Archive for July 2010

Valuable Archive

July 19, 2010

The OPC has provided a treasure chest of back issues of The Presbyterian Guardian.   You can browse individual issues at their website or download the entire archive from 1935 – 1975 which is almost a full gig of material.  There are quite a few articles and material related to Gordon Clark and the infamous “Clark” case that readers of this blog will certainly be interested in.  Tom over at Trinity Foundation pointed me to the June 10, 1944 issue dealing with the controversy.  Also in that same issue is a report of move at the OPC GA to bring Westminster Seminary under church oversight and control that was beaten.  The importance of this little tidbit is that one of John Robbins central claims in his piece, Can the OPC be Saved?,  and in response to the misinformation being promulgated by Vantilian and OPC historian John Muether, is  that one of the underlying issues driving the Clark case was the attempt by the WTS faction to block a takeover of the seminary by the church.  Dr. Robbins writes:

Muether’s allegation that what was at stake in the controversy was whether the OPC’s ecclesiology would be Evangelical or Reformed is also unsupported by any documentary evidence Muether cited. The ecclesiological issue in the controversy was whether the parachurch institution, Westminster Seminary, would be subject to Church oversight. It was the WTS faction that opposed such ecclesiastical oversight, making them, not Dr. Clark, the advocates of an un-Reformed ecclesiology.  The official OPC Historian is not reporting history, but writing propaganda. Until the leaders of the OPC are willing to come to grips with history and acknowledge their errors of both teaching and practice, the denomination will continue its descent into apostasy.

Also, for those who are interested, I strongly recommend reading both The Complaint that C. Van Til and the WTS faction filed against the ordination of Gordon Clark along with The Answer Clark and associates provided in response to the complaint.  Reading each of these critical documents point by point is guaranteed to be an eye-opener as they illustrate what a critical watershed the Clark/Van Til controversy really was in P&R history and why the issues debated generations ago are still vitally important today.   (*If you want to read these online rather than just printing them out, you’ll have to change the orientation when viewing them in your Adobe reader).

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