Update on the Biography of Gordon Clark, Part 6

My big interest this past week has been in investigating the origins of presuppositionalism and the Clark-Van Til controversy. To this end I’ve been studying B.B. Warfield and Abraham Kuyper. Honestly, I haven’t figured out much despite reading “Benjamin B. Warfield and Right Reason” by Owen Anderson. I’m now working through “Unapologetic Apologetics” by ed. William Dembski and Jay Wesley Richards. Maybe I’m off on a tangent with this research, but it could be of importance to the rest of the biography.

I received 3 rare books through interlibrary loans. A collection of letters from Clark’s rich uncle, a history of Clark’s high school, and a history of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. They have provided some minor details to the story.

I received a few more documents from Clark’s old church in Indianapolis and more sermons from the PCA archives. That puts me at having read about 80% of his sermons. Regarding his church, I have but a scant 5 documents and only know the basics of what happened there. A lawsuit over the property in the 60s is of importance, but I haven’t found the legal records yet.

I’ve been translating some letters of GHC from German to English. Deutsch macht spass. The total letter collection now stands at 620 items.

I read Harold Lindsell’s “Battle for the Bible.” Lindsell was a student of Clark’s.

I read “Neo-evangelicalism” by Robert Lightner.

I did some more editing on my chapters 1 and 2.

Received a copy of John Robbin’s Ph.D. dissertation and found a letter of his for the first time.

I’ve only got one week left for this season. I’ll be done with my engineering contract job this Friday and then on vacation for a bit. Trail days festival is coming up in Virginia and then heading back to Colorado for Seminary. Although I’ll have to take a break on the biography for at least a while, I know I have many resources to review once I’m back in Colorado.

Both here at my job in North Carolina and at my small seminary in Colorado I’m essentially working alone as an independent researcher. I’ve been blessed on this project to make a number of contacts and have had some help from others. However, I fear there are major parts of Clark’s theology and life that I have either missed or have gotten incorrect. Thorough reviews will be necessary. I’ve had some reviewers already, and I certainly appreciate their help, but I really need some one to do a more thorough reading of what I’ve written so far (180 pages). I’ve got a number of people that will do so eventually, its just a matter of time. Waiting on archives, reviewers, books to the come in the mail, along with my own limited abilities to comprehend have proven to make this project very time consuming and slower going than I’d prefer. Yet, major strides forward keep happening every week. Part of the problem with writing on Clark’s Theology is that he wrote so much. Trying to keep it all in mind is impossible. I’m finding that there are a few areas of Clark’s thought that I really just don’t understand. I’ve had some help from others on explaining these, but perhaps need some time to digest. Good thing vacation is approaching after 5 days more of work.

-Doug

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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.
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5 Responses to Update on the Biography of Gordon Clark, Part 6

  1. I am publishing Clark’s books in Portuguese. I love him! I can help you reviewing your book.

    Though not a famous guy, I don’t know anyone who know Clark’s theology more than Vincent Cheung. I suggest strongly that you contact him.

    As for the famous guys, here are a couple of indispensable reviewers: Dr. Gary Crampton, Dr. Kenneth Talbot and Dr. E. Calvin Beisner.

    • douglasdouma says:

      Hey Felipe,

      I’m in regular contact with Dr. Talbot. I know of the other three, but haven’t spoken with them. I sent Cheung an email on his website some time ago (more than a year ago) but received no response. I just sent Beisner a message now to see if he’s interested.

      Send me an email at douglasdouma@yahoo.com if you are interested in reading some of what I’ve already written.

      -Doug

  2. Erick Nieves says:

    I’d love to help. I’m a member of the OPC but have appreciated and read Clark despite the climate. I’m just a layman, so I don’t know how valuable my help could be. But I do think I have a pretty good understanding of Clark. Btw, presuppositionalism has affinities with a number of nineteenth century responses to Kant and Hegel. Clark in particular bring the whole history of philosophy to the table. Wish I could say more but no space. Press on!

    • douglasdouma says:

      Erick,

      “bring the whole history of philosophy to the table”

      That is part of my thesis in chapter 1. Send me an email douglasdouma@yahoo.com if you’d like to read and review a chapter. It is helpful to know theology, but I can use help in other areas as well – such as history (this is a biography after all) and writing in general.

  3. Erick Nieves says:

    Different people have different takes on Clark’s thought. I really appreciated the moderator at the GHC list, the Yahoo group dedicated to Clark. I find their discussions very helpful and knowledgeable concerning all things Clark. One thing they’ve pointed out to be aware of is the thought of J. Robbins is not necessarily identical with Clark’s and I believe they’re correct. The list owner can be reached here: ghclark_list1-owner@yahoogroups.com

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