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Melvin Grove Kyle, J. Gresham Machen, and the League of Evangelical Students

Jeff McDonald discusses Melvin Grove Kyle and the growth of the League of Evangelical Students (LES) founded by J. Gresham Machen and Princeton Seminary students in 1925. Both Kyle and Machen were scholarly leaders in the LES and served on the organization’s board together. In his paper on the subject, Dr. McDonald establishes the importance of Melvin Grove Kyle as a leading evangelical scholar and biblical archaeologist. He also explains the origins and growth of the LES and how various Presbyterians influenced the organization and sought to advance a broader evangelical Protestant intellectual life in the difficult period of the 1920s and 1930s.

Dr. McDonald is pastor of Avery Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Nebraska and the author of John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed Evangelicalism in Modern America (Wipf & Stock, 2017).



  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 09:39 Historical Context
  • 11:34 United Presbyterians and Xenia Seminary
  • 20:15 Evangelical Cooperation
  • 26:52 Evangelicals and the Life of the Mind
  • 32:26 Pan-Presbyterian Dissent from Theological Liberalism
  • 39:50 The Enduring Legacy of Melvin Grove Kyle
  • 47:22 Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism
  • 51:09 Additional Projects
  • 52:55 Conclusion

Participants: ,

Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.


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