Notes on the thought of Gordon H. Clark

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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Audio of the Panel Discussion at the 2018 Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=47182010432 Thanks to Rev. Dr. Charles Roberts of Reedy River Presbyterian Church for uploading this audio of the panel discussion from this morning (4/7/2018) at the Gordon H. Clark Philosophy Symposium. The panel consisted of myself, Dr. Bill Davis, and Dr. Bill Higgins and was moderated by Dr. John Wingard. I failed to record audio …

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Low, High, and In Between – Confessional Subscription and the Clark – Van Til Controversy

https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=324181454112 Low, High, and In Between – Confessional Subscription and the Clark – Van Til Controversy by Douglas J. Douma Speech given on March 24, 2017 at Reedy River Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC Introduction The intent of my speech today is to argue for the necessity and sufficiency of the Westminster Standards as the bounds …

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Review of "Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God" by J. I. Packer

Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer, InterVarsity Press, 1961 [reformatted 1991], 126 pp. In Chapter I “The Sovereignty of God,” J. I. Packer writes to Arminians that “you know” and “you believe this already” referring to the sovereignty of God. That is, Arminians do not credit themselves with their own salvation [even …

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Gordon Clark and the Philosophy of Occasionalism

This article seeks to explain something of occasionalism, secondary causes, and Clark’s comments on the relation of the two so that his view may be better understood. I. Occasionalism First, we ask, “what is occasionalism?” Occasionalism is a philosophical theory of causation. Rather than one event being the cause of another, on occasionalism God is …

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Gordon Clark’s View of “Emotion”

Gordon Clark’s view of emotion has garnered significance interest and raised many questions. But asking simply “What was Gordon Clark’s view of emotion?” is too broad of a question if one is seeking a single answer. His comments on emotion, as will be noted below, apply to a variety of theological concerns. Compiling quotes from …

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Gordon Clark on "Common Grace"

The most significant note on “Common Grace” in Clark’s writings comes from his unpublished First Lessons in Theology. There, in chapter seven on “Salvation,” he writes, “Before the discussion of clearly heretical views begins, one may consider for a moment a theory of so-­called common grace that is undoubtedly Biblical. If there is anything wrong …

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Sanctification and its Means

Some concerns have been raised in regards to my last article “Sanctification: Clark, Robbins, and Piper.” Any concern there over the use of the term “synergism” in reference to the doctrines of sanctification and justification I believe I have adequately addressed in that article, and so shall not do so further here. Only, I should …

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Sanctification: Clark, Robbins, and Piper

Monergists [mon (one) + erg (work)] hold that God works alone as the effective agent of man’s regeneration. Synergists [syn (together) + erg (work)], on the other hand, hold that man’s regeneration is a cooperative effort—a working together—of God and man. Gordon Clark, like all other Calvinists, was, naturally, a Monergist. Yet when we move …

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On Distinctions in God’s One Will

Theologians frequently make distinctions within the one will of God. Some of these distinctions are valid, but others are invalid; erring in attributing to God contradictory desires. One valid distinction in God’s will is that between his revealed will and his hidden or secret will. This distinction merely states that there are some things which …

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The Trinity, Part 2/2: Unity

[For Part I see here: https://douglasdouma.com/2017/10/04/the-trinity-part-12-various-interpretations/] If we reject Van Til’s “one person and three persons” language regarding the Trinity (and I suggest we do) and hold to some distinction between the sense(s) in which God is one and the sense(s) in which God is three, then we should positively identity those senses and note the …

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The Trinity, Part 1/2: Various Interpretations

I’m glad to have in my collection an original copy of Dr. Cornelius Van Til’s An Introduction to Systematic Theology, printed in 1949. On the title page of this class syllabus, Van Til notes that it is “not to regarded as a published book.” I take it that he means that it hasn’t had a …

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Gordon Clark on Divine Simplicity

A List of Places where Gordon Clark favorably notes Divine Simplicity. [Note that in some of these instances Clark might just be relaying the view of the theologian he’s writing about, and not necessarily accepting the doctrine himself. But in other instances approval of Divine Simplicity is clearly his view.] 1937. A letter from Gordon …

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Clark and Van Til on Barth, Part 5.

To what extent is Van Til’s doctrine of God similar to Barth’s “Wholly Other”? This is part 5 of a 5 part series on “Clark and Van Til on Barth.” Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 3.  Click here for Part 4. A. Van Til’s Creator-creature distinction and …

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Some things that didn't make the cut for "The Presbyterian Philosopher"

I began discussing some things on the Gordon H. Clark Discussions Forum that did not make the cut for The Presbyterian Philosopher, the biography of Dr. Clark that I had published earlier this year. So I thought I’d note some of these things, and maybe explain why they didn’t make the cut. 1. First, maybe …

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Suggested Reading List on Gordon H. Clark

Probably the most frequent question posed on our “Gordon H. Clark Discussions Forum” on Facebook is “What book(s) of/on Gordon Clark should I read first?” This post provides my entirely subjective non-canonical suggestions. (By the way, anyone with interest in Gordon H. Clark should request to join our awesome discussion forum. These men (and women) …

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