrances, given in his later years.]   Γορδονος Κλαρκος Απομνημονευματα (Gordon Clark Remembrances) though they are not so memorable My earliest memory is of a vacation trip to Niagara Fall when I was just …

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Gordon Clark’s Half-Preformation Theory

In this article I contend that philosopher Ronald Nash erred when he claimed that Gordon Clark held to the Preformation Theory. I believe it is better said that Clark held to only half of this theory. It seems likely that Nash erred by reading his own view into Clark. Nash’s contention that Clark held to …

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Two Erroneous Epistemological Distinctions

In The Word of God and the Mind of Man, Ronald Nash contends for the existence of both propositional revelation and “personal revelation.” Though to this idea of “personal revelation” Nash gives various other terms—including “encounter” and “event”—nowhere does he provide a definition. What he means then by “personal revelation”is impossible to know. It is …

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A Distinction in Gordon Clark’s View of Man

There is an important distinction to understand in Gordon Clark’s view of man. That is, for Clark, while humans are a combination of body and soul, man (i.e. “person”) is merely soul. The first of these two points — that humans are a combination of body and soul — is called “dichotomy.” This is to …

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Did John Robbins modify Gordon Clark's writings?

A question not uncommonly asked is whether John Robbins, the first editor of the Trinity Foundation, modified Gordon Clark’s writings in some substantial way when revising and/or reprinting them. To answer this question I’ve made a quick look over the original published versions of Clark’s books and then compared with them the Trinity Foundation revisions …

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Clark – Van Til and "Greek Specifications"

A frequent contention Cornelius Van Til made against Gordon Clark was that the latter’s theology is in some way based on “Greek specifications.” Though this precise contention is not made in the official Complaint against Clark’s ordination, it does appear in a letter of Van Til’s from the time of the Clark – Van Til …

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GHC to Carl Henry, March 19, 1957 (contra natural law)

March 19 1957 Dear Carl, First Marcellus sends me a book to review; then you send me Carnell’s galleys, and then you send me 50 pages on natural law with a request to write an editorial on the subject. Well, I’ll try. You do not state how you want me to use the paper you …

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Clark and Agnosticism

After giving a speech at the Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium held at Covenant College earlier this year I confessed to being somewhat stumped when an audience question came to me about Clark’s view of agnosticism. The exact question was as follows: “What was his opinion on the rationality or the appropriateness of agnosticism with …

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"The Presbyterian Philosopher" – International Sales

I’ve recently ordered an additional 100 copies of my book “The Presbyterian Philosopher” from the publisher and am for the first time now willing to ship internationally. If you are outside of the United States and would like to order a copy (or copies) of the book, please let me know and I’ll give you …

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Clark and Van Til Must be Dehomogenized

[This is a guest post from C. Jay Engel, reblogged from reformedlibertarian.com. You can read the original here.] Clark and Van Til Must be Dehomogenized by C. Jay Engel For about three years, I have wanted to write an essay titled “Clark and Van Til Dehomoginized.” This is not that essay, though it anticipates it; …

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Gordon Clark and Exclusive Psalmody

While Gordon Clark never wrote a book or an article directly on the topic of exclusive psalmody, comments in his writings clearly show his opposition to it. Clark’s unwillingness to follow his RPCES denomination in the joining and receiving with the PCA in 1982 led him to seek a new denomination. Following this search he …

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Sandemanian Pandemonium

Sandemanian Pandemonium: Saving Faith in the Views of Gordon H. Clark and Robert Sandeman by Rev. Douglas J. Douma The publication in 2004 of Gordon Clark’s What is Saving Faith, a combined edition of his Faith and Saving Faith (1983) and The Johannine Logos (1972), occasioned renewed discussion of Clark’s view of saving faith. In that …

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2018 Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium

Here is the video (and audio) of my speech at the 2018 Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium at Covenant College. Since the videographer erred in not recording the sounds, the Covenant College Audio/Video department had to sync the video with audio recorded at the same time from another source. Its not perfect, but it is …

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Review of An Introduction to Christian Apologetics by Edward John Carnell

An Introduction to Christian Apologetics by Edward John Carnell, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948, Fifth Edition 1956, 379 pp. While Carl Henry and John Robbins might be the first two to come to mind when thinking of notable students of Gordon H. Clark, Edward John Carnell deserves mentions as well. (Though I believe John Robbins most …

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Rushdoony to Robbins on the Clark–VanTil Controversy

R. J. Rushdoony wrote on May 3, 1995 to John Robbins: “Van Til had told me that the Clark case was a put-up job (and others confirmed it).  INSTEAD OF TACKLING THEOLOGY DIRECTLY, A FEW MEN URGED Clark, who was an OPC pulpit supply, to seek ordination in order to make a personal case out …

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Practical Apologetics

“Practical Apologetics” by Rev. Douglas J. Douma Keynote Speech given at The Geneva Institute for Christian Thought, July 18, 2018 When one hears the word “practical” he might be inclined to think of the philosophy of pragmatism. Pragmatism assesses the truth of a belief in terms of the success of its practical applications. The pragmatist …

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Gordon Clark and Other Reformed Critics of Karl Barth

[This essay was published in two parts; in the October and November-December 2018 issues of the Trinity Review. The pdf version is available here: Gordon Clark and Other Reformed Critics of Karl Barth] Gordon Clark and Other Reformed Critics of Karl Barth By Douglas J. Douma Introduction Proponents of the Reformed Faith—Calvinism—have long contended that it is …

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Gordon Clark's view of Romans 1:20

Perhaps the most commonly referenced verse in support of the cosmological argument for the existence of God is Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Since, …

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Geneva Lecture 1: What is Religion? – On the Importance of Definitions

[This summer I’ll be giving three lectures and a speech at the Summer Studies in Christian Thought program at the Geneva Institute for Christian Thought in Elizabethton, Tennessee. (http://genevainstitute.org) If you are a junior or senior in high school or are in college, I recommend you check out the program and contact the institute if …

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An Introduction to the Life and Work of Gordon H. Clark

Audio: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=4111811565510 An Introduction to the Life and Work of Gordon H. Clark by Douglas J. Douma Keynote speech given at the Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium at Covenant College, April 6, 2018. Imagine you are a student at Covenant College on summer break in 1973 and you hear a rumor, “Dr. Gordon H. Clark …

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