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Archive for the ‘Columbia Theological Seminary’ Category

CT Vol. 2 (minus Dec.)

In Christianity Today, J. Gresham Machen, John Murray, Wm. Childs Robinson on 22/06/2011 at 22:50

In our project to digitize the old original series of Christianity Today, I have earlier today posted to the PCA Historical Center’s web site Volume Two of the magazine. Volume Two covers May 1931 through April 1932. The one lack in this posting is the December 1931 issue, vol. 2, no. 8.  The Historical Center presently lacks a copy of that issue. A link for a cumulative download of the entire volume (again, minus the December issue, for now) will be posted tomorrow, Lord willing.

The Table of Contents page for Volume One [1930-1931], with links for downloading each issue, is here.

And for your reference, the main index page for this project is here. That page then has links to a table of contents page for each volume in the series run of Christianity Today. The magazine ran from 1930-1949, though only sporadically from 1941-1949.

Highlights from Volume Two include:

Machen’s Notes on Galatians (continued)

“Is the Pulpit Forgetting God?” by Wm. Childs Robinson

“The Ministry of Reconciliation” by Rev. Frank R. Elder [a tribute to Robert Dick Wilson]

“The Social Significance of Jesus Christ,” by Samuel G. Craig

“The Truth About the Presbyterian Church,” by J. Gresham Machen

“The Confessional Statement of the United Presbyterian Church,” by John Murray

“Is Atheism Scientific?” by Rev. George P. Pierson

and much more.

Process :
Some have asked about the process involved in preparing these PDF files. Christianity Today was published as a larger format magazine, measuring 10″ x 12″. Since we don’t have a large format scanner, each issue has to be photocopied at an 8% reduction, such that the resulting photocopies measure 8.5″ x 11″ and can be run through our scanner. These copies are then scanned at 300 dpi and Optical Character Recognition is applied in Adobe Acrobat 9.0 to produce searchable PDF files. 

The only expense in preparing each PDF file, besides staff time and labor, is in making the photocopies, since we also don’t have our own copier (there never really was much need, and the Seminary Library has one just outside our door).  It costs about $30.00 to photocopy an entire volume of the magazine. Staff salary is paid from funds raised by the Administrative Committee of the PCA (the Stated Clerk’s Office), but the daily operations budget of the Historical Center depends entirely on voluntary contributions. 

Donors :
Due to the expense of attending General Assembly this year, our funds have now run out and this will be the end of the CT digitization project until other funds comes in. Donors who would like to help with the project may contact me by email. [wsparkman AT   pcanet     DOT  com ]


Luther’s Safe Place

In Southern Presbyterian Journal, Wm. Childs Robinson on 11/06/2011 at 07:43

For all the recent discussion of “safe places,” it was an amusing surprise to find Wm. Childs Robinson making reference to “Luther’s Safe Place” at the end of this article.

Has “Unreserved Dedication” Taken The Place of Creedal Subscription

By Rev. Wm. C. Robinson, D.D.
Decatur, Ga.
[THE SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL 8.17 (2 January 1950): 5-6.]

This question is raised by a paragraph in a recent book review carried in The Presbyterian Outlook of November 7. Reviewing Professor Cooper’s Southwestern At Memphis, Dr. Warner L. Hall writes the following paragraph:

“One of the sidelights of the book is the struggle which Dr. Diehl had with heresy hunters. His victory was, by no means a personal one, for it, in some sense, assured to many others the right of an intellectual freedom within the limits of an unreserved dedication to the Christian cause.”

We have no desire to reopen any struggle with reference to Dr. Diehl, but the inference which Dr. Hall draws gives us grave concern. The reviewer’s words imply that many Presbyterian educators and Presbyterian ministers—Dr. Diehl is both—have either (or both) been relieved of all creedal obligations or else have agreed among themselves that those creedal obligations to which they have subscribed are only indicative of their dedication to the Christian cause.

Now it is not difficult to show that “an unreserved dedication to the Christian cause,” indispensable as that is, is not a sufficient safeguard for the Church or her teachers. Certainly, there have been Jesuit missionaries unreservedly dedicated to the Christian cause, and Armenian ministers, and perhaps Unitarian scholars. The other day I was told about a very devout Mormon. Apparently, this Latter Day Saint could offer “an unreserved dedication to the Christ cause” as he saw it … and yet I cannot believe that Dr. Hall would favor him for a Chair of Religion in Southwestern or for his associate pastor in Charlotte, N. C.

We feel obligated, therefore, to ask the questions which Dr. Hall’s review has raised. First, have the professors in our Presbyterian educational institutions been relieved of all creedal obligations, vows or doctrinal conditions as requirements for the presidential or professional positions they hold? We invite the several educational institutions connected with our Church to let the Church know just what, if any, obligations are now required. If the institution in particular has abrogated such requirements in the last two decades, the reasons for such change would also interest the Church. We can conceive of an occasion in which a college might have a man of known evangelical piety and Bible belief from another denomination that they wished installed as professor in some chair in which he would not teach church doctrine and might properly make an exception in his case to a rule requiring subscription to Calvinism. But we could only question the propriety of a Board using such an occasion as an excuse for abrogating all requirements.

Three centuries ago Harvard was training men for the Calyinistic ministry in Puritan New England — teaching the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New in Greek and the Shorter Catechism in Latin . . . but somebody slept at the switch . . . and Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked. When I studied at Harvard they were inculcating almost everything, except the doctrine for which that institution was established. Read the rest of this entry »

Chalmers #9 – Cause of Doctrinal Trouble, Part II

In Benjamin B. Warfield, Chalmers W. Alexander, Modernism, Old School/New School Division, Presbyterian Church in the U.S. [PCUS], Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Princeton Theological Seminary, Robert Dick Wilson, Wm. Childs Robinson on 05/06/2011 at 22:21

The Cause Of The Doctrinal Trouble In The Northern Presbyterian Church

(“Exploring Avenues Of Acquaintance And Co-operation”)
By Chalmers W. Alexander
Jackson, Miss.
[THE SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL 8.14 (15 November 1949): 5-9.]

This is the ninth in the series of articles by Chalmers W’. Alexander under the heading, “Exploring Avenues of Acquaintance And Co-operation.” This is an informative new series of articles written by one of the most able laymen in the Southern Presbyterian Church.

When the reorganization of Princeton Seminary took place in 1929, four outstanding members of the faculty of Princeton Seminary voluntarily resigned their positions in that institution. And they left its campus, never to return.

At that time I was in my freshman year at Princeton University, which is located a few blocks’ distance from the campus of Princeton Seminary. Who were these four outstanding men?

The Scholars Who Left Princeton Seminary

One was Dr. J. Gresham Machen, probably the world’s greatest New Testament scholar at that time. Dr. Machen had received his A.B. degree from Johns Hopkins University, his M.A. from Princeton University, and his B.D. from Princeton Seminary. Then he had studied at the Universities of Marburg and Goettingen, both in Germany. Dr. Machen had been a member of the faculty of Princeton Seminary since 1906.

Another was Dr. Robert Dick Wilson, probably the world’s greatest Old Testament scholar at that time. Dr. Wilson had received his A.B. and his M.A. from Princeton University and his Th.B. from Western Theological Seminary. Then he had studied for two years at the University of Berlin prior to receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University. Dr. Wilson, a great linguist, had mastered some two dozen languages collateral with Old Testament languages in order to throw light upon the Old Testament and its manuscripts. He had been a member of the Princeton Seminary faculty since 1900.

The third man was Dr. Oswald T. Allis, one of America’s greatest Old Testament scholars today. Dr. Allis received his A.B. from the University of Pennsylvania, his B.D. from Princeton Seminary, his M.A. from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin. Dr. Allis had been a member of the faculty of Princeton Seminary since 1910, and since 1918 he had been the Editor of The Princeton Theological Review.

And the fourth man was Dr. Cornelius Van Til, one of the ablest Professors of Apologetics in America at the present time. Dr. Van Til had received his A.B. from Calvin College, his Th.B. and his Th.M. from Princeton Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He had joined the Princeton Seminary faculty in 1928.

These four unusually great scholars left Princeton Seminary and, in association with other men of like mind, they proceeded to found Westminster Theological Seminary, at Philadelphia, in the autumn of 1929. Read the rest of this entry »

The Prominent Place of Catechesis

In Catechesis, Christian Life, Columbia Theological Seminary, Westminster Shorter Catechism, Wm. Childs Robinson on 29/05/2011 at 20:03


by Prof. Wm. C. Robinson

[excerpted from The Christian Observer 121.38 (20 September 1933): 7.]

Recent research is giving an increasingly prominent place in the establishment of early Christianity to catechizing. The Greek verb, “katecheo,” occurs seven times in the New Testament. In five of these instances it is used in our technical sense of elementary religious instruction. Luke wrote the third Gospel to confirm Theophilus in the irrefragable certainty of the topics, “logoi,” in which he had been catechized (Luke 1:4). Mark labored as a catechist under Peter. His Gospel may be described as Peter’s catechism “concerning the things Jesus began to do.” Indeed, the fact of this early Christian catechizing is so well recognized that it has become one of the basic presuppositions of the new investigation in the origins of the Gospels known as “Formegeschichte.”

Paul exhorts the Thessalonians: “Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye were taught whether by word or by epistle of ours” (II Thessalonians 2:13). He reminds the Romans of that “pattern of doctrine which had been delivered unto them” by teachers other than himself (Romans 6:17). A fragment of the original formula or belief is preserved in I Corinthians 15:3f. This confessional formula “was made known to Paul already at the time of his baptism” (Cf. I Corinthians 15:3f. with Romans 6:3f.).

Professor R. Seeberg says that “the primitive Christian ‘traditions’ (I Corinthians 11:2; cf. ‘first principles,’ Hebrews 6:2) offered more or less fixed formulas and traditions of the faith and moral life.” “Thus over against the freely working spirit principle, the individualization of inspiration and enthusiasm there stood from the beginning a structure of fixed representations, doctrines, regulations, morals, usages, historical authorities. The interworking of these two features made possible an ordered historical development. The form did not remain an empty form, but the personal experience gave it content; on the other hand, the experience did not become a formless enthusiasm but inclosed itself in the forms of the primitive knowledge of Christ.

The contents of “The Catechism of Primitive Christianity” have been carefully collated by A. Seeberg, R. Seeberg, and A.D. Heffern. It included:

(1) The Formula of Belief. In the case of Jewish converts this was chiefly “the things concerning Jesus” (Luke 24:19), the “elucidation and defense of the Gospel facts.” In the case of the Gentiles it certainly included the Jewish catechesis concerning monotheism (Hebrews 11:6, Romans 3:30). R. Seeberg offers ample New Testament evidence to show “that to this belonged also the triadic formula,” which “trinitarian belief in God” rests on the revelation which Christ made during the forty days.” “The words of faith,” I Timothy 4:6, gradually crystallized into the Roman symbol, the primitive form of the Apostles’ Creed. This “pattern of sound words” was taught the neophyte just before baptism, and was confessed by him at that sacrament. Read the rest of this entry »