Saxton, David W.
Princeton Theological Seminary recently celebrated its bicentennial. Many of the key ideas of the modern era, and Christian responses to them, were formulated between the time of its founding and the early twentieth century—this is the “Old Princeton” era. Gary Steward introduces us to the great men of the seminary’s early days, together with some of their most important writings. While commemorating the legacy of Old Princeton, this book also places the seminary in its historical and theological contexts.
Steward provides biographical overviews of the widely known figures Charles Hodge and Archibald Alexander and of the lesser-known figures Samuel Miller, James Waddel Alexander, Joseph Addison Alexander, and Archibald Alexander Hodge, and he also reviews selected writings from these great men. Not only does he provide a sweeping introduction to Old Princeton, but this book invites further exploration by providing bibliographical material for additional reading and research. The book’s lists and timelines further help to make it a useful reference volume.
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Gary Steward (BA, South Dakota State University; Cert., The Bethlehem Institute; MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; ThM, Westminster Theological Seminary) is an adjunct faculty member at California Baptist University in Riverside, California, and at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, from 2004 to 2011, and is currently pursuing a PhD in church history and historical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I know of no other book that so brilliantly resurrects the theologians of Old Princeton for today’s layman. Certainly, Steward’s engaging, accessible, and eloquent work is the new go-to book for the reader unacquainted with the giants of Old Princeton.” — Matthew Barrett, Associate Professor of Christian Studies, California Baptist University
“The quality and achievement of Princeton Seminary’s leaders for its first hundred years was outstanding, and Steward tells their story well. Reading this book does the heart good.” — J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia
“This latest addition to the Guided Tour series is a fine study of the men who made Princeton Theological Seminary such a significant force within the world of confessional Presbyterianism and beyond. Setting the stories of the institution and its great early faculty within the larger context of American Presbyterian and Christian history, Gary Steward introduces the reader not only to the great personalities of Princeton but also to key texts from their pens. He opens up not only the history but also the thinking of these men as they sought to articulate a passionate, heartfelt orthodoxy.” — Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary
“Many have found in Old Princeton Seminary an example of biblical faithfulness, sound theology, and missionary vision. Gary Steward has written an excellent introduction to Old Princeton, telling the story of its major teachers from Alexander to Machen and describing some of their most important writings. Read this book. You will be informed and blessed, and you will want to learn more about Old Princeton.” — David Calhoun, Professor Emeritus of Church History, Covenant Theological Seminary
“Old Princeton justly haunts the conscience of contemporary Reformed and evangelical Christianity. Gary Steward has given us a clear, helpful introduction to its history, figures, and piety. This book will encourage those new to the Princeton tradition to get to know the theology and piety of the Alexanders, the Hodges, Warfield, and Machen.” — R. Scott Clark, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology, Westminster Seminary California
“Gary Steward is to be commended for providing an intelligent and edifying introduction to the theology and leaders of Old Princeton. Part biography and part doctrinal exploration, this volume can be profitably used both by those familiar with the Alexanders and Hodges and by those meeting them for the first time. The tone is warm and balanced, the content rich and accessible, the historical work careful and illuminating. I hope pastors, students, and anyone else interested in good theology and heartfelt piety will ‘take a few classes’ at Old Princeton. This book is a tremendous resource toward that end.” — Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church (RCA), East Lansing, Michigan
“I warmly recommend this spiritually edifying book by Gary Steward. This is no dry, historical work about a seminary and its professors in which the author looks back nostalgically on a bygone age of theological giants. On the contrary, here is a book to challenge and encourage every believer—especially ministerial students and their teachers. The book is a pleasure to read: its subject matter is informative and witnesses to Gary’s grasp of the issues raised; its style is fresh and readable; and its aim is to show the importance of scholarly, theologically orthodox ministerial training wedded to a piety that is biblical, experiential, practical, and pastorally sensitive.” — Philip H. Eveson, Former Principal, London Theological Seminary; Former Director, John Owen Centre for Theological Study, London Theological Seminary
“It is well known that one of the soundest schools of Christian theology in the nineteenth century was what has come to be called Old Princeton; as one author has put it, the school was a veritable ‘Gibraltar’ of the faith. Regrettably, the opinion has also gained credence, especially among evangelicals, that this was the sum and substance of the Princeton school and that the institution was especially deficient when it came to a robust piety. But nothing could be further from the truth, as this new overview by Gary Steward helpfully demonstrates. I am also thrilled by this book because it delineates a vital strand of the spiritual roots of my school, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, for it was at Princeton that James Petigru Boyce and Basil Manly Jr., two of the founders of Southern, learned a Christian faith that was both solid in divinity and red-hot in spirituality.” — Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality and Director, The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky