Update on the Biography of Gordon Clark, Part 2

Some recent items of note.

1. I’ve got a scanned copy of Raymond Acker’s 1965 “A History of Reformed Episcopal Seminary” which has helped verify a few pieces of information and bring to light a new one – Gordon Clark’s donated his father’s books to the Seminary upon the elder Clark’s death in 1939.

2. I should soon be receiving a rare book – a collection of letters of Gordon Clark’s rich uncle in his trip around the world in 1923.

3. Further research into the Clark family history has brought to light a number of facts about their church involvement in Scotland. And even a family connection to a famous individual!

4. I’m starting to write on some of the difficult issues which Clark addressed later in life – the trinity, the incarnation, and paradox.

5. My editor is starting work this week to improve what I’ve written so far.

6. A contact at Wheaton college will soon be sending me the correspondence of Gordon Clark and Carl F.H. Henry. I’ve already amassed 316 of Clark’s letters and this promises to add dozens more.

7. I’m continuing to make new contacts with scholars (both Clarkian and Van Tillian) as well as former acquaintances of Dr. Clark. I’ve spoken now with over two dozen people who knew him.

8. C.Jay Engel of ReformedLibertarian.com has conducted a preliminary interview with me and will later be making a audio blog post regarding the biography.

9. I’ve been making progress on my chapter about the Ordination controversy in the OPC. I feel that I need to be the most thorough on this chapter as it is a politically charged topic.

10. Another rare book, D.S. Clark’s “Rationalism, Past and Present, 1936” should be coming into my hands shortly. This book, written by Gordon Clark’s father, was written near the end of D.S. Clark’s life. In a letter of Cornelius Van Til to Gordon Clark, the book is mentioned as Van Til was reviewing it at the time.

Lots more work to go…



About douglasdouma

I am a husband to beautiful wife, an ordained minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church - Hanover Presbytery, and founder of Sola - Appalachian Christian Retreat (www.discoversola.com). In addition to blogging at this site I am the author of The Presbyterian Philosopher - The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark (Wipf&Stock, 2017) and compiling editor of Clark and His Correspondents: Selected Letters of Gordon H. Clark (Trinity Foundation, 2017). I have a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering (University of Michigan), a master's in business administration (Wake Forest University) and a master of divinity (Sangre de Cristo Seminary). I'm an avid hiker, having completed a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in 2013 and the first 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016.
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10 Responses to Update on the Biography of Gordon Clark, Part 2

  1. Jaime says:

    Excited 🙂

  2. Jim Butler says:

    Thank you for taking on this project. I am looking forward to the finished project!

    • douglasdouma says:

      I’m glad to hear of your interest, Jim! If you happen to have known Dr. Clark personally or are particularly knowledgeable about a specific area of his thought, please let me know. I’ve found that each person I’ve spoken to has knowledge that I wasn’t aware of.

  3. Matthew Anderson says:

    I’m looking forward to this well needed biography. On a side note, I have a question for you about an antidote I heard Clark himself tell some of his students on one of the audio lectures posted on The Trinity Foundation’s website. Clark claims that on a hiking trip in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, he found the notorious Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine (or a least what he thought was Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine). He even when on to add that he saw a pice of gold so large that it was impossible for him to carry so he had to forsake it on his return trip! I was curious if you have ever heard this story related in any other of his correspondence. For the life of me I cannot remember what lecture it was which lecture it was but i plan an listening my way through them again and will let you know which one it was. I found it to be an incredible and slightly humorous story: I couldn’t tell if he was joking with his students and he sounded very sincere while telling it.

    • douglasdouma says:

      I too have listened to those lectures. I don’t recall that particular story, but I’d say he was joking. (although that doesn’t sound like a standard joking style of his, he may have been using it to prove a point in class) He does make a number of other jokes in those lectures. Funny thing is, I’m fascinated by that story – there’s a mountain out there which some claim had spanish treasure and was stolen by the U.S. government after a prospector found it.

      • Matthew Anderson says:

        “The Puritans and Situation Ethics” is the lecture, and the story is with in the first two minutes. He provides a lot lot more details about his “adventure” than I remembered but he ends the antidote with an enigmatic aside that make you this it was just a mischievous fib.

  4. douglasdouma says:

    Thanks Matthew, excellent find!

  5. Forrest Schultz says:

    I noted with interest the correspondence between Clark and Carl Henry. I have heard it said that Henry was a Clarkian. Does the correspondence indicate this??

    • douglasdouma says:

      I do not yet have the Carl Henry correspondence. I’ve hired a researcher (a student at Wheaton) to get a few things from the archives for me including these letters. Henry was a student of Clark’s at Wheaton and they remained good friends. I don’t yet know the extent of Henry’s acceptance of Clark’s views, but I believe it was substantial.

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