Beeke, Joel R.
This is the story of Gordon Clark (1902-85), respected philosopher and prolific writer, who held that Christianity, as a logically coherent system, is superior to all other philosophies. Clark fought no wars and conquered no kingdoms. Yet he was a leading figure in many theological wars fought for the Kingdom of God. These battles for the minds and souls of men were every bit as crucial as physical wars between nations.
In an age of increasing secularization, he put up an intellectual defense of the Christian faith. This faith, he believed, was a system. All of its parts link together, a luxury of no other philosophy. His stance shows a Christianity that is in fact intellectual, not relying on appeals to emotion or experience.
In propounding this view, he encountered frequent opposition, not from the secular world, but from within his own denomination. This biography helps explain why his thought was so profound, why resistance mounted against him, and how his struggles impacted American Presbyterianism. Additionally, this book calls for a reappraisal of Clark's views, which have been maligned by controversy. Understanding and applying his views could significantly fortify Christians combating irrational and non-systematic ideas prevalent in today's churches.
Table of Contents:
1. The Presbyterian Heritage of Gordon Clark
2. Gordon Clark’s Intellectual Influences
3. Gordon Clark and the Formation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
4. Gordon Clark at Wheaton College
5. The Origins of Presuppositionalism
6. Origins of the Ordination Controversy
7. The Arguments of the Ordination Controversy
8. The Continued Controversy and Its Results
9. The Butler University Years (1945-1973)
10. Four Theological Contributions of Gordon H. Clark
11. “Clark’s Boys”
12. Persons, the Trinity, and the Incarnation
13. Gordon Clark’s Later Years
Appendix A: Life Timeline of Gordon H. Clark
Appendix B: Notes
Appendix C: Studies of the Doctrine of the Complaint
Douglas J. Douma received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, an MBA from Wake Forest University, and a master of divinity from Sangre de Cristo Seminary. He and his wife currently reside in western North Carolina.
"It is with great pleasure that I read and analyzed this biography. Matters mentioned in this biography have cleared up many of the lingering questions about the issues that I have had over the years. I suspect that a number of others will welcome those clarifications. The book is comprehensive, but while giving a clear and complete outline of his ministry in various venues, nevertheless focuses upon Clark's views and the responses of various persons to them over the years. The issues over the knowledge of God are thoroughly and fairly discussed, and the reader is left to decide whether or not Clark's view of human and divine attributes is "cold" as has been charged. The author seems not to think so, yet on this as on other issues, allows you determine your own opinion from the information that he presents rather objectively. For those who want to know more about the history and work of Gordon Clark, I can confidently recommend this book." — Jay Adams, Founder of The Institute for Nouthetic Studies
"Doug Douma is to be commended for this biography; it is fascinating and thoroughly researched. Gordon Clark's passion was Biblical truth and his gift was logical consistency. He also had the fortitude to confront anyone whose views were not Biblical or consistent. This of course frustrated and even angered many. While living in his home during my college years, I particularly observed and learned that he, my grandfather, was more gracious, patient and brilliant than most of his students and opponents would ever understand." — Andrew S. Zeller, President, Sangre de Cristo Seminary, D.Min.; Th.M.; M.Div.; Chap. COL (Ret.).
"I got hooked on reading this book! It was a great experience walking down those trails again. Doug Douma has really done an incredibly good job at documenting everything and putting together an accurate and sober narrative. He has done a wonderful job at putting together the history of Gordon Clark to present him both as a thinker and as a Christian man. I was delighted to learn so many things about the history and views of this truly great Christian philosopher." — Dr. John Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology & Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary