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Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

The Value of Memorizing Scripture and the Catechism in Childhood (1933)

In Shorter Catechism on 30/05/2009 at 22:35

by the Rev. E.E. Bigger

[excerpted from Christianity Today 4.5 (Mid-September 1933): 6.] Read the rest of this entry »

Under the Sun: “When We Must Economize” (1931)

In Under the Sun (Nothing New!) on 30/05/2009 at 13:06

When Samuel G. Craig was editor of The Presbyterian in the late 1920’s, he began to use his position to speak out against the changes going on at Princeton Seminary, as modernists were put in place on the Seminary’s Board of Trustees.  For that vocal opposition, “Management” let him go.  Craig then turned around and formed The Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company in 1930 right at the start of the Great Depression.  J. Gresham Machen provided some of the start-up capital.  Craig’s first publication was a bi-weekly magazine called Christianity Today and it ran consistently through the Depression era.  From a conservative Presbyterian viewpoint, Christianity Today and The Christian Beacon were the two publications of record covering the modernist controversy in the Church. Thus the importance of these publications.  Later, as Craig’s attention turned more to publishing books, Christianity Today was slowly put to rest, and the last issue appeared in 1949.  [note: the same name was picked up by a different publishing group in 1956 and that publication continues to this day]. Read the rest of this entry »

Edwin H. Rian’s “Unbelief in the PCUSA–Is It Recent?”

In J. Gresham Machen, Modernism on 29/05/2009 at 17:19


This is a reprint (with changes) of an article that first appeared in The Independent Board Bulletin, April, 1936.  Rev. Rian also authored The Presbyterian Conflict (1940), but under some cloud later recanted his position and returned to the PCUSA, working for the remainder of his life as assistant to the president of Princeton Theological Seminary.  Nonetheless, this brief account remains an excellent synopsis of the events leading up to the modernist controversy. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mistakes of Modernism, by A.Z. Conrad (1929)

In Modernism on 29/05/2009 at 16:42

Sad to realize that the League of Evangelical Students, an early forerunner of later evangelical campus ministries, has largely been forgotten now.  The League’s modest quarterly, The Evangelical Student, produced some great articles and on its pages appeared some of the first published works of men like John Murray, R. Laird Harris and Ned Stonehouse.  More on them later, no doubt.  But for now. . . Read the rest of this entry »

1641 Calvin medal

In Exonumia on 29/05/2009 at 11:45

One frequent question here at the PCA Historical Center is “What is the oldest thing you have in the Collection?”
That would be this, a medallion struck in 1641 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Calvin’s return to Geneva. Read the rest of this entry »

Welbon’s Scrapbook: “First Things First”

In Modernism, Welbon's Scrapbook on 28/05/2009 at 17:34

An interesting (then) contemporary response to Pearl Buck, from The Sunday School Times, 13 May 1933: Read the rest of this entry »

B.B. Warfield’s “Hymn for the Opening of the Seminary”

In Benjamin B. Warfield on 28/05/2009 at 17:13

How many people know that Benjamin B. Warfield was much more than “just” a theologian and exegete of first rank?
He also wrote at least four hymns and a small grouping of religious verse.  Among these, the following example was composed for the occasion of the installation of his close friend, the Rev. Dr. Robert Dick Wilson, as professor of semitic philology at Princeton Theological Seminary, on 21 September 1900: Read the rest of this entry »

Machen’s Love of the Alps

In J. Gresham Machen on 28/05/2009 at 16:17

Several years ago we found some letters among the Papers of Allan A. MacRae that shed further light on J. Gresham Machen’s love of mountain climbing and especially his love of the Alps.  Machen was able to visit and climb in the Alps several times, with his last visit being in the summer of 1935.  A letter from Machen to MacRae details that trip and shares something of their mutual love of mountain climbing.   In 1933, Machen had prepared a talk on mountain climbing and this address has been reprinted several times. We even found a letter that MacRae wrote to his mother, recounting a social gathering where Machen gave a trial run of his newly prepared address.4164 Blick v. d. Wellenkuppe g. Matterhorn 4505 m. und Dent d'He Read the rest of this entry »

First Commencement of Westminster Seminary

In Westminster Theological Seminary on 28/05/2009 at 02:42

Shortly we will turn to other matters, but just now, here is yet another item regarding Westminster Seminary–this from 1930 and a report on the school’s first commencement:

First Commencement of Westminster Seminary

Before a great throng which began gathering long before the doors were thrown open, Westminster Theological Seminary held its first commencement exercises in Witherspoon Hall, Philadelphia, on the evening of Tuesday, May sixth. Read the rest of this entry »

WTS Commencement Address, 1936

In Westminster Theological Seminary on 27/05/2009 at 22:47

It seems timely to post something in the way of a commencement address.  So here is Dr. A.B. Dodd’s address before the graduating class of Westminster Theological Seminary in May of 1936.  The Christian Beacon reported on the event:
“With the largest audience ever attending a Westminster Seminary graduation the 7th commencement was held in Witherspoon Hall, Philadelphia, Pa., May 12, at 8 P.M.  The expectant and enthusiastic crowd began to gather long before the hour for the service, and it was apparent that visitors had come from several states for the occasion.
“The Rev. A.B. Dodd, missionary in China for 32 years under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., but now serving under the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, delivered the address on “Be Strong.” . . . Dr. Dodd summoned the young ministers to the battle for the faith and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.  In bold contrast to the constant charges made by those in sympathy with the ecclesiastical leaders in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., that the movement represented by Westminster is “bitter,” Dr. Dodd appealed in tenderness for the students to be in prayer for their enemies, and to love those who would despitefully use them.  One was impressed by the simplicity and sincerity in the call to “be strong” in the Lord. Read the rest of this entry »