Update on the Biography of Gordon H. Clark

I’ve now received all of Gordon Clark’s correspondence kept at the PCA Archives in St. Louis and have read through the majority of it. Combined with material from other archives I now have 314 letters, 102 sermons, and countless articles written by Gordon Clark.

Here are some items of interest:
1. There are extant a number of transcripts from Radio programs in the 1930’s which Gordon Clark was on with Erling C. Olsen.

2. A letter which shows that Clark tried to have published his father’s sermons upon the latter’s death in 1939.

3. A series of letters with G. Aiken Taylor which Clark ultimately breaks off due to Taylor’s continual misrepresentation of Clark’s views.

4. Clark took a sabbatical in 1960 to write on the theology of Karl Barth and got a substantial Volker Fund grant to do so.

5. A major reason Clark decided against continuing to teach at UPenn in the 30’s is that they, for 12 years, called him an “instructor,” never promoting him to Professor.

Yet, I have a number of unanswered questions. If you happen to know the answers, please send me a note!

1. There is a “missing year” where I have no correspondence. For some reason their is no extant correspondence from 1944. This is odd, because this is a critical year for Gordon Clark. (I have dozens of letters from 1943, only one from 1945, and none from 1946.) I haven’t been able to figure out if Clark was employed at all at the beginning of the ordination controversy. He had left Wheaton college, but yet was not ordained. So I don’t believe he could have preached. I’ve found a note that he was teaching at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in 1944, but I have been unable to verify this.

2. I haven’t been able to figure out the publisher of Clark’s father’s book. (D.S. Clark wrote 3 books)

3. I haven’t been able to find the date Clark was ordained as a ruling elder in the 20’s. (Not a teaching elder is in the 40’s)

4. Although I have a few letters between Clark and Van Til, I’ve found evidence of only some philosophical differences between the two prior to the controversy. It seems as if the complaint took Clark by surprise. He was more sure that his trouble would lie in not having a seminary degree. Do you have any thoughts on the origins of the controversy?

That’s enough questions for now.

The biography is coming along well. I still need to address 2 of the 4 issues of the Ordination Controversy as well as the charges of “nestorianism” in his later life.

Advertisements

About douglasdouma

I am a graduate of the University of Michigan (BSME), Wake Forest University (MBA), and Sangre de Cristo Seminary (Mdiv). I've learned far more from books than in school. I'm particularly in debt to Martin Luther, Ludwig von Mises, and Gordon H. Clark for any thoughts I have.
This entry was posted in Notes on the thought of Gordon H. Clark. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Update on the Biography of Gordon H. Clark

  1. Sean Gerety says:

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the best explanation for VT and the WTS faculty’s unprovoked and sinful attack against Clark is found in John Robbins’ booklet, “Can the OPC be Saved.”

  2. In re The Volker Fund, did you know that R. J. Rushdoony also got a Volker Fund grant?

    Forrest Schultz
    schultz_forrest@yahoo.com

    • douglasdouma says:

      Yes, I did see that Rushdoony also got a grant. The Fund’s leader started moving towards more political causes at some point. They got involved with F.A. Hayek, a guy I really like, at one point.

  3. Forrest Schultz says:

    Did Rushdoony get his grant before or after Clark got his??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s