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Pleading for a Reformation Vision: The Life and Selected Writings Of William Childs Robinson (1897-1982) – A Review by Greg Goswell

Author
Category Book Reviews
Date June 25, 2014

Church historian Prof David Calhoun is well known as the author of a significant two-volume history of Princeton Seminary1, 2 and now is the biographer of Dr William Childs Robinson, a man who had a great influence for good in the Southern Presbyterian Church as Lecturer in Historical Theology at Columbia Seminary (1926-67).3

A 126-page biography of this faithful man is provided, which tells the story of how he sought to teach and promote old Calvinism in the face of the progressive drift of his beloved church toward a more liberal theological position. He strove to preserve key Reformation doctrines (notably justification by faith) and he carried on the work of his older college colleague Prof William McPheeters, teaching and arguing for the great certainties of the biblical faith: a sovereign God, an infallible Bible and a divine Saviour. Like his hero, John Calvin, Robinson sought to be captive to the Word of God.

The account of his life is garnished with many reminiscences of his character and ways as fondly remembered by his former students. He was a faithful preacher of the gospel and liked to tell his students what Calvin said: ‘A preacher ought to be much in the third (chapter) of Genesis, the third of John, and the third of Romans.’ That is good advice and worth passing on to a new generation.

Dr Robinson stood for what the Southern Presbyterian Church historically stood for, as did J. Gresham Machen in the North. As a teacher and church leader he never sought to be popular, but only strived to be faithful. What follows the biography is a selection of 23 examples of his writings and these are well worth preserving and pondering. He helped so many, had a lasting influence on his students, and his writings are of perennial value just because he did not move with the times. The tradition and orthodoxy of Old Princeton (pre-1926) is perhaps better known, so this is the ideal book to introduce the personalities and teachings of that Southern bastion of orthodox Christianity, what was called ‘Our Southern Zion’,4 Old Columbia Theological Seminary.

Notes

    • History of Princeton Theological Seminary
         

      Princeton Seminary

      Volume 1: Faith & Learning, 1812 - 1868

      by David Calhoun


      price £16.50
      Avg. Rating

      Description

      Church historian Prof David Calhoun is well known as the author of a significant two-volume history of Princeton Seminary1, 2 and now is the biographer of Dr William Childs Robinson, a man who had a great influence for good in the Southern Presbyterian Church as Lecturer in Historical Theology at Columbia Seminary (1926-67).3 A 126-page […]

    • History of Princeton Theological Seminary
         

      Princeton Seminary

      Volume 2: The Majestic Testimony, 1869 - 1929

      by David Calhoun


      price £16.50

      Description

      Church historian Prof David Calhoun is well known as the author of a significant two-volume history of Princeton Seminary1, 2 and now is the biographer of Dr William Childs Robinson, a man who had a great influence for good in the Southern Presbyterian Church as Lecturer in Historical Theology at Columbia Seminary (1926-67).3 A 126-page […]

    •    

      Pleading for a Reformation Vision

      The Life and Selected Writings of William Childs Robinson

      by David Calhoun


      price From: £9.00
      Avg. Rating

      Description

      Church historian Prof David Calhoun is well known as the author of a significant two-volume history of Princeton Seminary1, 2 and now is the biographer of Dr William Childs Robinson, a man who had a great influence for good in the Southern Presbyterian Church as Lecturer in Historical Theology at Columbia Seminary (1926-67).3 A 126-page […]

    • Our Southern Zion
         

      Our Southern Zion

      Old Columbia Seminary (1828-1927)

      by David Calhoun


      price From: £9.00
      Avg. Rating

      Description

      Church historian Prof David Calhoun is well known as the author of a significant two-volume history of Princeton Seminary1, 2 and now is the biographer of Dr William Childs Robinson, a man who had a great influence for good in the Southern Presbyterian Church as Lecturer in Historical Theology at Columbia Seminary (1926-67).3 A 126-page […]

This review is reprinted, with permission, from the 15 June 2014 edition (page 16) of

New Life, the Australian online Christian newspaper.

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