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Outline for
CONTEMPORARIES IN CONTRAST:

A Brief Comparison of the Backgrounds, Theologies and Preaching
of Harry Emerson Fosdick and Clarence Edward Macartney

by Frederick W. Evans, Jr.

Introduction:

This paper will attempt to highlight certain remarkable similarities and notable contrasts between what may well have been the two most influential American preachers of the 1920 - 1950 period, with special emphasis given to the divergent doctrinal views which helped shape their respective preaching methods.

PART I - The Similarities in Background:

1. Born in succeeding years - 1878 [Fosdick], 1879 [Macartney]
2. Brought up in homes of culture;
3. Participated in oratorical and declamation contests;
4. Affected by changing theological climate during college years;
5. Began pastoral ministries almost simultaneously in New Jersey;
6. Introduced new approaches in their first churches.

PART II - The Divergences in Theology:

1. Reacted differently to early doctrinal influences;
2. Chose two distinct schools of theological training;
3. Developed sharply contrasting views of the Bible;
4. Convinced of the relevance of their respective theologies;
5. Sought faithfully to articulate their true convictions;
6. Confronted each other in the Modernist-Fundamentalist Controversy.

PART III - The Dissimilarities in Preaching:

1. Fosdick and 'the Project Method' -

a. Concerned initially with some specific life problem;
b. Brought light of Bible and other wisdom to bear on problem;
c. Led people in cooperative adventure of problem-solving.

2. Macartney and the Biographical Method -

a. Began with Bible character or incident related to life;
b. Drew out the Bible doctrine in terms of life's duties;
c. Closed with Bible exhortation to heart and life-action.

Conclusion:

In their awareness of life-situations both Fosdick and Macartney were men of their times, as in their appeal to the well-springs of human action they were one with the effective preachers of all time. Their different concepts of Biblical authority and sufficiency, however, led them to employ contrasting homiletical methods.




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