Scholarly 1989 Book Reviews of Gordon H. Clark's Trinity & The Incarnation concluding NESTORIANISM

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Thanks for this document; it is handy to have these reviews and responses in one place. Some of my PRCA friends are quite friendly towards Gordon H. Clark (though not in relation to his Nestorianism), so it was reassuring to see Professors Hanko and Engelsma criticise his heterodoxy.
 

jw

Administrator
I have a high regard for many things from Dr. Clark, this posthumously published work (or the thoughts behind them) not being a part of said regard. But I have a higher regard for the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, as faithful expressions of what the Scriptures teach concerning God (Father, Son, Spirit) and man. There is good reason, perhaps, this was not published initially.
 

Rainee

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a high regard for many things from Dr. Clark, this posthumously published work (or the thoughts behind them) not being a part of said regard. But I have a higher regard for the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, as faithful expressions of what the Scriptures teach concerning God (Father, Son, Spirit) and man.
Tragically, Clark died a Nestorian.

The abundant proof of this are in the seeds of Clark's destruction that can be found in many of his earlier works for those who have eyes to see.

And he left a trail of breadcrumbs throughout all of his works, but most especially those on the Logos, the Imago Dei, and the Trinity.

Gordon H. Clark's "logic" ended in illogic (proving his logic was flawed all along).

It is the Ephesians 2:8-9 "Gift" of "Saving Faith" that is the "Faculty" for apprehending spiritual truth.

Clark deceived himself into thinking the human intellect could ascend to great heights, and he was wrong.

Clark even prided himself, declaring in a statement oft quoted, that he comprehended the "Architecture of God's Mind" (his description).

Gordon H. Clark "Intellectualized and Philosophized" himself into believing in an incarnational construct of his own design yielding a false Christ.

Many who follow Clark have fallen into Nestorianism (some who were near and dear to me). It is heart wrenching to witness. But most of them are as intellectually arrogant as their idol was.

I pray for them, and pray for God to destroy all of Clark's work because it is all infected.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Nestorianism is spreading like wildfire amongst the Reformed everywhere.
I understand the dangers of Nestorianism. However, might this be a little bit of an overstatement to say it is spreading “like wildfire everywhere”? I don’t know a single Nestorian in my Reformed circles. I’ve never even met one. And most people I know have no clue who Gordon Clark is. I’m not denying that it’s out there, nor that it’s dangerous, but is it really this bad?

...this business with Gordon H. Clark...
What “business”? Nobody has advocated Nestorianism here on Puritan Board that I can tell. The only one you seem to be going after here has said over and over that Clark was wrong on this point. I don’t understand how one innocuous statement about the number of questionable quotes from a Clark book has brought all this on.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
I’m no fan of Clark, but these machine-gun anti-Clarkian posts this week feel like a conspiratorial witch hunt. Reminds me of one of the anti-Federal Visionists finding an FV boogeyman under every bed. Seemed for while like any disagreement on anything was evidence of closet-Federal Visionism.

Both Nestorianism and Federal Vision are unreformed and heterodox and need to be confronted when encountered. But we don’t need to go digging under every rock and checking every closet to look for it. Eventually, you start always finding what you are looking for and the only “orthodox” one left is you.
 

Rainee

Puritan Board Freshman
I understand the dangers of Nestorianism. However, might this be a little bit of an overstatement to say it is spreading “like wildfire everywhere”? I don’t know a single Nestorian in my Reformed circles. I’ve never even met one. And most people I know have no clue who Gordon Clark is. I’m not denying that it’s out there, nor that it’s dangerous, but is it really this bad?


What “business”? Nobody has advocated Nestorianism here on Puritan Board that I can tell. The only one you seem to be going after here has said over and over that Clark was wrong on this point. I don’t understand how one innocuous statement about the number of questionable quotes from a Clark book has brought all this on.
There is much I can't say publicly but would be willing to discuss privately. The influences of Nestorianism do exist elsewhere independent of Clark. In fact, it's possible Clark was influenced by some who were the roots of influence in other circles. For example, many follow RC Sproul's teaching that only the "human nature" atoned (teaching specifically the "divine person" could not). Many reformed theologians have considered those teachings of RC Sproul's of nestorian influenced. But currently many followers of Gordon H Clark are being exposed as Nestorians. Most who are Nestorians hide it because they know they would be rejected by true reformed. Sadly, some teachings that have happened in the PB that are publicly available have caused a lot of harm, and some are quoted frequently in debates with followers of Clark. I'm a member of a theological research group and we have been studying this for years. Lord's blessings to you.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
There is much I can't say publicly but would be willing to discuss privately. The influences of Nestorianism do exist elsewhere independent of Clark. In fact, it's possible Clark was influenced by some who were the roots of influence in other circles. For example, many follow RC Sproul's teaching that only the "human nature" atoned (teaching specifically the "divine person" could not). Many reformed theologians have considered those teachings of RC Sproul's of nestorian influenced. But currently many followers of Gordon H Clark are being exposed as Nestorians. Most who are Nestorians hide it because they know they would be rejected by true reformed. Sadly, some teachings that have happened in the PB that are publicly available have caused a lot of harm, and some are quoted frequently in debates with followers of Clark. I'm a member of a theological research group and we have been studying this for years. Lord's blessings to you.
I’m not saying there aren’t Nestorians anywhere. I’m just wondering if it’s as bad as you claim it is. And, unfortunately, I’m just not really moved by such a vague post as this.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The main things Reformed are talking about today:

1) Christic Manhood vs Feminism
2) The SBC
3) Whatever the Gospel Coalition is spouting

If it were spreading like wildfire, shouldn't we at least see it? Yes, I grant that Sproul made a bad statement on about the death of Christ. It's almost certain he didn't get that from Clark.

And while Clark may be popular in the PRCA, there aren't a lot of people in the PRCA. Hardly wildfire.
 

jw

Administrator
A healthy knowledge of and subscription to the Westminster Standards -believing them to be faithful expressions of what the Scriptures teach- is the antidote from erring due to personality following when said personalities are grossly heterodox. A far more concerning wildfire currently is egalitarian wokeness in form of BLM, ANTIFA, and Revoice kind of garbage. This is not excusing anyone's heterodoxy, but it's placing the responsibility of clergy and laypeople alike to have a standard, to uphold said standard, and enforce a discipline according to said standard. Personality cults and devotion to parachurch organizations must raise our eyebrows.
 

mgkortus

Puritan Board Freshman
For the record, as a minister of the PRCA, I can say with confidence that as a denomination we believe, teach, and defend the Creed of Chalcedon, Belgic Confession Article 19, and Lord's Day 18 of the Heidelberg Catechism. We reject Nestorianism as a Christological heresy.
 
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Rainee

Puritan Board Freshman
I’m not saying there aren’t Nestorians anywhere. I’m just wondering if it’s as bad as you claim it is. And, unfortunately, I’m just not really moved by such a vague post as this.
It seems you either misread my statement, or overlooked the reference to R.C. Sproul that I used as an example. Our theological research group is uncovering much influence of Nestorianism throughout the reformed and calvinistic churches. And the example I mentioned to you about R.C. Sproul is a perfect example. Many reformed theologians consider R.C. Sproul's teachings that "Only the Human Nature Atoned (not the divine person)" as a Nestorian influenced position. More and more are adopting this teaching of R.C. Sproul, for example.
 
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Rainee

Puritan Board Freshman
For the record, as a minister of the PRCA, I can say with confidence that as a denomination we believe, teach, and defend the Creed of Chalcedon, Belgic Confession Article 19, and Lord's Day 18 of the Heidelberg Catechism. We reject Nestorianism as a Christological heresy.
We know! But be warned that some of your lay people have fallen prey to Clark's teachings and some have become Nestorian and others are borderline (also in your sister churches). And many of your lay people have been adversely affected by Clark's teachings in other ways too.
Please know that we are fond of the PRCA and you are in our prayers.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
It seems you either misread my statement, or overlooked the reference to R.C. Sproul that I used as an example. Our theological research group is uncovering much influence of Nestorianism throughout the reformed and calvinistic churches. And the example I mentioned to you about R.C. Sproul is a perfect example. Many reformed theologians consider R.C. Sproul's teachings that "Only the Human Nature Atoned (not the divine person)" as a Nestorian influenced position. More and more are adopting this teaching of R.C. Sproul, for example.
I saw your reference to Sproul. The rest of what you’ve said is vague. You are part of a nameless “theological research group” who has allegedly uncovered a host of nameless closet Nestorians in the nameless and general Reformed world, except for the PRCA, a claim which has been explicitly contradicted by a minister in that very denomination. You have made nothing but general assertions, yet given no hard statistical evidence. I’m not sure what kind of “theological research group” you’re a part of, but I would like to see some actual research and not just bare assertions.

We know! But be warned that some of your lay people have fallen prey to Clark's teachings and some have become Nestorian and others are borderline (also in your sister churches). And many of your lay people have been adversely affected by Clark's teachings in other ways too.
Please know that we are fond of the PRCA and you are in our prayers.
How do you know what his particular laypeople believe? This is a remarkably specific accusation against this man’s church. Do you know these people?
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
Has this research group published anything?

I'm also interested in this. Is there an article / study that can be shared with us? As a mathematician, the term "many" is vague and it would be helpful to see it quantified in a study of some sort.
 
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