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Wed, May 26th - 12:09PM




Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick


I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) was the most prominent liberal Baptist minister of the early 20th Century. He was Pastor at the historic, interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City.

Fosdick became a central figure in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy within American Protestantism in the 1920s and 1930s. On May 21, 1922, he delivered his famous sermon "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?", in which he defended the modernist position. In that sermon, he presented the Bible as a record of the unfolding of God's will, not as the literal Word of God. He saw the history of Christianity as one of development, progress, and gradual change. To the fundamentalists, this was rank apostasy.

Fosdick's sermons won him wide recognition, as did his radio addresses which were nationally broadcast. He authored numerous books, and many of his sermon collections are still in print. He is also the author of the hymn, God of Grace and God of Glory.

Fosdick's book A Guide to Understanding the Bible traces the beliefs of the people who wrote the Bible, from the ancient beliefs of the Hebrews, which he regarded as practically pagan, to the faith and hopes of the New Testament writers.


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