I’ve been continuing to make significant progress on the biography of Gordon Clark I am researching and writing. Here are a number of items I’ve recently discovered.
1. I’ve found that in the 1940’s there was a movement started in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church to form a Christian University. They had already had a seminary in Westminster Theological Seminary, but there was no university for undergraduate and graduate degrees. A supporter of Gordon Clark in the ordination controversy, Edwin Rian, was the General Secretary of the “Christian University Association” and its major fundraiser. Rian brought in a number of members from other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations. However, like in the ordination controversy, the faculty at Westminster Seminary had a narrow view of who should be included. Rian was caught using funds from large donors to pay for the membership of those supporting his views. Just two days after before forced to resign, Rian left the OPC and joined back with the liberal PCUSA. Gordon Clark had been a potential Philosophy Professor for the college. It seems likely that he was holding out at his job at Butler University and waiting for the Christian University to form. With Rians departure however, and budget problems due to the narrow approach of the WTS faculty, the Christian University failed and the property was sold to the Faith Seminary.
2. I’ve found that the Covenant Presbytery which Gordon Clark joined in 1983 was a splinter group of the Bible Presbyterian Church. It was led by Allan MacRae who Clark had known way back in the early days of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
3. Although this is not related directly to Clark, I’ve found that Dr. James Scott has written a convincing article regarding the likelihood that Edwin Rian stole the manuscript of “The Presbyterian Conflict” from the then recently-deceased J. Gresham Machen and published it as his own!!! Intrigue!
4. Gordon Clark had a lawyer back in Philadelphia that he corresponded with regarding his situation at Wheaton College. The lawyer said that Clark did not have a case, and needed to resign carefully without causing any harm to his future job prospects.