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Charles Hodge: The Pride of Princeton (Hoffecker)

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Charles Hodge (1797–1878) is regarded by many as the most significant American theologian of the nineteenth century. He drove forward the rapid growth of theological education and contributed to Presbyterianism's wide-ranging influence in public life. His advocacy of a Reformed orthodoxy combined with evangelical piety attracted a broad following within Old School Presbyterianism that spilled over into American evangelicalism as a whole. Hodge helped to define a distinctive ministerial model—the pastor-scholar—and his fingerprints can be seen all over the Reformed Christian scene of today.


Table of Contents: 

Part 1: Roots

1. New Side Confessionalist

2. Early Religious Experience

3. From Philadelphia to the College of New Jersey

4. Following the Plan

5. Fledgling Ministry

6. Expanding Vistas

7. Fledgling Professor

Part 2: Broadened Abroad

8. Separation from Family

9. Maintaining Family Connections

10. Student, Conversationalist, Cultural and Ecclesiastical Observer

11. Berlin – The Reigning Center of Nineteenth-Century German Culture

12. A New Model in Theological Education

13. Assessing the Sojourn in Europe

Part 3: Moderate Old School Presbyterian

14. Newfound Confidence

15. A Prodigious Journalistic Venture

16. Old School-New School Rivalry

17. Old School Nurture vs. New School Revivalism

18. Abolitionism vs. Gradual Elimination of Slavery

19. Schism of 1837

20. Revisionist Historian

21. To Publish or Not to Publish

Part 4: Old School Controversialist and Churchman

22. Changes

23. An Evangelical Theology

24. Christian Education

25. Relations with Roman Catholicism

26. Internecine Controversy: Mercersburg

27. Old School North vs. Old School South

28. Subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith

Part 5: interaction with Europe

29. Anglicanism’s Oxford Movement

30. German and American Transcendentalism

31. Revisiting an Old Friend

Part 6: Mature Presbyterian Theologian

32. A Nation and Church Divided and Reunited

33. Reformed among Evangelicals

34. Science under Scrutiny

35. Fifty Years and Counting



W. Andrew Hoffecker (M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Brown University) currently serves as Professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary



“A many-sided theologian demands a many-sided biography, which is exactly what Andrew Hoffecker has provided in this careful, balanced, discerning, and insightful book. Although the volume offers an unusually full treatment of the unusually full life of Charles Hodge, who is universally recognized as one of the leading American theologians of the nineteenth century, Hoffecker also has an argument to make. The argument is that in his long career as the mainstay of Princeton Theological Seminary, Hodge successfully combined a strong commitment to confessional Reformed theology and a winsome practice of humble evangelical piety...Hoffecker’s life of Hodge demonstrates conclusively that any fair reading of Hodge must recognize at least three things: a full and well-rounded life of steadfast Christian devotion, a more- than-capable advocacy of classical Calvinist doctrines such as universal original sin and the substitutionary atonement, and a set of intellectual instincts commonplace among Americans in the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century.” — Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

"Charles Hodge has for too long been victimized by stereotypes. In this fine biography, Andy Hoffecker sets the record straight. Here we meet Hodge the careful Reformed thinker who nurtured a deep piety. This book gives us a winsome portrait of a theologian who still deserves to be taken with utmost seriousness.” — Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Andrew Hoffecker’s biography of Charles Hodge is a wonderfully entertaining and informative read. Hodge is one of the historic giants of Presbyterianism, combining the virtues of scholarship, churchmanship, and a delightful personality. For those who may have read some of his writings but know little of the man and the professional triumphs and personal tragedies he faced, this book will be a great introduction. To those already familiar with Hodge’s life, this book will be welcomed as a twice-told tale that will reinvigorate their interest in the man and his work, and set before them an example to be emulated. Andrew Hoffecker has perhaps done as much as anyone to make Old Princeton attractive to a new generation, and this new work is surely a worthy capstone to his career." — Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia