The Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1945 to 1990

1 hour 7 minutes

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church was formed in 1936 out of the modernist-fundamentalist controversy at a time when figures such as J. Gresham Machen were struggling with liberal influences at Princeton Seminary and the mainline Presbyterian Church. Much has been written on those early years, but a significant gap in the history persisted until recently. For the OPC’s 75th anniversary, the Committee for the Historian has commissioned two books. The first is a collection of essays edited by John R. Muether and Danny E. Olinger titled Confident of Better Things. The second is Between the Times: The Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Transition 1945-1990 written by Darryl. G. Hart. Hart’s book wonderfully chronicles the OPC during the transition beyond the first generation as the young Reformed denomination sought to find its identity in a changing evangelical world. Today Dr. Hart visits Christ the Center to speak about this important period in American Presbyterianism.

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11 Responses to “The Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1945 to 1990”

  1. Richard L. Lindberg says:

    This is a good interview. I’m looking forward to reading Darryl’s book. Listening to the discussion about the benefits of writing the history of the OPC, I am led to wonder when someone will undertake a history of WTS. Mark Karlberg, D. Clair Davis and John Yeo have addressed the history of the seminary in some way or another. Will the seminary let everyone else write its history?

  2. Don Bryant says:

    The one other possible reason that the OPC has so many histories of itself, which I was waiting for someone to mention, is its very dis-ease with its own history. Thriving, growing, and future oriented new movements do not spend a lot of time figuring out how to congratulate themselves so early in the game, so to speak. Of course, there are not a large number of other church movements which spend time congratulating the OPC either. They do not tend to make friends. I certainly have a high regard for Machen and kind who not only began the seminary but also established the new denomination. But the OPC is a classic study in missed opportunities and choosing paths that lead to marginalization. What a shame! I don’t think so much firepower has ever met under one roof. I owe so much to those who were at the root of things. But ecclesiology is one course offering the OPC needs to take again.

    • Sheesh says:

      You’re not exactly extending the olive branch in your post – friendly guy that you are. You’re a broad evangelical who doesn’t agree with Reformed ecclesiology. Why not just say so and leave it at that?

  3. dgh says:

    Who the heck is that dreary looking fellow in the right hand corner of this page? Pass him the Prozac.

  4. Camden Bucey says:

    Maybe I should forward a few frames! Regardless, I’m sure it was something banal I was saying.

  5. Erik Charter says:

    I am a URC church member and have served as an elder in the past. I enjoyed the book and the Hart interview. It is always interesting when you have him on as a guest. Keep up the great work.

  6. Neil Tolsma says:

    Is this available as a podcast? I can’t seem to find it.

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I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve. (Romans 16:17-18)


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