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The Modernist Controversy through a Journalist’s Eyes, Part IV (1933)

In Modernism, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Samuel G. Craig on 16/06/2009 at 21:15

Part IV.

The motives and results of Dr. Craig’s career possess a significance beyond any personal interest we may have in him. They summarize for us important principles at issue today and are a catalog of most of the accomplishments of the whole company of contenders for the Christian faith during two decades of upheaval within our Church. Read the rest of this entry »

The Modernist Controversy through a Journalist’s Eyes, Part III (1933)

In Modernism, Samuel G. Craig on 15/06/2009 at 16:38

Part III.

Dr. Craig’s home is in Princeton, New Jersey.  His residence is the old-fashioned red brick house on Stockton Street which was built many years ago for Francis Landey Patton as an inducement for him to leave Chicago and take a professorship in Princeton Seminary.  He wanted to stay in Chicago and the new house may have been a lure that persuaded him eventually to enter the scene of his great achievements.  When Dr. Patton in 1888 was elected President of the University (then a college), and moved to the campus, the residence was occupied by a succession of other eminent men, among them George T. Purves, the famous preacher and New Testament teacher, and Robert Dick Wilson, the authority in Old Testament languages, both titans in the realm of evangelical scholarship. Read the rest of this entry »

Calvin Medals at the PCA Historical Center

In Calvin Medals, Uncategorized on 14/06/2009 at 22:45

Each year during our General Assembly, the PCA Historical Center has an exhibit that focuses on some aspect of our work and the collections housed at the Center.  This year’s exhibit, in honor of the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth [10 July 1509], our GA exhibit consists of a modest collection of Calvin medals.  These commemorative medals have been issued through the years in countries around the world, and understandably, there have been a number issued just this year.

For a self-guided tour of our collection, see the index page at

This was sort of a last minute thought, to post this material online, so for now you will have to click on each item link to open up a pdf file containing a picture of the medal with its description.  Hopefully later this summer I might re-work it into a nicer presentation.  The descriptions of the medals is courtesy of Darrin Brooker and Robert King, drawn from their amazing catalog of Calvin medals.  To view that catalog, see

The Modernist Controversy through a Journalist’s Eyes, Parts I and II (1933)

In Modernism, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Samuel G. Craig on 14/06/2009 at 21:52

In 1933, the Rev. Frank H. Stevenson wrote this tribute to the Rev. Samuel G. Craig, editor of Christianity Today and owner of the Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company.  While the article is intended to establish Dr. Craig’s place in the history of the Presbyterian conflict, it also provides us with an interesting account , and for modern readers, new insight into the modernist controversy that so occupied the first three decades of the twentieth century.  I say “new” because Dr. Craig is largely overlooked in most contemporary accounts.  So too for the author of this article, the Rev. Frank H. Stevenson, who was the first president of the Board of Trustees at Westminster Theological Seminary. Their story has not been properly told in recent years and I trust that the republication of this account will make a good start.
The original article, as it appeared in Christianity Today, was divided into thirteen sections.  I will be posting these in serial fashion, but will not necessarily divide the article into a full thirteen posts.

Samuel G. Craig, Editor of Christianity Today:His Record and The Work at Hand
by the Rev. Frank H. Stevenson, D.D.
[excerpted from CT, 4.1 (Mid-May 1933): 5-14, in 13 parts.]

[The Managing Editor has taken the responsibility of the publication of this brilliant piece of writing. In doing so it is only fair to say that he has not sought the comment or advice of Dr. Craig, whose modesty, in such an event, would doubtless have caused him to forbid its appearance. The Managing Editor hopes that he will be forgiven. Dr. Stevenson needs no introduction to the international constituency of Christianity Today.] Read the rest of this entry »

“Needed: Historical Perspective,” by Wm. Stanford Reid (1953)

In Importance of History, Wm. Stanford Reid on 12/06/2009 at 16:22

A substantial blessing last year at the PCA Historical Center was the donation of a complete set of a small periodical issued by Dr. William Stanford Reid. Reformation Today only ran for about three years, but it contains a wealth of articles, and I would hope to post some of them here in the months to come.  This article is permanently available at

“Needed: Historical Perspective”
by William Stanford Reid
[excerpted from Reformation Today —Volume 2, Number 4 (February, 1953), pp. 11, 17.]

History is God’s possession. This is the repeated assertion of the Scriptures. Whether dealing with individuals such as Pharaoh, Cyrus and Judas, or with nations such as the Jews or with kingdoms such as Babylon, Egypt or Rome, this is always the point of view. Every item, every event of history is worked out according to the purpose and plan of God, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Moreover, this plan and purpose finds its culmination in redemption, accomplished by Christ and to be made complete at history’s final day. Read the rest of this entry »

What Presbyterians Believe About the Bible (1935)

In Bible, Modernism on 09/06/2009 at 14:19

By Samuel G. Craig

[excerpted from Christianity Today 6.7 (December 1935): 147-148] Read the rest of this entry »

“Liberty of Conscience” by Wm. Childs Robinsion (1935)

In Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, J. Gresham Machen, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. on 09/06/2009 at 14:12

The penultimate paragraph in this brief essay provides an interesting contrasting argument when compared with the previously posted editorial by Dr. Samuel G. Craig.  Where Craig argued that the PCUSA was within its rights to prohibit membership in parachurch organizations, here Dr. Robinson correctly notes that earlier PCUSA examples contradict such a ruling.  On another subject, it might also be useful to compare Robinson’s essay with D.S. Kennedy’s comments in respect to the first of the Preliminary Principles. Read the rest of this entry »

Samuel G. Craig: “The Alleged Apostasy of the PCUSA” (1936)

In Modernism, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Samuel G. Craig on 09/06/2009 at 12:52

The Rev. Samuel G. Craig, founder of Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, was one of those conservatives who stayed in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., continuing to fight for an orthodox Christian faith.  Dr. Clarence E.N. Macartney, whom Craig mentions toward the end of this editorial, was another of those who stayed to continue the difficult fight.  Dr. Craig wrote this editorial not many months after the formation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
[initially named The Presbyterian Church of America].  The editorial is his explanation of why he stayed.  It may also offer some insight into the thinking of those who, to this day, continue to stay to fight for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and against modernism and unbelief.  By God’s grace, He has put us in other places, but these brothers and sisters do deserve our prayers and encouragement. Read the rest of this entry »

D.S. Kennedy on Preliminary Principle I (1926)

In Uncategorized on 08/06/2009 at 21:04

The following is a brief excerpt from the first installment in the series “Studies in Presbyterian Government,” by the Rev. David S. Kennedy.  Serving for many years as editor of The Presbyterian, Rev. Kennedy retired from that post in 1926.  Rev. Kennedy’s series, “Studies in Presbyterian Government” appeared in serial form in the months following his retirement.

Read the rest of this entry »

J. Gresham Machen on the “Child Labor Amendment” (1925)

In J. Gresham Machen on 08/06/2009 at 17:15

Posted below is a sample of Dr. J. Gresham Machen’s political thought.  He has often been labeled as akin to a modern-day libertarian, though certainly there were distinctions and differences to be noted.  But for the point Machen is making here, we might reference a contemporary comment by Judith Sealander, in The Failed Century of the Child (Cambridge, 2003), page 153: “But opponents were right; the proposal was the creation of reformers who wanted a more powerful federal government.”

The So-Called Child Labor Amendment

By Professor J. Gresham Machen, D.D.

The December number of Moral Welfare, the official publication of our Presbyterian Department of Temperance and Moral Welfare, is largely devoted to advocacy of the proposed Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which is now being considered by the state legislatures. We protest against this use of the name and resources of our church for two reasons. Read the rest of this entry »