Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21157
Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: John Gerstner and the Renewal of Reformed Evangelicalism in Modern America
Authors: McDonald, Jeffrey Stephen
Supervisor(s): Bebbington, David William
Keywords: Gerstner
History
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: John Gerstner (1914-1996) was a key figure in the renewal of Reformed evangelicalism in America in the second half of the twentieth century. Gerstner’s work as a church historian sought to shape evangelicalism, but also northern mainline Presbyterianism. In order to promote evangelical thought he wrote, taught, lectured, debated and preached widely. In order to achieve his aims he promoted the work of the great colonial theologian Jonathan Edwards. He also defended and endorsed biblical inerrancy and the Old Princeton theology. Gerstner was a critic of theological modernism and had reservations about the theology of Karl Barth—the great Swiss Reformed theologian. Part of Gerstner’s fame was his active participation in mainline Presbyterianism and in so many of the smaller Presbyterian denominations and in the wider evangelical movement. His renewal efforts within the United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (later PCUSA) were largely a failure, but they did contribute to the surprising resurgence of Reformed evangelicalism. Evangelical marginalization in the mainline led Gerstner and other evangelicals to redirect their energy into new evangelical institutions, groups and denominations. Gerstner’s evangelical United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPCNA) background influenced the young scholar and the legacy of the UPCNA’s heritage can be detected in the popular forms of the Reformed evangelical movement that exist today. It is a central theme of this dissertation that Gerstner’s significance, at least partially, can be observed in the number of Reformed evangelical scholars and leaders who studied with him and play leading roles in the movement today.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21157

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