J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)


A Presbyterian theologian who was a leading figure in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the early twentieth century. Machen was one of the stanchest supporters of Princeton theology at a time when American theology was becoming more modern and liberal. A professor of New Testament at Princeton, Machen left the seminary to found Westminster Theological Seminary in the hopes of preserving conservative, fundamentalist Presbyterianism, expressed most notably in Christianity and Liberalism (1923). After being suspended from ministry because of his support for the Independent Board for Presbyterian Missions, he helped form the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1936.

Louis Berkhof (1873-1957)


A Dutch-American Reformed theologian. Berkhof was born in the Netherlands but moved to the United States as a child. He studied for several years under B. B. Warfield and Geerhardus Vos at Princeton Seminary and was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church. After several years of pastoral experience, he taught biblical studies and systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, later serving there as president until his retirement in 1944. His most influential academic work was Systematic Theology (1938), which drew heavily from Reformed scholasticism; it became a widely accepted and utilized summary of Reformed theology.

Geerhardus Vos (1862-1947)


A Dutch theologian who taught in America, best known for his influence on hermeneutics and biblical theology. Vos was born in the Netherlands, but his family came to America when Vos was nineteen, and his father became pastor of a Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Vos attended the Theologische School (later Calvin Theological Seminary), Princeton Seminary and then did postgraduate work in Germany. He taught at the Theologische School until 1893, when he became professor of biblical theology at Princeton Seminary. While at Princeton, Vos developed his biblical theology, emphasizing how theology develops organically and progressively within the eschatological story of redemption presented in Scripture.

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921)


A Dutch pastor and theologian contributing to the revival of Reformed theology in the Dutch Reformed Church. After pastoring two years in Franeker, Bavinvk taught systematic theology at the Theological Seminary in Kampen and later the Free University of Amsterdam, where he succeeded Abraham Kuyper. His four-volume Reformed Dogmatics was his most influential publication. The work upholds the primacy of Scripture while critically and sympathetically engaging with philosophical and social issues. Despite his disagreements with Kuyper, Bavinck shared Kuyper’s passion for a world-encompassing Christianity and the relevance of theology to all of life.

Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921)


Presbyterian professor of theology at Princeton Seminary and advocate of what is now known as Princeton theology. Warfield served as editor of the Princeton Review and was appointed professor of didactic and polemical theology, succeeding A. A. Hodge. Warfield was a great apologist and focused much of his energy on defending the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. He was a prolific writer, and his works include influential pieces such as Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament and “Inspiration,” an article in the Princeton Review coauthored with A. A. Hodge.

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)


Dutch pastor, theologian and politician associated with the rise of neo-Calvinism in Europe and North America. Kuyper became disillusioned with Dutch liberalism and poured his energy into promoting an alternative by establishing two newspapers, forming the Anti-Revolutionary Party, founding the Free University of Amsterdam and writing hundreds of essays and books. His most famous publication remains Lectures on Calvinism, originally delivered at Princeton in 1898 and articulating a Calvinist perspective on history, religion, politics, science and art, with an emphasis on common grace. Kuyper labored toward his social ideal, even serving for a short time as prime minister, while advocating the separation of church and state.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)


English Baptist preacher, pastor and author. While he never attended seminary and refused to be formally ordained, Spurgeon is still remembered today as the Prince of Preachers. He began preaching as a teenager and was called to his first church in Waterbeach before the age of twenty. He was then called to pastor New Park Street Baptist Church in London, which later became the Metropolitan Tabernacle when the New Park church was outgrown. A staunch Calvinist and supporter of Puritan theology, Spurgeon was decidedly evangelistic in his preaching. He is also remembered for founding a pastor’s college, as well as publishing numerous books and commentaries.