by Katherine VanDrunen
J. Gresham Machen was raised with the values of honest scholarship and confessional Reformed Christianity. That made him well suited for his studies and his later teaching career. These values were long held on both sides of his family.
Machen attributed his exceptional knowledge of Scripture and his love for Reformed Christianity to his parents’ example and instruction. In this article, I will bring out some relatively unknown facets of his heritage. Read more
by Alan D. Strange
Charles Hodge (1797–1878) embodied the ethos of Old Princeton, whose two hundredth anniversary we celebrate this year. Hodge was not the passionate pulpiteer that Princeton’s first professor, Archibald Alexander, was. Nor did he enjoy the sheer brilliance of his celebrated pupil and successor, Benjamin B. Warfield. In the fifty-eight years that Hodge taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, however, he shaped more lives with his gentle good humor and unflappable fidelity to God’s Word than any other professor who taught there.
He modeled for his students a learned piety that marked nineteenth-century Old School Presbyterianism at its finest. Princeton was appreciated by many, and despised by others, for its moderation with respect to many of the issues of the day, and Hodge embodied that moderation. He was, as Andrew Hoffecker has written in his new biography (reviewed in this issue of New Horizons), an Old School Presbyterian with New Side sympathies. He reflected, for some of us, the best of both worlds: a warm piety married to a staunch orthodoxy. In this essay, I would like to shed light on Charles Hodge, not only as a theologian or churchman, but as a Christian who was not that much different from the rest of us. Read more
by Danny E. Olinger
“He was probably the best exegete Princeton ever had,” Benjamin B. Warfield once told Louis Berkhof. Abraham Kuyper was so taken with his academic acumen that Kuyper offered him the chair of Old Testament studies at the Free University of Amsterdam when he was only twenty-four years old. J. Gresham Machen commented that if he knew as much as he did, he would be writing all the time. Cornelius Van Til considered him the most erudite man he had ever known.
Testimonies like these abound concerning Geerhardus Vos (1862–1949), professor of biblical theology at Princeton Seminary from 1893 to 1932. Possessing the rare combination of first-rate exegetical, philosophical, and linguistic ability, Vos produced books and articles that remain standard reading today in Reformed theology. Although he never joined the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Vos befriended many of his former Princeton students who did, and his theological influence remains in the church to this day. Read more
by Douglas L. Watson
“Oh no! He’s talking about retirement again—funds, investments ... blah, blah, blah ... finance, hocus pocus, blah, blah, blah....” Before your eyes glaze over, read on. “I’m a minister, not a financier. Why should I be distracted from the work of ministry?” Don’t turn that page; read on.
“We have a retirement allowance in our pastor’s salary package. He can take care of his retirement however he wants. That’s his business.” Elders and sessions, don’t tune out; read on. Read more