Posts tagged ‘Orthodox Presbyterian Church’

February 4, 2018

February Spotlight! The Origin of Paul’s Religion

Cover Origin of Paul's ReligionBook Description

The Origin of Paul’s Religion (1921) is perhaps Machen’s best known scholarly work. This book was a successful attempt at critiquing the Modernist belief that Paul’s religion was based mainly upon Greek philosophy and was entirely different from the religion of Jesus.

Machen writes a masterful and forthright defense of the historical truthfulness and supernaturalism of the New Testament. This volume is taken from the James Sprunt Lectures delivered at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. Reprints of this book sometimes add the subtitle “The Classic Defense of Supernatural Christianity”.

Machen refutes the anti-supernaturalism that was beginning to dominate the church in the early decades of the twentieth century. Although written 85 years ago it remains a model of biblical scholarship and warm piety.

Source: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

J Gresham MachenAbout the Author

John Gresham Machen, (born July 28, 1881, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.—died January 1, 1937, Bismarck, North Dakota), was born to a prominent family in Baltimore. Machen studied at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the universities at Marburg and Göttingen. In 1906 he joined the faculty of the Princeton Theological Seminary. He criticized liberal Protestantism as unbiblical and unhistorical in his Christianity and Liberalism (1923), What is Faith? (1925) and struggled to preserve the conservative character of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Machen defended the historical reliability of the Bible in such works as The Origin of Paul’s Religion (1921) and The Virgin Birth of Christ (1930). He left Princeton in 1929, after the school was reorganized and adopted a more accepting attitude toward liberal Protestantism, and he helped found Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. His continued opposition during the 1930s to liberalism in his denomination’s foreign missions agencies led to the creation of a new organization, The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (1933). The trial, conviction and suspension from the ministry of Independent Board members, including Machen, in 1935 and 1936 provided the rationale for the formation in 1936 of the Presbyterian Church in America, which became the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in 1939. Machen was the principal figure in the founding of the OPC if for no other reason than that the Presbyterian controversy in which he played a crucial role provided the backdrop for the denomination.

Sources: Britannica, and OPC.org

329 Pages
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 1925; Third Reprint 1976
ISBN: 080281123X

 

 

 

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January 19, 2018

The Virgin Birth of Christ

Cover Virgin Birth of ChristBook Description

In the spring of 1927, Dr. J. Gresham Machen delivered the Thomas Smyth Lectures at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, about the virgin birth of Christ. The content of these lectures comprise the substance of his book, The Virgin Birth of Christ, which was first published in 1930 by Harper & Row Publishers, and reprinted seven times with special permission between 1965 and 1980 by Baker Book House. Additional supplementary material was also drawn from a number of Machen’s articles published in the Princeton Theological Review—”The Virgin Birth in the Second Century,” “The Hymns of the First Chapter of Luke,” and “The Origin of the First Two Chapters of Luke,” which appeared in 1912, and “The Integrity of the Lucan Narrative of the Annunciation,” which appeared in 1927.

The first eleven chapters attempt to demonstrate that the virgin birth of Christ is a historical fact, and defends the character of the birth narratives in Matthew 1 and Luke 2 as authentic and reliable witnesses thereto. In chapters twelve through fourteen, he interacts with the competing claim that the idea of the virgin birth of Christ was derived from Jewish or pagan sources and only later added to the Christian creed.

In his second preface, Dr. Machen expresses encouragement by many affirming interactions with critical Protestant scholars who valued his work, despite their disagreement, as at least a useful “compendium of information.” “The author is encouraged by such recognition, since he believes that truth is furthered by full and open debate” (page vii). This work exemplifies a depth in Evangelical scholarship which is so often dismissed by skeptical and critical scholars, and Dr. Machen “makes bold to think that the scholarly tradition of the Protestant Church is not altogether dead even in our day, and he looks for a glorious revival of it when the narrowness of our metallic age (of modernist liberalism) gives place to a new Renaissance” (page x).

J Gresham Machen

Dr. J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)

About the Author

John Gresham Machen, (born July 28, 1881, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.—died January 1, 1937, Bismarck, North Dakota), was born to a prominent family in Baltimore. Machen studied at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the universities at Marburg and Göttingen. In 1906 he joined the faculty of the Princeton Theological Seminary. He criticized liberal Protestantism as unbiblical and unhistorical in his Christianity and Liberalism (1923), What is Faith? (1925) and struggled to preserve the conservative character of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Machen defended the historical reliability of the Bible in such works as The Origin of Paul’s Religion (1921) and The Virgin Birth of Christ (1930). He left Princeton in 1929, after the school was reorganized and adopted a more accepting attitude toward liberal Protestantism, and he helped found Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. His continued opposition during the 1930’s to liberalism in his denomination’s foreign missions agencies led to the creation of a new organization, The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (1933). The trial, conviction and suspension from the ministry of Independent Board members, including Machen, in 1935 and 1936 provided the rationale for the formation in 1936 of the Presbyterian Church in America, which became the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in 1939. Machen was the principal figure in the founding of the OPC if for no other reason than that the Presbyterian controversy in which he played a crucial role provided the backdrop for the founding of the denomination.

Sources: Britannica, and OPC.org

415 pages
Publisher: Baker Book House; distributed by Westminster Discount Book Service
Publication Date: 1930; Seventh Reprint, 1980
ISBN: 0801058856

April 27, 2015

Lest We Forget: A Personal Reflection on the Formation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Lest We Forget CoverStatus: Available

Description

Robert King Churchill was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada on September 11, 1903. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States during his first year as a student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1936 he graduated from that institution and soon thereafter was one of a group of young men ordained to the gospel ministry by the First General Assembly of the newly formed Presbyterian Church of America (later named the Orthodox Presbyterian Church). He served in that church until the time of his sudden death on September 20, 1980.

Churchill labored as missionary pastor in Berkeley and Sonora, California; Roswell, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas. He pastored Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin from 1948 to 1959. He was always interested in young people and conducted off-campus classes with university students during his years in Berkeley and was also active in working with young people at various camps and conferences. He served on the board of trustees of Westminster Seminary for more than 30 years and represented the seminary for almost two years as field representative.

In heart and life Churchill echoed the cry of the apostle: “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel.” He delighted unceasingly in the “Marvelous grace of our loving Lord—grace that is greater than all our sin.” He was zealous for the whole cousel of God and had to proclaim it. But his awe before the majesty of our sovereign God did not stop at the wonders of redeeming grace: he heard the heavens declare the glory of God and reveled in the display of his handiwork in nature—in ocean, clouds, trees, hills, the green earth and its fruit. He heard the whole creation shouting “Glory!” But most of all he rejoiced in the songs of Zion and loved to lead the people of God in singing his praises.

All praise to God, who reigns above,
The God of all creation,
The God of wonders, power, and love,
The God of our salvation!
Trinity Hymnal

Robert K. ChurchillAbout the Author

Robert K. Churchill was ordained in 1936 at the First General Assembly of what was to become the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. His life spanned more than four decades in the new denomination. As a pastor, missionary, and youth-worker, he was vitally involved in the inner workings of the OPC and a passionate defender of its cause. Thus his reflections on the formation and history of the church are a treasure that we should not soon forget.

Book Details

135 Pages
Soft Cover
Publisher: Committee for the Historian of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Publication Date: 1986 (Third Edition, 1997)

Source: Orthodox Presbyterian Publications

April 4, 2015

For a Testimony: The Story of Bruce F. Hunt Imprisoned for the Gospel of Christ

For-a-testimony-2Status: Available

Refusing to give to another the worship that is due to God alone, the Rev. Bruce F. Hunt was imprisoned in the final two months leading up to Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces occupying Manchuria for his open opposition to the government’s attempt to force emperor-worship on the Korean-speaking Christians among whom he labored. Taken by force from his house in Harbin while his family looked on helplessly, this Orthodox Presbyterian missionary turned down offers of an early release from prison rather than be found missing from the post to which he believed his Lord had sent him.

“Hunt’s love for Christ shines forth on every page. This is not an ordinary book but here is the fascinating account of one who, even in severe trial, was faithful to his Lord. It is a book that all Christians should read, and if non-Christians would read it, they might come to understand the secret of such a life” (E. J. Young).

For A Testimony is Hunt’s account of God’s grace to him during his imprisonment, as he, by that grace, endeavored to remain faithful to the end. Preaching the gospel to his tormenter guards, through the cold of the Manchurian winter and amid the disease, stench, starvation, degradation, and insanity of prison life that broke other prisoners around him, Hunt’s testimony is an encouragement to all who are undergoing trials of their faith.

Source: store.OPC.org

Van Til Bruce and Kathy Hunt

Cornelius Van Til (left), Bruce Hunt (center), Kathy Hunt (right)

About the Author

Fourteen months after Bruce Hunt was born to missionary parents in Korea in 1903, a baby named Katherine was born in the same place to first-generation Korean missionaries in 1904. Twenty-eight years later Bruce and Kathy Hunt were married on [September 27,] 1932.

During the intervening years, Bruce, a senior at Rutgers University, worshipped with his family at the church where Dr. Gresham Machen was stated supply. Challenged by Machen, Bruce went on to Princeton Seminary. In 1928, he was ordained and appointed as missionary to Korea by the Presbyterian Church in the USA. While in Korea, he renewed his acquaintance with Katharine, who was teaching at the same school they attended as children. They married in the gymnasium of that school. During a furlough in 1936, Bruce withdrew from the PCUSA and became a charter member of the OPC.

In 1936, the Hunts returned to Korea under the Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions. Two years later, they became the sixth missionaries of what is now called the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, serving in Japanese-controlled Harbin, Manchukuo (Manchuria). On October 22, 1941, Bruce was arrested and imprisoned for 45 days because he effectively encouraged Koreans in Korea and Manchuria to refuse to bow to the idolatry of worship in a Shinto shrine. He was released briefly but rearrested after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and remained in prison until the summer of 1942. During his imprisonment, funds were cut off from the U.S., leaving Katharine the difficult challenge of providing food and lodging for herself and their five children in enemy territory. The story of his seven months in prison and a concentration camp are told in his book, For a Testimony.

Once released, the Hunts spent the remainder of World War ll in the U.S., where Bruce served as stated supply and as an OP home missionary in California. In 1946, Bruce returned to Korea as a faculty member of the new Korea Theological Seminary while Katherine and the children stayed in the U.S. until they received permission to return two years later. During the Korean War, they again were separated for one and a half years. Until Bruce retired in 1976, they helped to develop the Missionary Training Institute which trains Koreans as foreign missionaries. Bruce received his eternal rest on July 26, 1992 and Kathy on December 8, 1994.

Source: OPC.org/today