In the numerous extant letters from Edward J. Carnell to Gordon H. Clark the address is always the same; when Carnell wrote to Clark his letters were simply addressed, “Dear Doc.” Carnell is a name that should be familiar to many American Evangelicals. He was a graduate of Wheaton College, class of 1939, and later President of Fuller Seminary. But even in reaching such heights he was always the student; Clark, his former Wheaton College philosophy professor, always the Doc. When Carnell published a book of his own and sent a copy to Clark he signed his name on the first page and wrote “To the grand old ‘Doc.’”

Carnell was by no means the only American Evangelical to put Clark in such a place of honor in his mind. While doing research for The Presbyterian Philosopher, The Authorized Biography of Gordon H. Clark I flipped through the pages of many of Dr. Clark’s books in his personal library, now housed at Sangre de Cristo Seminary outside of Westcliffe, Colorado. In one of these books, I found a letter to Clark from Kenneth Kantzer; another name that should be familiar to many American evangelicals. Kenneth Kanzter taught theology here at Wheaton College from 1946 until 1963 and had a long connection also with Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.[1] What is particularly notable in the letter I found—the only one in fact that I’ve found between the two men—is a comment in the postscript where Kantzer writes to Clark:

“As always I enjoyed greatly our short time together at E.T.S. [The Evangelical Theological Society] In a way you are the grand patriarch of us all, but I have never heard of such a young and spritely patriarch as you. On second thought “leader” is much the better word.”

Continued here…