Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930) (also Adolf Harnack) was born at Dorpat (now Tartu) in Estonia on May 7, 1851. In such seminal works as The History of Dogma (1886–89) and The History of Ancient Christian Literature (1893–1904), Harnack sought to demonstrate that the relevance of Christianity to a modern world lay not in theological dogmatism but in the understanding of the religion as a historical development. He was ennobled (with the addition of von to his name) in 1914. Harnack’s father, Theodosius Harnack, was a professor of pastoral theology at the University of Tartu. Adolf studied at the local University of Tartu (1869–1872) and at the University of Leipzig, where he took his degree; and soon afterwards (1874) began lecturing as a Privatdozent. These lectures, which dealt with such special subjects as Gnosticism and the Apocalypse, attracted considerable attention, and in 1876 he was appointed professor extraordinarius. In the same year he began the publication, in conjunction with Oscar Leopold von Gebhardt and Theodor Zahn, of an edition of the works of the Apostolic Fathers, Patrum apostolicorum opera, a smaller edition of which appeared in 1877. Three years later Harnack was called to Giessen as professor ordinarius of church history. There he collaborated with OL von Gebhardt in Texte und […]
GORDON, ADONIRAM JUDSON (1836–1895) Baptist minister in Boston Born in Hampton, New Hampshire, Gordon was a leading evangelical in the transitional period between nineteenth–century Protestantism and twentieth–century fundamentalism. In the tradition of nineteenth–century evangelicalism he maintained a very active social witness. His church worked extensively among Boston’s poor—white, black, and immigrant—and also campaigned against the misuse of alcohol. As a defender of orthodoxy against modernism, Gordon wrote widely used books on Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the church. He was also a leader in the important prophecy conferences of 1878 and 1886. With other Bible students in the late nineteenth century, Gordon put new emphasis on the literal interpretation of Scripture. He founded the Boston Missionary Training School (later Gordon College and Divinity School). He also helped compile two hymnals and wrote gospel songs, including “My Jesus I Love Thee.” M.A. NOLL M.A. Noll “Gordon, Adoniram Judson,” ed. J.D. Douglas and Philip W. Comfort, Who’s Who in Christian History (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1992), 279.
KUYPER, ABRAHAM (1837-1920) Theologian and statesman of the Netherlands Widely recognized as historian, theologian, philosopher, writer, and professor-educator, Kuyper was born in Maassluis, the son of a State Church (Reformed) pastor, later to accompany his family to the university town of Leyden, where his father accepted a charge. In 1862 Kuyper was awarded the doctor of theology from Leyden University. Having fully embraced orthodox Calvinism, Kuyper held pastorates in Utrecht, Amsterdam, and elsewhere. Prompted by his interest in the legitimacy of private schools, he became affiliated with the Anti-Revolutionary Party (opposition to godless revolution and support for the Word of God and its implications for life), ultimately becoming its head. He edited a weekly, De Heraut (The Herald), “for a free church and a free church school in a free land,” as well as a daily party organ, De Standaard (The Standard). Beginning in 1874, Kuyper served repeatedly as a member of one or the other of the two houses of the Netherlands’ legislature. He continued to champion the recognition of private education (common and higher) by government. On October 20, 1880, through the work of Kuyper and cofounders, the Amsterdam Free University was opened, dedicated to a Calvinistic orientation, a tribute to Kuyper’s persistence in striving for the right of […]