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Elmer George Homrighausen

By Dana R. Wright


Elmer George Homrighausen, Ph.D., Thomas Synnott Professor of Christian Education, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1938-1954, was one of the first American translators of Karl Barth and a premier initiator of a distinctive crisis theology for the North American context. He developed a critical and confessional theoretical framework for thinking theologically about Christian education that sought to integrate in dynamic terms a progressive understanding of the structure of human experience in relation to a neo-orthodox understanding of divine action, all in the service of the educational practice of congregations. He should be remembered as an important precursor to the current renaissance taking place in practical theology, what Homrighausen called operational theology.


Early Family Background and History: Small Town Ethnic America, 1900-1921

Elmer George Homrighausen was born close to the nation's heartland, in Wheatland, Iowa on April 11, 1900, the son of Henry and Sophia Homrighausen. Raised in this close-knit, strongly ethnic German Reformed community of 600, he experienced a rather strict and solemn but affirming childhood. He knew the benefits and liabilities of growing up with strong sense of place, of ethnic identity, of firmly held values and the responsibilities of neighborliness, and of living continually within the shadow of God's ever-present judgment. Of this religious dimension Homrighausen wrote in 1939: "My boyhood religion was a matter of dread at the thought of God's judgment. Religion was related to things solemn-to death, to heaven and hell. The moral law hung like a sword of Damocles over my defenseless head. God was an all-seeing judge, his church the place to which I had to come, and his minister the spy and vicar of God" ["Calm after the Storm, 477]. But though his boyhood religious experience was "solemn" in relation to the faith of his family, he himself nevertheless exuded an exuberance, joy, and warmth that attended him his whole life. By all accounts he seems to have been almost universally liked throughout his lifetime. By his own account, after almost succumbing to a childhood disease he recovered to "live to the fullest extent of each day the sun rose, in gratitude to God." He believed that his geography, his family heritage, and his upbringing were all instrumental to shaping his intellectual, religious, and vocational development.

The Broadening Impact of College and Seminary: Mission House and the Princeton Year, 1921-1924

Mission House College and Mercersburg Theology: "My youth began the day I started college" ["Calm after the Storm," 477]. Thus did Homrighausen recall the expansive "world" that emerged for him upon his move to Plymouth, Wisconsin to attend Mission House College, now known as Lakeland College, in 1921. This Reformed school, modeled after German institutions, had a history of training ministers and missionaries and later developed into an academic college and seminary in line with the Mercerburg theology and practice. Mercerburg theology addressed and sought to correct the anti-intellectualism of the German pious tradition, and its impact on Mission House had been profound. Homrighausen received a classical education in the best tradition of German idealism complemented by the Mercerburg concern for piety and the formative power of ecclesial practices. He flourished in this stimulating environment, and his ethno-religious convictions became infused with an independence of mind which broadened his horizons, even while they retained their basic hold on his vision of the religious life. Homrighausen began to develop at Mission House what Arnold Lovell, who wrote the major dissertation on his theology of Christian education, called a "mediating" stance. As we shall see, Homrighausen spent his whole life mediating German and American culture, intellectual concerns and piety, orthodox theology and modernity, education and evangelism, deep conviction and expansive open-mindedness, the truth of the Gospel and a sense of the cultural conditioned-ness of all thinking, theological integrity and the realities of everyday living, etc. This mediating sensibility of his would find an immediate test for Homrighausen upon his matriculation at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1923, a school in the throes of the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy.

A Volatile Year at Princeton Theological Seminary: Following two years in seminary at Mission House, Homrighausen came to Princeton Theological Seminary in 1923, where he entered as a new senior with three other young men. He also entered as one of the few married students, having taken Ruth W. Strassburger, a teacher, as his wife on September 17, 1923, only a week before coming to Princeton. At the time of his coming to the seminary, the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy had virtually divided the faculty, trustees, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, as well as the student body. Everyone was choosing sides. Lovell calls this year "pivotal" in the life of Homrighausen, who "indwelt" the conflict deeply and sought a way to bring a sense of coherence to his own developing theological understanding. Homrighausen admitted in a later interview that he tended to lean toward the "Modernist" side after his Princeton experience, noting in particular the impact on his thinking of Shailer Matthews of the University of Chicago, who later was to become one of his teachers. Yet he also noted the impact of the Princeton faculty on his life, praising them for their erudition, honorable commitment, scholarly creativity, and piety. In particular, while at Princeton Homrighausen, under the influence of George Johnson [who represented the "new" progressive theology at Princeton over and against G. Machen, the noted defender of the "old" orthodoxy] began to develop an understanding of the dynamic nature of the human experience of faith as a lived attitude or "stance" developed in relation to the world. He appreciated the intellectual power of this liberal understanding of lived faith as an alternative to the objectified, doctrinaire, and "detached" theological systems the conservatives defended. Significantly, Homrighausen also began to read and discuss Karl Barth with Dr. Johnson during this formative period. Barth became a "primary source" out of which Homrighausen would later fashion his own form of dialectical theology as a way beyond the liberal and fundamentalist impasse.

The Scholar, the Preacher, the Educator, the Evangelist, and the Ecumenical Ambassador Emerge: The Depression, the Crisis of Christ and Culture, and the Rise of World Christianity as the Backdrop of Homrighausen's Theological and Vocational Maturation, 1924-1938

University Years at Dubuque, Chicago, and Butler: The Mediating Scholar Emerges. Homrighausen was both a scholar and a pastor, never one without the other. But scholarship seems to have been his initial passion, for upon his ordination to the ministry of the Reformed Church of the United States in Freeport, Illinois, in 1924, he by his own admission went "reluctantly into a pastorate." He served the English Reformed Church in Freeport, Illinois, from 1924-1929 and Carrollton Avenue United Church in Indianapolis from 1927-1938. But during these pastoral tenures he also continued to pursue his academic interests, entering the Univ. of Dubuque in 1925 as a limited-time resident in 1925. Dubuque allowed Homrighausen great freedom to study at several schools in the Chicago area, a major center of the liberal project in theology which flourished during that time. While at Dubuque, he became aware of the "personalist" school under the teaching of G. W. Fiske, who continued to inspire Homrighausen to consider the field of religious education as a discipline worthy of academic pursuit. However, Fiske prompted his young charge to move into religious education "indirectly" through Church History. Citing the Harvard philosopher George F. Moore, Fiske argued that one must first know what religion one wants to teach before one teaches it. This experience awakened Homrighausen to the truth that no one is religious in general, and therefore that religious educators make a mistake when they define religion in vague, general, or psychological/attitudinal terms ["The Minister and Religious Education," 244f]. This insight would grow to become a fundamental conviction for Homrighausen and guide his later intellectual transition from religious to Christian education.

Yet while still at Dubuque, Homrighausen continued to develop a strong sense of the historical conditioned-ness of all thinking and of the evolutionary nature of historical experience, both personal and social, consistent with liberalism. He took several important courses at the University of Chicago from 1926-1929 with such notable liberals as Shirley Jackson Case, Shailer Matthews, George A. Coe, and others. Homrighausen also continued to develop his strong sense of the dynamic nature of the Church's historical and social existence and, as a corollary, a functional rather than speculative understanding of the nature of doctrine. In fact, he would develop his own version of the "new history" that was being discovered at the time, which focused not on isolated persons and ideas but upon the historical movement of social processes which shaped persons and ideas. In his thesis for Dubuque, he would argue that theological education itself must move to a more dynamic understanding and pedagogy for approaching Church history. Lovell points out that one of the key concerns for doing so was the issue of tolerance. As opposed to "attempting to force all Christians into a straitjacket of a uniformity of belief" which "does violence, not only to human nature, but to basic Christianity itself…we must learn to soften our judgments….." [78]. Homrighausen received a Th.M. from the University of Dubuque on June 5th, 1928.

The Impact of the Chicago School. Under the inspiration of great liberal minds in the Chicago School-S. Matthews, George A. Coe, A. Eustace Haydon, and William Clayton Bower-Homrighausen knew firsthand the fervor and optimism of the halcyon days of the burgeoning Religious Education Movement. He generally accepted the movement's emphasis upon linking the reconstructive dynamic of progressive educational processes to the power of socialization understood in immanent religious terms as the inevitable realization of the Democracy of God. Thus did he describe himself as something of a liberal early during this period. In his own words, this immersion in liberalism meant that his own faith had been:

brought…out of the static realm of legal conservativism and out of the safe and smug realm of intellectualism….the universe was a 'living' thing; human life had eternal qualities; history was God's laboratory; Jesus Christ…was a man full of that divinity of which I, as a human being, was capable; the Kingdom of God was a social possibility which was inevitably emerging through education and the application of the ethics of the gospel; history and life had immanent divine meaning;…the Bible was literature of religious pioneers; the church was the school of the new humanity; religious education was a technique… ; man's highest thoughts were God's life expressing itself through him [Calm After Storm,].

We must appreciate what is being said here in relation to his later development as a practical theologian. Important for our consideration of Elmer Homrighausen as one of the most influential Christian educators of the 20th century is that he never lost his appreciation for the dynamic nature of the progressive approach to religious education which he learned in Chicago. This deep understanding of the nature of human action would later bring depth to his efforts to link human action [education] and divine action [evangelism] in a coherent theoretical position.

The Rising Concern for both Gospel Loyalty and Toleration: Justin Martyr. By the time Homrighausen became immersed in the doctoral program, another transition in his thinking had taken root, brought about in part through the influence of his Doktorfater, Dr. Grieder, as well as the ongoing challenge of being a pastor in a local congregation. Exposed to the deep and rich veins of the Christian tradition and to the need for common people to hear Good News, faithfulness to the Gospel in the ever-changing context of history became the crucial struggle of his life. This concern for kerygmatic integrity put Homrighausen's commitment to liberalism under judgment, just as liberalism had judged static doctrinalism and found it wanting. He sought in the writing of his dissertation to become an apologist for the Christian faith, using his historical understanding of the early years of Christianity to make a "sympathetic" appeal to the contemporary Church infected by individualism, intellectualism, and materialism, etc. [Lovell. 82]. Christian faith testifies to its cultural context, he believed, it does not just converse with that context. It bears witness to modernity and does not just seek alliance with modernity. The Church always bears testimony to culture, even to the point of martyrdom. Lovell describes Homrighausen's "awakening" as follows:

In analysis of these acts of martyrdom, one begins to see the differentiation between loyalty to the empire and to the kingdom of God. Hence, consideration of Justin led Homrighausen to a study of loyalty and commitment, eventuating in clarity regarding the attempts of the empire to force toleration and regulation of the various religious groupings. Homrighausen came to understand the act of martyrdom as an act of obedience and self-emptying, but also as an act that rendered ultimate fidelity to God and the church, and not to the state. The study of Justin, martyrdom, and the issues surrounding these responses of loyalty to the cause of Jesus Christ prompted Homrighausen to comment that "we certainly need in our day, as then, to champion uncompromisingly and intolerantly the significance of Jesus Christ as a sufficient and unique Savior" [Lovell, 85].

On the other hand, Homrighausen also saw in his study of Justin Martyr an openness to truth outside the Christian tradition. He was taken with Justin Martyr's commitment to Hellenistic paideia and to the need to bring this emphasis on culture into relation with the Gospel. Furthermore, Homrighausen's continuing interest in religious education prompted him to address more seriously the relation of Christ to culture, or the relation of Christian conviction to toleration. Therefore, we might say that conviction of heart and toleration of mind were the paradoxical themes surrounding Homrighausen's emergence as a mediating scholar and pastor. Thus, this concern to see a reconciliation between Christ and culture in Justin helped shape his growing conviction that a relationship of evangelism and education must be re-established in religious education, but that it must be established from the side of theology. Homrighausen completed his dissertation and was awarded the Th. D. degree from Dubuque University on June 3rd, 1930. He continued further academic work at Butler University, submitting an abridged version of his dissertation to the faculty there for an M.A. in 1931. He also continued academic pursuits throughout his pastoral career, seeking different ways to relate his academic and pastoral concerns. In addition to his pastoral duties and his own studies, he continued as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Church History in the School of Religion of Butler University until 1938.

Pastoral Years in Illinois and Indiana: The Reconciling Preacher Emerges. As we mentioned, Homrighausen's rise as a scholar took place during his tenure in two pastorates in the Midwest spanning 14 years. This pastoral work became the living arena within which all of the major influences under discussion-Justin Martyr, Barth, the legacy of Mercerburg Theology, history, liberalism and religious education-coalesced against the backdrop of real-life confrontations with the social crises facing segregated America. Arriving at the church of his first call, the First English Reformed Church of Freeport, Illinois, he soon found out that the Ku Klux Klan had infiltrated the church and some of its leadership. Facing this crisis head on, with compassion and conviction, he brought together for prayer and conversation the opposing sides who threatened to split the church. At the same time, he helped initiate community service projects directed against the exploitation and discrimination of the Negro in his community, arguing that "the honor of the church was at stake." After a year the fracture was healed and the church celebrated the healing in a service during which former combatants read letters of repentance to one another in the context of the Lord's Supper. In essence this healing service created a new beginning for the congregation. For Homrighausen, this service was "operational theology" [i.e. practical theology] at its best as persons came together in the context of real conflicts and under the healing power of the sacrament found a new level of faith and hope. The healing power of mediating theology demonstrated here was central to Homrighausen's sacramental understanding of ministry [evident in the Mercerburg Theology of John Nevin with his emphasis on the Real Presence of Christ, the organic nature of the Church, the Lord's Supper as sacramental, the liturgical worship and catechetical instruction of the saints ordered around the Church Year, etc.]. Lovell argues that these characteristics of Mercerburg "form somewhat of a credo for Homrighausen offering a theological rubric that is central to his ongoing work in communicating the Christian faith" [101].

While at Freeport, three additional interrelated influences shaped Homrighausen's theology: [1] The Oxford Movement under the leadership of Frank Buchman, [2] an expanding involvement with community life, both in and outside the church, and [3] his "reckoning" with the Barthians. Regarding the former, Homrighausen's exposure to the Oxford Movement, which began at Princeton in 1923, and his awareness of Dr. Emil Brunner's involvement in the movement, caused him to ask whether or not the church had lost its "religion of the heart" to professionalism and bureaucracy. He was taken with the simple faith of the movement's practitioners, and he took seriously the vision of faith which the movement epitomized, even while he never became an actual follower of Buchman. Concerning the second influence, we have already noted his initial efforts to assist the disadvantaged and the oppressed in his community. This effort was but one instance of his lifelong commitment to the betterment of the local community, to the nurture young people, and to the strengthening of the church-community relation. Most important is the third influence-Homrighausen's "reckoning" with Karl Barth and crisis theology-which blossomed in the context of his call to a second congregation in 1929.

A Denominational Leader and National Theologian Emerges: A Barthian Reckoning. By the time Homrighausen was called to the Carrollton Avenue pastorate in Indianapolis in June of 1929, he was a recognized leader of his denomination. During this time he continued to teach at Butler University and in particular became more heavily invested in the new "crisis" theology emanating out of Germany, reading everything he could find from the German context even before it could be translated. His association during this time with George Richards and Karl Ernst, leading theologians in the German Reformed Church, and his reading of Walter Horton's "God Lets Loose Karl Barth" fed his growing awareness of the power of dialectical theology and its emphasis on a "real theo-logy" of the Word of God in its confrontation with human evil. Now America itself had been saddled with a form of evil, the economic Depression, and its corollary, "the American religious depression" [Robert Handy]. Homrighausen knew first hand the depths of the despair which attended persons whose experience of the inevitable promise and progress of the American dream had evaporated before their eyes. Liberalism in America had nothing to say to these people, and the revival of "realism" in church life and theology became essential. Thus Homrighausen found himself grasping for theological categories that could speak to his congregation's experience of contradiction, and that could expose and overcome the impotence and vacuity of progressive liberalism to give meaning to political and social justice issues shaping their lives. Homrighausen found himself becoming, like Barth in Europe, more orthodox theologically and more liberal and radical politically and socially [he was even being branded a Communist by some of his parishioners during this time].

This theological transition was not academic for Homrighausen. Citing Dennis Voskuil Lovell writes, "The transition from liberalism to neo-orthodoxy in American theology which Voskuil examined was crucial to Homrighausen's own theological pilgrimage and was pivotal in giving shape to his understanding of education and evangelism" [Lovell, 15]. As we noted, a major catalyst for this transition was his contact with Karl Barth and the crisis theologians, who pushed him to engage a deeper level of the question of the relation of Christ to culture. How does one bring together with integrity two apparently incommensurable realities, the Gospel and human knowledge? Homrighausen sought to affirm that revelation in a Barthian sense "is not contradictory to the best knowledge of men found in the philosophies and the religions" [Lovell 87]. His study of Justin had lead him to see in Justin's Christology of the Logos a clue to the integration of human learning and faith, made possible in one's being grasped by the Reality of the Person of Jesus Christ in the midst of real life. In light of this living Reality and our experience of being situated by that Reality, theology for Homrighausen could not be speculation but witness or testimony in the service of and in loyalty to Jesus Christ. As we have noted, this meant for overcoming static doctrinalism as well. The creeds themselves bear historical witness to a living Reality and therefore must be understood in more "functional" terms [i.e. as something like "grammar"] in order to allow for both faithfulness to tradition and diversity in the spirit of Christian unity. Yet this human witness can degenerate into a kind of naturalistic religious consciousness [Schleiermacher] which denies the objective Reality of a transcendent God, something Justin wanted to retain to complement his sense of the divine immanence. For Homrighausen, it was the Barthians who were recovering a vital Hebrew emphasis upon the transcendence of God, a vital "theism" which was not under the control of human processes but which nonetheless valued human beings for their central place in the economy of God.

Christianity in America: A Critique. Against the liberalism of much American Protestantism, the dominant characteristics of neo-orthodoxy in America emphasized [1] the essential commitment of theology to the transcendence of God, [2] the priority of the revelation of the Bible as bearer of the kergyma; [3] the recovery of a realistic anthropology which took sin and evil seriously; [4] the central place of Jesus Christ in the politics of God; and [5] commitment to the central place of the universal Church and its local expression in congregations within the economy of God. These emphases had now taking hold of the imagination of Elmer Homrighausen the pastor-theologian. Indeed, one of his primary targets during this period was "the sterile intellectualism" of so much liberalism. Homrighausen knew that something had to be done in American Protestantism to bring about a revolution in "passion" for Jesus Christ and the Word of God, which he saw so powerfully present in Barth. He now began to write articles commending Barthianism to the American scene, promoted the recovery of the preached Word in the American pulpit. Significantly, he sought and was granted permission from Barth himself to translate some of the Swiss pastor's sermons into English. He played an important role making Barth's early theology accessible to the American theological community, not only by being one of the first translators of Karl Barth's thought and authoring several important articles on Barth, but also by keeping Americans informed of the Church's situation in Germany in the 1930s. Homrighausen believed that doctrine really mattered, and that good theology was central to the Church's very existence in the world.

Homrighausen revealed in a 1972 interview with D. Campbell Wyckoff that he [Homrighausen] was virtually the first person at Princeton to publicly talk about Karl Barth and the importance of his theology. Furthermore, Homrighausen carried on correspondence with Barth and Eduard Thurneysen, and Barth and Homrighausen became lifelong friends [Lovell, 15. n 34]. Thus, the theological challenges which Homrighausen had faced, first with Fundamentalism with its timeless static doctrinal systems and uncritical certitudes and then with liberalism with its emphasis on the relativities of human historical experience leading to uncritical toleration, now deepened through his engagement with crisis theology. Out of the chaos he became persuaded of, and committed to, the effort to "revive theology" in America beyond dead formalism and insipid experientialism. He would understand theology as "a living and critical re-examination of the inner truths of Christianity" [Lovell, 19]. Out of this ferment Homrighausen the pastor wrote his first book Christianity in America: A Crisis [1936]. Largely dependent upon Kierkegaard and "the Barthians," Homrighausen sought a more integrated interplay between theological truth and historical experience to fit with the American context. Written as an attempt to articulate in the American context an indigenous theology of crisis, Homrighausen addressed the book to the parish pastor who, like himself, was "working in the field of the world." He wanted to exercise a "voice crying in the wilderness" giving testimony to the crisis which the Church faced in the modern world. At the center of the book was a desire to articulate an existential epistemology and rationality more suitable to the Church than either the sterile intellectual doctrinaire conservativism of Fundamentalists or the condescending and equally sterile intellectualism of the liberals. He defined existential thinking as follows:

[Existential thinking] means that the whole person enters, is drawn into, the event it seeks to understand. It lets itself be drawn into the moving and forming factors of the deed. It utilizes the high powers of moral imagination, spiritual insight, and repentant, receptive faith. It does not stop with the mere human idea of a thing, not with dogma about it, but is concerned with the thing itself, its reality and its sovereign life. Never does existential thinking seek exhaustively and rationally to control the object of its study. On the contrary, it allows the thing studied to study the observer. Never does existential thinking involve only the human understanding of God; it lets God give a divine understanding of man the thinker. It is not fragmentary thinking, done for the mere amusement of research. The whole man enters into the knowing act with a desperate desire to be researched, or "placed," himself. Christianity is a religion of existential thinking [Crisis, 54f].

Lovell argues that Homrighausen here expresses a Kierkegaardian understanding of reality, one which informed Barth's project as well. Indeed, Homrighausen grounded this work on the theological categories of Barth, to articulate the kind of faith that calls for decision, a life-changing and life-re-constructing decision which ushers in a decisional mode of living faithfully and responsively to what God is doing in the world. In writing this book he emerges from this period as a respected practical theologian ready to make a contribution to the health and well being of larger Church. The notoriety which Homrighausen received from the book proved to be "double-edged" however. On the one hand, he became a major player on the theological horizon. Indeed, Homrighausen was recognized by Voskuil, along with the Niebuhrs, Walter Horton, Wilhelm Pauck, Edwin Lewis, Walter Lowrie, and George Richards, as one of the eight "prominent formulators of American neo-orthodoxy."[Lovell, 14]. What is significant is that Homrighausen accomplished this scholarly rise while in the pastorate. In this sense, Homrighausen's development as a pastor-theologian paralleled that of his "mentor" Karl Barth [see B. McCormack's study of Barth's early development while in the pastorate]. On the other hand, this notoriety almost cost him his position at Princeton Theological Seminary.

The Call to the Thomas Synnott Chair in Christian Education and the Ecumenical Movement, 1938-1954

The Controversy between Religious and Christian Educators: The Educator-Evangelist Emerges. Homrighausen had developed a keen interest in religious education since his college days. He had come to see that religious education theory was a kind of "functional" theology, what he called "operational" theology, a theology of the "living thing" we call faith. But religious education theory needed stronger theological foundations. Not only did Homrighausen seek those stronger foundations, but he was destined to become a central player in the controversy which rocked religious education during the middle decade of the century. "The literature of Homrighausen's corpus dealing with education and evangelism is grounded in this theological ferment" [Lovell, 20]. In what became known as the Shelton Smith-Harrison Elliot controversy over the place of theology in religious education theorizing, there is considerable evidence that Homrighausen, not Smith, was the central player on the side of those educators who would privilege theology as the organizing framework for the discipline. In Elliott's polemic Can Religious Education Be Christian, the bulk of the argument is waged against Homrighausen, not Smith. Warren Benson suggests that Homrighausen played a greater role than Smith, and Lovell in his dissertation agrees with the assessment of Benson.

[Homrighausen] may have played a more important role in the shift from liberalism to neo-orthodoxy than even H. Shelton Smith (of the so-called Harrison Elliott-Shelton Smith debate)…While not attempting to portray Elmer Homrighausen as an Evangelical, it must be noted that he, as a neo-orthodox theologian…..who spent many hours with Karl Barth in Geneva, seemed to have a clearer view of the flaws of both logical neo-orthodoxy and theological liberalism [Mayr, Modern Masters of Religious Education, quoted in Lovell Diss, 10].

In this book Elliot engages Homrighausen's previous point by point response to an article by George Albert Coe defending the religious education movement's emphasis on the social sciences as the key to theory. Homrighausen had responded to Coe in two previous articles "The Minister and Religious Education (1928) and "The Real Problem of Religious Education" (1939). This controversy over the place of theology in religious education continued one of the more important and long-standing problems in the developments of the discipline, and the controversy still reigns supreme as we move into the 21st century [see T. Groome, Christian Religious Education]. As an early combatant in the fray, Homrighausen would soon be given a chance to make Christian education the focus of his vocation. Moreover, he would do so in the Christian education department of Princeton Theological Seminary, a department which languished in disarray, in desperate need of reconstruction. This challenge awaited Homrighausen as he responded to the call to return to Princeton as the Thomas Synnott professor of Christian education in 1938. But before tackling this challenge, another controversy awaited him there.

The Controversy at Princeton and the Thomas Synnott Professor of Christian Education. In 1937 the President of Princeton Seminary John MacKay approached Dr. Elmer G. Homrighausen-both men were attending a conference at Oxford-with an offer to become the Thomas Synnott Professor of Christian Education, and replace Dr. Harold Donnelly, whom McKay had just learned had died suddenly. Homrighausen accepted, and moved through the ratification process, successfully being approved as the Synnott chair Elect by the Board of Trustees on Oct. 12, 1937 pending approval by the General Assembly. But Samuel Craig, the editor of Christian Century and a loyalist of the "old" school Presbyterian apologists, had read Christianity in America and found it wanting on the doctrine of Scripture. Upon his arrival at the seminary in 1938, Homrighausen was surprised to find himself the Thomas W. Synnott Professor of Christian Education un-Elect. He learned that the Presbyterian General Assembly did not endorse him because of his potentially "unorthodox" views on the Bible. Craig had mounted a campaign to stop the ratification process, and when MacKay saw he was losing the vote at the Assembly meeting, he withdrew Homrighausen's name as a political maneuver to buy time. President Mackay urged Homrighausen to stay on despite this lack of endorsement, and he worked successfully for a year to earn the confidence of the assembly on Homrighausen's behalf. Homrighausen was approved that next year as the Thomas W. Synnott Professor of Christian Education, a post he would hold from 1938-1954. In spite of this rather rocky start, Homrighausen would later be eulogized at his memorial service by President McCord as "the most beloved person in the Princeton community of his generation." His tenure as a contributing editor of Theology Today, starting in 1946 and continuing for some 30 years also bears testimony of the respect he maintained with this peers in the academic community of Princeton.

Ecumenical Work in the Context of World Christianity: The Ambassador-Statesman Emerges. Homrighausen's ministry had an international focus, beginning with his growing sensitivity to the German Crisis in the 1920s. His international missions and ecumenical work began in the 1930s when his denomination appointed him as their ambassador to various world conferences. In 1933 he was chosen to attend the World Presbyterian Alliance meeting in Belfast, Ireland. This gave him the opportunity travel to Germany to meet with Karl Barth and to gain first-hand experience of the situation in Germany and of the courage of Barth himself. Out of this exposure to the German situation he became involved with the Friends of Europe movement, an involvement that led to his later contact with Albert Einstein in relief work for Europe after the war. Homrighausen was indeed a leader as well of the efforts to reconstruct the European church life after the war years. Through contacts made during the Belfast conference Homrighausen was elected to participate as a lecturer to the ecumenical Second International Theological Seminar in Geneva in 1935, and to the Universal Council Meeting at Denmark (1937). He was involved in the World Council of Churches meetings at Oxford and Edinburgh in 1937, ultimately serving as the first secretary for Evangelism of the World Council of Churches. But these activities overseas were only the beginning of his service to the Church at home and abroad in missions, evangelism and Christian education. By the time he had arrived at Princeton and established himself there, he was well on his way to becoming one of the Church's premier ambassadors to the world. His involvements to strengthen the Church in America and his place helping to forge a truly ecumenical Church worldwide, are literally quite staggering.

For example, Homrighausen was selected to be one of the preachers for the National Preaching Mission [1936-37] to strengthen the foundations of faith in the United States. He chaired the Department of Evangelism for the Federal Council of Churches from1942-1947. Homrighausen was the only American chosen by the Department of Reconstruction and Interchurch Aid of the World Council of Churches to attend its Geneva conference on Evangelism [Feb. 11-19 1947]. So appreciated were his efforts that he was asked to help organize the Amsterdam Assembly of the World Council of Churches in the Department of Evangelism in 1948 as a secretary and consultant, the Second Assembly at Evanston, Illinois in 1954, and a follow up conference in Nairobi in 1975. He also served as the first secretary for Evangelism of the World Council of Churches and for over fifteen years he was chairman of the Commission on Evangelism of the Federal and National Council of Churches. This last responsibility led to his selection in 1947 to be the chairman of the Federal Council of Church's national evangelistic effort called the United Evangelistic Advance, which he sought to make more than a comprehensive church membership drive. He was also one of three seminary appointments to the Faith and Life Curriculum development committee, chairing the division on matters related to the doctrine of God. He served on divisions of Life and Work and the General Board of the National Council of Churches, Administration and Program Committees of World Council of Christian Education. He served on the Board of Trustees, Hood College, the Board of the International Christian University Foundation, Tokyo, the Ecumenical Conferences of Fano, Oxford, Edinburgh, Mexico City, Toronto, Amsterdam, Evanston (1954). Presbyterian Alliance, Belfast and Geneva, the National Education Association, the National Association of Professors of Practical Theology, the National Conference on Family Relations, and the Department of Evangelism, Commission on Chaplains, Presbyterian Church (United, USA).

Homrighausen traveled the world extensively between 1941 and 1971, and helped the Church in the United States to gain a sense of the grandeur and problems associated with the emergence of a genuine "world Christianity." He engaged in a number of preaching missions in Africa, East and Southeast Asia, the near and the Middle East [1948, 1955, 1958, 1964, 1968] and to South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean [1960, 1965, 1970]. Out of one of his extended missions a text on Christian education was published consisting of his lectures in Indonesia, which went through at least three printings. In 1946 he began his tenure as an editor of Theology Today, developing a regular feature for that periodical called "The Church in the World." Each edition's feature was filled with insightful comments on various aspects of world Christianity. He also wrote elaborate reports on behalf of and to the various agencies that sent him around the world, in which he further commented on God's amazing power in the non-European regions he had seen [Some of these reports are available in the Luce archive]. He served the World Council for Christian Education conferences at Mexico City in 1941, Tokyo in 1958, Belfast in 1962 and Lima in 1971. From 1965 to 1966 Homrighausen was given leave by the seminary to visit each continent in order to extend Princeton's association with, and commitment to, hundreds of international students. He met many of those former students for whom he became their official advisor. Princeton's President asked Homrighausen not only to keep the ties around the world warm and helpful, but also to suggest ways that Church leaders and Princeton might keep in touch and aid one another. So successful was Homrighausen as an ambassador of Christ that it was said, upon his retirement as editor of Theology Today, that "he occupies, we think, a unique place among church journalists, for no one can match his comprehensive and perceptive grasp of church life throughout the world" [XXXI:2 (July 1974): 140]. One also has to think that the matriculation of many students from around the world at Princeton is a legacy of the tireless work of this Christian ambassador.

Later Responsibilities as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Seminary Dean: 1954-1970

Homrighausen's ministry arena seemed to know no boundaries. In 1940-41 he became a professor also in the Biblical Department, teaching the prescribed first year 3-hour course "Introduction to English Bible." In the Christian Education field he introduced at least one new course each year for the next five years including "Parish Evangelism" and a course taught jointly with then Vice-President, Henry Seymour Brown, entitled "The Work of the Pastor." In 1945 he taught also in the Department of History. So gifted was he that Homrighausen is generally believed to be the only person in the history of Princeton Theological Seminary to have taught in all four departments [Lovell, 8.]. In 1951-1952 and 1970-1971 he served as vice moderator of the Presbyterian church.

In 1953 Dr. Homrighausen became Chairman of the Department of Practical Theology, continuing in this office until 1960 when he was succeeded by Dr. Beeners. In 1954 he became the Charles R. Erdman Professor of Pastoral Theology, the first full-time faculty position in this field at Princeton. Upon the death of Dr. Edward Howell Roberts, in 1955, Dr. Homrighausen was appointed Dean of Princeton Seminary, serving in this position until 1965. From then on the number of courses he taught had to be reduced, but he chose to continue with some, developing or continuing courses on "Teaching the Bible," "The Pastoral Work of the Church," "Christian Evangelism" and "The Church and the Family." He chaired the Admissions Committee and by all accounts seem to have had "a sixth sense" in reading between the lines of such varied applications and endorsing many of the references which came from overseas. During this tenure as Dean Homrighausen also had to attend to many of the difficult decisions which confront seminary life, including controversies over tenure and ratification of faculty, experiences about which he knew about first hand. A perusal of the Homrighausen papers in the Luce Library Archives at Princeton Seminary gives one a vivid portrayal of the mediating spirit of Homrighausen in all of the difficult action.

Retirement, Honors, Community Service, Family, and Death: 1970-1982

Though Elmer Homrighausen retired from the faculty in 1970, he did not retire from service to the seminary community. He continued to teach in seminars and in continuing education events, and to preach and to keep up correspondence with graduates, colleagues, and international associates at home and around the world, until his death in 1982. He was particularly remembered as a preacher, delivering sermons which thrilled congregations and challenged them and of which some were remembered point for point for years. Indeed, Homrighausen had earned the imprimatur "a Choreographer of the American Pulpit." In him Phillip Brooks's definition of preaching as "truth through personality" was epitomized. His homiletical abilities continue to be remembered by seminary faculty and staff even to this day.

Homrighausen was honored with the D.D. degree from Union Theological Seminary in Tokyo, Japan and with the L.H.D. from Bucknell University and Ursinus College. He has been lecturer and visiting professor in Occidental and Davidson Colleges, Butler, Dubuque and Villanova Universities and New Brunswick Seminary. He served as honorary professor at Budapest Theological College, and had lectured at the University of Geneva, as well as in other seminaries, colleges and universities and churches in Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Rhodesia, Lebanon, Egypt, Taiwan, Canada, Argentina, France, Thailand, Germany, China, Chile, Scotland, Czech Republic and Mexico. He was a frequent preacher at Hill, Mt. Herman, Blair, Hun and other prep schools and also at several universities and colleges: Princeton, Wellesley, Cornell, Davidson, Macalester, Dickinson, Lehigh, Rutgers, Howard, Union, Bucknell, Lafayette, Douglass, Knoxville, Kalamazoo, Hood, Boston and others.

Homrighausen and Community Service. Homrighausen had bridged relationships to the Princeton, New Jersey community, as well, continuing his community involvement which started at Freeport in the mid 1920s. This clergyman and professor became also a member of the Princeton Board of Education for 22 years. After retirement he was the vital center of much conversation and table vitality at the Nassau Club and the Rotary Club. For years and years his reflections and "course corrections" at table for the Princeton Symposium were often heralded by either the beloved voice saying "What's new," "What's up," or the warning "Wait a minute-Don't forget-." Homrighausen has also received many awards such as the Distinguished Alumnus from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1970, for which a scholarship was set up in his honor, and from Lakeland College in 1976, twice Princeton's own Town Topics "Man of the Month." He was awarded the Huguenot Cross, named Outstanding Educator in 1970, and he was made an honorary citizen of Seoul, Korea. He also served as a member of the Board of Founders of the international Christian University of Tokyo, as a sponsor and member of the Mission to National Parks, as a member of the North American Committee of the World Council of Christian Education, as a member of the board of trustees for Lakeland College, as a member of the International Committee of the YMCA. He was a member of the National Education Association and the Religious Education Association. He was elected to Phi-Kappa Phi, was a member of The Old Guard, a Mason and a Kentucky Colonel.

He is listed in a number of biographical publications, including Who's Who, in America; Who's Who in Education; Who's Who in the East; Religious Leaders in America; Who's Who in Protestant Clergy; World Biography; Dictionary of International Biography; London Blue Book; Who's Who Among Authors and Journalists; Community Leaders of America; International Who's Who in Community Services of the World., Outstanding Educators in America (1970).

Elmer and Ruth Homrighausen raised six children; Richard James, E. Paul, Ruth Karolyn Taylor, David Karl, Mary Elizabeth Candland and John Fredrick. Elmer George Homrighausen died on January 4, 1982 leaving behind his wife, six children and 12 grandchildren.

Excerpts from Memorials and Obituaries

Homrighausen was known seldomly by his first name, and all around the world was called "Homy." It is a lively sign of his warmth and the self-giving reach of his friendship. To call him "Homy" was to link ourselves with a greatness of many dimensions; as we said that name we were pronouncing a synonym for 'Friend' [Hugh Kerr].

With all the wisdom wrapped in kindness and bestowed through spontaneity, people recognized to their profit that Homrighausen's freedom was never casual or clever. This man who visited church sessions for his Presbytery, who was Vice-Moderator of the General Assembly, Chairman of the Commission on Evangelism for the Federal and the National Council of Churches transmitted in worship and elsewhere the dignity and propriety and consequent power of a great tradition. He was never sloppy or bizarre. He was not frozen into that dignity by a rigidity of personality or a lack of imagination. He chose it as his answer to the majesty of God.

Few clergy of his generation have made a greater contribution than Dr. Homrighausen to the life and work of the Christian church in these United States and abroad. He was a highly respected churchman whose gifts equipped him for service in the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, in missionary and evangelistic programs world-wide, and in the United Presbyterian Church where he was twice elected as Vice-Moderator. As an educator he has left an imprint upon the whole Christian education enterprise and gave to evangelism a fresh integrity in the pattern of theological learning. In the town of Princeton he was known as a concerned and responsible citizen through his leadership among community boards and organizations, especially the system of public education. In his later years he provided leadership and proper theological orientation to spiritual formation among lay persons and clergy alike and has left us a legacy of high thinking regarding the disciplines of devotional living. Above all, however, Dr. Homrighausen was a theologian and a preacher and these twin foci were never blurred when he bore witness to his faith in countless pulpits - in universities, schools, and churches - throughout Christendom.

The word "popular" must be used always with caution, yet in its truest sense, "Homey" (as he was affectionately known everywhere) was popular; and he was popular because he was loved and because he himself loved everything St. Paul catalogues in Philippians 4-8: "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report … think on these things."

"The earth is not as happy a place without 'Homy.' Princeton seems underpopulated" [James I McCord, President].

Works cited

Information for this biographical sketch came from the Homrighausen archives at Speer/Luce Library, Princeton Theological Seminary, significant selections from Homrighausen's own writings, selected references to the historical background of neo-orthodoxy, and especially to the dissertation by Arnold Lovell. My thanks to William Harris, Librarian, Christine Deming and Frederick Beste, Special Collections Assistants at Luce, and researcher Jana Wright, for their help.

Contributions to Christian Education

Introduction. From the standpoint of this effort to identify the 100 most influential Christian educators of the twentieth century, Elmer G. Homrighausen stands tall by any measure, but especially if we insist on developing theological criterion by which to make our assessments. If we take Homrighausen's work in Christian education as a whole, we are forced to recognize that here was a practical theologian of considerable prowess who sought to understand divine and human action and the relationship between them, and then to relate both the divine and the human together in the service of the educational mandate of the Gospel. Homrighausen's whole life and ministry can be understood as an effort to search out, discern, and articulate the integrity of the relationality which exists between Christ and culture, a relationality which lies at the heart of the Church's self-understanding and which must undergird her theory and practice of ministry in the world. Homrighausen's fundamental contribution to Christian education may lie in his uncompromising commitment to describe and elaborate the dynamic inner structure of the relationship of Christ to culture in a way that informed the Church's thinking about, and practice of, Christian education in the world and which challenged both liberal and fundamentalist assumptions which had largely distorted, violated, and/or domesticated that inner integrity of relations. On the one hand, Homrighausen discerned the distortions inherent in Fundamentalism's inability to integrate a concern for the "warmth" of personal piety with its rather "cold" concern for doctrinal rectitude and moral uprightness. Without a relational integrity between truth and experience, grounded in the Gospel itself, Fundamentalism communicated its faith commitment as a kind of distorted anti-testimony to the grace and truth unified in Jesus Christ. On the other hand, Homrighausen also discerned the loss of relational integrity intrinsic to Liberalism's over-identification of social progress and character development with the Reign of God, thus removing the inner and indissolubly differentiated-unity structure essential to all true relationality, especially divine to human relationality. Without this dialectical and differentiated unity Liberalism communicated another kind of anti-testimony consistent with one who confuses her own unification of grace and truth with that established through God's action in Jesus Christ. Homrighausen's central concern for Christian education was to restore a proper dialectical integrity to the Church's understanding of the relationship of two incommensurable yet reciprocal agencies, the divine and the human, and thus to provide Christian education [and ultimately all Christian practices] with the conceptual resources to properly guide the practice of congregations seeking to be faithful to the educational mandate of the Gospel. What follows is a brief synopsis of several important features of Homrighausen's project to restore this dynamic relationality to Christian education theory and practice. Homrighausen's grasp of the problematic of Christian education may, we believe, still offer clues for those engaged in the contemporary efforts to redefine and re-conceive the nature and structure of practical theologies of Christian education in relational terms grounded in the Gospel.

First of all, Christian education theory and practice must be situated theologically. Homrighausen was one of the first scholars in this 100 year scholarly conversation to recognize that theological confession must take a privileged role in the inter-relating of Christ to culture, even as culture must retain its own voice in the relationship. That is, he was one of the first serious Christian educators to recognize that the Gospel of Jesus Christ situates the conversation between theology and the human sciences even as the human sciences contribute to and deepen our understanding of the human dimensions of the Gospel. The Gospel bears witness to culture; it does not just enter into conversation with culture. In Homrighausen's language, the relation of evangelism and education is dialectical and reciprocal, but the clue to the relation between them must be derived from the side of evangelism [theology as testimony]. Indeed, if we take evangelism as Homrighausen's theoretical shorthand for divine action and education as his shorthand for human action, evangelism exercises marginal control [Polanyi] over education in the conceptualization and practice of the interrelationship. The priority of evangelism in relation to education is grounded in Homrighausen's acute sense that there is no such thing as "autonomous" humanity. "Religious education, if it would be truly religious, while it must deal primarily with man individually and socially, must not start with autonomous man, but with divine thoughts about man. Divine thought about man is the criterion" ["The Real Problem of Religious Education," 15, emphasis in the text]. Homrighausen sought the Mind of Christ in all of his theoretical and practical reflections, reflections giving evidence that he tried to take both human and divine action seriously.

Homrighausen's conclusions concerning this crucial question of the prior yet reciprocal relation of Christ to culture was hard fought and therefore deeply convictional. He testified that his confessional Reformed faith had been severely tested during his early academic experience. Somewhat in reaction to the excessive strictness of his upbringing and the static "doctrinalism" he had encountered at Princeton in the mid 1920s, Homrighausen had imbibed much of his early understanding of religious education from the liberal synthesis which reigned in academia in the first third-century. Indeed, he never gave up his commitment to the generative insights of liberalism, especially its dynamic understanding of the reconstruction of experience, including religious experience, so necessary to vital faith. But like Karl Barth, Homrighausen had awakened to the ethical impotence and the theological and anthropological naivete of liberalism and the mythos of progressivism. He had come to understand, through his own study of the Christian tradition, through his sensitivity to the crisis arising in Europe following World War I with the rise of fascism, through his interactions with Karl Barth, and finally through his own pastoral experience, "that biblical religion was right-man has no real substance apart from God!" ["Calm After the Storm" 479, emphasis in the text]. The dynamism of human experience so thoroughly analyzed and appreciated by the religious educators had to find its generative source in God not human culture in order for human experience and creativity to become genuinely redemptive. Homrighausen is one of the key players in the development of an American neo-orthodoxy, and its practical theological corollary Christian education. He led some of the early efforts of theologians and Christian educators in the United States to re-establish the priority of theology in the Christ-culture relationship. But he did so without lapsing into a Christ-against-culture imperialism that runs roughshod over the potential and actual contribution of culture to the dialectical relation. And he did so without accommodating to the "modernist impulse" [Hutchison] that conflates Christ and culture in an effort to find relevance for religion. For Homrighausen, the relation of Christ to culture is a true relationship even as Christ is the Living Criterion of that relationship. This relationship governs the way theology and the human sciences should be integrated in the construction of theories of Christian education. Homrighausen's thought is implicitly Chalcedonian [See Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, Theology and Pastoral Care: A New Interdisciplinary Approach, for a clear presentation of the Chalcedonian structure of practical theology].

Second, Christian education requires a dynamic theo-anthropology. Homrighausen developed a dynamic theological anthropology which undergirded his work. In the first place, he understood that the relation of Christ and culture, evangelism to education, implied an anthropology of "openness" which refused to place life under the control of human beings, including Christian educators themselves. Evangelism's priority in its relation with education signifies something intrinsic to the human condition-that human beings are essentially "witnesses" not "masters" who require vivid imaginations to keep open to the future. This concern for an underlying open-structure anthropology emerges early in his career in a statement he wrote concerning the "impossibility" of teaching:

Everyone knows that we cannot teach anything, in the sense of transferring character to another individual. All we can do is illustrate, testify to what we actually know, so that the others may "catch" the experience we are trying to share. The word "teach" is old Anglo Saxon and literally means "to show." A teacher is a "showman." Now whether it is algebra, history, or the arts-of which religion is the queen-their essences are really "caught," discovered-by the mysterious intuitive "plus" capacity which is a remarkable God-given element of the human personality ["The Fine Art of Teaching Religion," 12; see also "Christian Theology and Christian Education"].

This sense of human beings as open to discovery permeates Homrighausen's writings and, more importantly, his life, even when he does not use the language of discovery. While Homrighausen's emphasis on discovery comes short of the later emphasis of Christian educators celebrating the constructive capacities of human agency (in Piaget and his followers), it does anticipate this later development. Perhaps more importantly, it qualifies human constructivism by placing the powers of the human spirit in a responsive relation to the divine initiative. That is, his position suggests less that we "create and compose" the world in autonomy and more that we "suffer divine things" (R. Hutter) in response to the divine initiative. Christian identity and personhood can never be reduced to a kind of native or socialized religiousness or developmental potential constructed on human terms, which the believer now possesses. Neither can it be reduced to an intellectualized assent to finished doctrinal products or to the assured intuitions of human experience. Christian faith is ever "decisional" and "dynamic" and therefore it requires a functional understanding of doctrine and practice (i.e. as means of grace). Christian faith requires the full-throttled participation of the whole person ever attentive to what God is doing in the world. Homrighausen learned from Kierkegaard and from Barth that Christian faith offers nothing for those committed to a lifestyle that "plays it cool" in detached superiority or buries itself in cowardly resignation. We come to know Christ as we are known by Christ and ever respond to Christ. Indeed, Christian identity and personhood is ever given through the Holy Spirit as an evangelical call to full participation in the economy of God.

More explicitly, for Homrighausen, the very nature of human responsiveness to God is cruciform. Redeemed humanity has a kenotic structure to it that is ever in need of being grounded in grace [The Task of Christian Education in a Theological Seminary, 1940]. Here we see a kind of Barthian actualism [Hunsinger, How to Read Karl Barth] and a Lutheran existentialism [Kierkegaard] in Homrighausen's thought which in essence views justification by grace through faith as an ongoing, ever-to-be-appropriated dynamic structure of Christian being-in-relation. Conversion or the awakening of faith is not conceived as an isolated, autonomous experience leading to another "stage" of growth, as in an ordo salutis Rather, the giftedness of faith through the action of the Spirit demands an ongoing response to God's gracious initiative, what Homrighausen called "a decisional mode of being" [Choose Ye This Day] For Homrighausen the choice we exercise initially in conversion [or receive vicariously in infant baptism] as response to God's initiative becomes paradigmatic and generative of the ongoing life of choosing to live in the grace of God [God's initiative is ontologically discontinuous with all our efforts to reorder our lives-we never initiate the relation]. Yet this "decisional orientation" ever in response to God's call is never detached from or disinterested in our living out the full implications of the "demands" of grace in the whole of life [the ongoing continuity of integrating faith with practice]. Evangelism is ever present in relation to education to situate education in the economy of God, while education is ever responsive to the deeper calling of evangelism to elaborate the implications of the relationship.. While he did not develop in sufficient detail the conceptual dimensions of this dynamic, relational-decisional structure of human life responding to the divine initiative as is demanded in the contemporary discussion, his works initiate a trajectory for thinking theologically and interdisciplinarily in a confessional yet critical manner [as, for example, in the Christological and transformation theory of Christian education developed since 1970 by James Loder, The Logic of the Spirit, or the work of Ray Anderson, The Shape of Practical Theology].

Third, the centrality of the Church in the economy of God and in Christian education. Homrighausen also recognized the central place of the Church in God's economy, not only for Christian education but for the integrity of the divine Testimony to the world. Religious education under the impetus of liberal progressivism's emphasis on general religious character-building had vastly undervalued the congregation as the normative context for maturation, this "decisional mode" of being human. Homrighausen, on the other hand, consistent with his conviction that no one is religious "in general," taught that "[Christian] life attaches itself to definite forms of belief and practice" ["The Minister and Religious Education," 236]. This linking together of a "decisional mode" of being human in response to God's initiative, with the nurturing power of the community of faith and practice [which includes the transmission of tradition, belief, and vision] means that for Homrighausen the congregation is a context of "permanent revolutionary praxis" [to use more contemporary jargon to interpret his concern for "constant conversions" ("Evangelism and Christian Nurture" p. 276)]. The "decisional mode" of being human requires a paideia that provokes an ongoing transformative responsiveness, but this paideia cannot be understood in naturalistic or even finally in socio-cultural terms. In relation to the problem of nominalism and infant baptism he wrote:

Christian nurture does not make persons Christians; only God through His Word, Community, and Spirit is able to accomplish this end. Christian nurture, for churches practicing infant baptism is the deliberate employment of legitimate activities in order to bring the growing but perverted and falsely-centered ego into an ever maturing harmony and unity with God's will and purpose in Christ, and to keep it so oriented that it will become what God in creation intends it to be. The ego, to be sure, does not live alone; it lives with other egos. Christian nurture is a community ego-orienting process which aims to set up conditions whereby God may bring about the blessed community. Such orientation comes through repentance and faith; the former implying a turning away from conditions which prevent fellowship with God and others, and the latter a turning towards God's will and grace in total assent. This creates human and divine unity ["Reconstructing Christian Nurture" p. 12]

Homrighausen here attempts to connect faith responsiveness [the "decisional mode of being human"] to the normative symbols, practices, and dogmas of the community which, when communicated through believing persons, with passion, becomes the "means of grace" which gives communal shape to the Spirit's authority working through the Kerygma [Kergyma serves as another example of Homrigausen's theological "shorthand, in this case designating the Living Truth behind all means of grace]. Homrighausen anticipates the current discussion on the vital necessity of public faith and public practice, a discussion which easily degenerates into "mere" socialization without a dynamic relational theo-anthropology and ecclesiology that continually orients life to its source in God.

Fourth, the crucial dimension of realism in Christian education. Homrighausen seeks in his theory of Christian education to give appropriate weight to the structures of evil, to the reality of human sinfulness, and to the nature of the human condition, all of which he understood to reflect the heart of the discontinuity between God and humans out of which the emphasis on evangelism's continued relevance to education is based. There is finally no way to move "from man to God" in the divine economy, so that the community of faith can never rely on socialization or enculturation dynamics, or hermeneutical or educational methods of instruction, nor even the correct administration of sacraments and Christian preaching to bring about Christian existence. "The human act does not generate the divine initiative; it results from that initiative" [Choose Ye This Day, 11]. his concern to give appropriate weight to the doctrine of human sin has been consistently underplayed in the volunteerist, pragmatic, and "frontier-conquering" ethos of American culture. But it played a large part in Homrighausen's theological anthropology, his ecclesiology, and his theory of Christian education, much of which he derived from Kierkegaard and Barth. Yet he appropriated this realism not in a way that obliterated human agency but in a way in which human agency was called to be crucified and resurrected by the power of Grace. This taking both the human condition and divine grace seriously and in their proper proportion gives Homrighausen's whole project a realism that is quite compelling. Furthermore, he was quite articulate in the way different aspects of the human "disconnect" from God manifested themselves. Homrighausen sought to address the problems of excessive naturalism, excessive formalism, excessive volunteerism, excessive social engineering, excessive emotionalism, etc. which plagued both liberal and conservative understandings of religious or Christian education by developing a theory of Christian edudcation with sufficient depth to describe both the realism of revelation and the dynamism of human agency, scientifically understood.

Fifth, a model of pastoral theological existence. Homrighausen initially accomplished his theological integration of Christ and culture while in the pastorate. He is a model of the pastor as practical theologian [he called it "operational" theology] who is not interested in simply being "pastoral," or running programs [administration], or being successful and well-liked. Nor was he a one-dimensional pastor consumed with "saving souls" or "combating injustice." He had an expansive imaginative grasp of the implications of faith in the whole of life. He read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other [Barth]. He had a compassionate and critical pulse on local, regional, national, and global issues. He was able to understand and relate theology to racial injustices in his own congregation and neighborhood, and to understand the nature of American culture both diachronically and synchronically, and therefore to judge its impact on Christian faith. He kept abreast of, and addressed himself to articulate, the fascist conquest of the Church in Germany and to recognize the implications of the European scene on our own. He developed evangelistic, educational, and missionary initiatives on local and national and international levels, and did so with theological depth. And he did all of this while pastoring a congregation. To say it another way, he understood how the pathologies of a culture [individualism, racism, materialism, etc.] show up dressed like Christians on Sunday morning, and he knew the relational dynamics that governed psychological, social, and cultural life and how those dynamics shaped or misshaped congregational life. Homrighausen wrote books and articles of considerable depth while serving as a pastor. Thus, he challenges Christian educators and pastors to come out of their preoccupation with self-preservation and program direction or increasing numbers in order to awaken to our participation in the divine mission to bring redemption and reconciliation to the world, locally, nationally, and globally. Homrighausen is an exemplar of the practice of theological imagination alive to the full dimensions of the Gospel in the world.

Conclusion: A Remembered Voice. In a recent book entitled Remembered Voices: Reclaiming the Legacy of Neo-Orthodoxy," Canadian theologian, Douglas John Hall advocated the recovery of the Neo-Orthodoxy's theological vision for our contemporary situation in North America. Hall argued that this diverse theological "school," misnamed "neo-orthodox" by its detractors, has never been properly understood in North America and has remained under-appreciated for its potential contribution to the vitality of theological discourse today. This movement's emphasis upon [1] divine transcendence,[2] the Scripture as a normative bearer of Kerygmatic witness, [3] Christological concentration, [4] a realistic anthropology that take sin seriously, and [5] the central place of the Church in the divine economy, remains for Hall a kind of signature conceptual framework for a right ordering of divine-human relations. Hall's concern and insights could also be directed, I believe, toward the need for practical theologians and Christian educators to re-examine the potential contribution of "neo-orthodoxy" to practical theological discourse as well. I believe that Elmer Homrighausen's fundamental grasp of the dialectical structure of relationality in terms of these theological convictions, which governed his understanding of the interaction of divine and human agency, points Christian educators in the right direction even today. Certainly Homrighausen's vision and theoretical insights cannot be transferred directly to our very different world. We need to update Homrighausen's largely intuitive style, overcome some vestiges of Christian triumphalism in his writings, update his work to a new audience which particularly addresses women and the marginalized, and bring the basic structure of his thinking under critical yet affirmative scrutiny. And we have to become more sophisticated in the integration of theology and the human sciences than was Homrighausen. But in a field in which transcendence, Christology, revelation, ecclesiology, and the realism of the human condition are more often than not thin, trivialized, and domesticated, compromising a genuine theological understanding of divine-human relationality, religious and Christian educators would do well to remember the voice and reconsider the theological vision of this "neo-orthodox" practical theologian.

Works cited

  • Anderson, R. (2001). The Shape of Practical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
  • Barth, K. (1957). The Word of God and the Word of Man (tr. Douglas Horton) New York: Harper & Row.
  • Hall, D. J. (2000). Remembered Voices: Reclaiming the Legacy of Neo Orthodoxy. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
  • Homrighausen, E.G. (1943). Choose Ye This Day: A Study Of Decision and Commitment in Christian Personality. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
  • _____________. (1936). Christianity in America: A Crisis. New York: Abingdon Press.
  • _____________. (1949). "Christian Theology and Christian Education," Religious Education XLIV: 6 (Nov. Dec. 1949): 353-363.
  • _____________. (1937). Current Trends in Theological Thought. Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education.
  • _____________. "Evangelism and Christian Nurture," The Christian Review VIII:4 (Oct. 1939): 271-278.
  • _____________. "The Fine Art of Teaching Religion," The Christian World LXXX: 22 (1 June 1929).
  • _____________. (1959). I Believe in the Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
  • _____________. (1940). Let the Church be the Church. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press.
  • _____________. "The Minister and Religious Education," Christian Education XI:4 (April 1938): 233-245.
  • _____________. "The Real Problem of Religious Education," Religious Education XXXIV:1 (Jan. March 1939): 10-17.
  • _____________. "Reconstructing Christian Nurture," The Union Review 3:3 (May 1944): 11-14.
  • _____________. "The Salvation of Christian Education," International Journal of Religious Education 15:9 (May 1939).
  • _____________. "The Task of Christian Education in a Theological Seminary," Princeton Seminary Bulletin XXXIV:1 (July 1940): 3-12.
  • _____________. "Theology and Christian Education," Religious Education XLIV (Nov. Dec. 1949): 415-421.
  • _____________. "Wanted: The Recovery of Christian Paideia," Religion in Life XV:1 (Winter 1945-6): 126-136.
  • Hunsinger, Deborah. (1995). Theology and Pastoral Counseling: A New Interdisciplinary Approach. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  • Hutchison, William.(1992). The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Loder, James.(1998). The Logic of the Spirit. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Lovell, Arnold B. ACommunicating the Christian Faith: A Study of the Relationship Between Education and Evangelism in the Work of Elmer G. Homrighausen.@ Ph. D. dissertation, Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, VA. (May) 1995.
  • Wright, Dana R. "Ecclesial Theatrics: Toward a Reconstruction of Evangelical Christian Education Theory as Critical Dogmatic Practical Theology, Part I: The Neo-Barthian Imperative in Postmodern Practical Theology." Ph.D. Dissertation Princeton Theological Seminary, 1999.



  • Elmer G. Homrighausen Papers. Un-catalogued papers, sermons, newspaper articles, and other assorted documents, held by his son, John F. Homrighausen, Princeton, N. J.
  • Elmer G. Homrighausen Papers. Un-catalogued papers and manuscripts collection, Speer Library, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J. Guide compiled by Stephen M. Berry (August 1982)
  • Department of History, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Philadelphia, Pa.


  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. A Bibliography on Practical Theology. 1960-1970. Princeton, 1970.
  • _____________. Attend to Your Reading: Universal Bible Sunday. New York: American Bible Society, 1942.
  • _____________. The Bible and Modern Religions. Richmond: Whittet & Shepperson, 1959.
  • _____________. The Biblical Languages in Theological Education: Theological and Practical Implications. Philadelphia PA: United Presbyterian Council in U.S.A. on Theological Education. 1962.
  • _____________. Bibliography. Princeton, 1970. Published by the Author: revised 1979
  • _____________. Billy Graham and the Protestant Predicament. Chicago: Christian Century Foundation, 1956.
  • _____________. Choose Ye This Day: A Study Of Decision and Commitment in Christian Personality. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1943.
  • _____________. Christianity in America: A Crisis. New York: Abingdon Press, 1936.
  • _____________. The Church in the Present Situation. N/A, 1943.
  • _____________. Current Trends in Theological Thought. Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education, 1937.
  • _____________. Evangelism. Nashville: Tidings, 1970.
  • _____________. Evangelism and Pastoral Psychology. Great Neck NY: Pastoral Psychology Press, 1956.
  • _____________. I Believe in the Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1959.
  • _____________. Let the Church be the Church. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1940.
  • _____________. Memorial Address, J. Christy Wilson, April 23, 1973. Princeton, 1973.
  • _____________. The Finality of Jesus Christ: Robert E. Speer Memorial Lecture. Princeton NJ: Princeton, 1974.
  • _____________. The New Life Movement of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Publisher N/A.
  • _____________. Pendidikan Agama Kristen (Indonesia). Djakarta: Badan Penerbit Kristen, 1957.
  • _____________. Rethinking the Great Commission in an Age of Revolution. Richmond VA: St. Giles Presbyterian Church, 1968.
  • _____________. The Use of the Library in Preparing Students for Parish Ministry. Princeton NJ: Princeton, 1946.

Books Translated by Elmer Homrighausen

  • Barth, Karl, and Thurneysen, Edward. Come Holy Spirit. Translated by George W. Richards, Elmer G. Homrighausen, and Karl J. Ernst. New York: Round Table Press, 1934.
  • Barth, Karl. God's Search for Man. Translated by George W. Richards, Elmer G. Homrighausen, and Karl J. Ernst. New York: Round Table Press, 1935.
  • ___________. God in Action. Translated by Elmer G. Homrighausen and Karl J. Ernst. New York: Round Table Press, 1936.
  • ___________. God in Action. Translated by Elmer G. Homrighausen and Karl J. Ernst. With an Introduction by Elmer G. Homrighausen. New York: Round Table Press, 1963.

Sermons or Articles Translated by Elmer Homrighausen

  • Karl Barth. "There Shall Be Signs." Translated by Elmer G. Homrighausen. Reformed Church Messenger CV:2 (December 1931).

Chapters in Edited Volumes

  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "Barthianism." In Varieties Of American Religion, ed. Charles Samuel Braden. Chicago: Willett, Clark and Company, 1936.
  • _____________. "Bibliography and Comments on Practical Theology." In Theological Education Fund. London (1971 edition).
  • _____________. AEvangelism: Ministry of the Church.@ In Evangelism and Pastoral Psychology: A Series of Studies of the Application of Modern Psychological Principles Toward Effective Evangelism, ed. Simon Doniger. Great Neck, NY: Pastoral Psychology Press (1956): 17-22.
  • _____________. "Evangelism in Such a Time." In The Ecumenical Era in Church and Society: A Symposium in Honor of John A. MacKay , ed. Edward J. Jurji. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1959.
  • _____________. "Introduction." In Karl Barth, God in Action, tr. by Elmer G. Homrighausen and Karl Ernst. New York: Round Table Press, 1963.
  • _____________. "Proclaiming the Good News." In Church Cooperation and Unity in America, A Historical Review: 1900-1970. Association, New York (1970): 138-150.

Brochures and Pamphlets

  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "Attend to Your Reading." New York: American Bible Society, 1942. .
  • _____________. "Current Trends in Theological Thought." Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education, Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 1937.
  • _____________. "The New Life Movement of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 1947-1953.@ 1970.
  • _____________. "Rethinking the Great Commission in an Age of Revolution." The Blanton Belk Lectures, St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, 1968.


  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "The Church in the Present Situation." The Hein Lectures of the American Lutheran Church, 1943.
  • ______________. "Rethinking the Great Commission in an Age of Revolution." The Blanton Belk Lectures, St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, 1968.
  • ______________. "The Finality of Jesus Christ." The Robert E. Speer Memorial Lecture, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton New Jersey, March 13, 1974.

Theses and Dissertations

  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "Some Significant Aspects of the Newer Presentation of History and their Relation to the Task of Church History in Training Ministers in a Modem Theological Seminary." S. T. M. Thesis, University of Dubuque Graduate School of Theology, 1928.
  • _____________. "Some Significant Phases of Justin Martyr in the Development of Early Christianity." M.A. Thesis, Butler University, 1931.
  • _____________. "The Significance of Justin Martyr in the History of Early Christianity, of the Significance of Justin Martyr as a Witness to the State of Christianity in the Middle of the Second Century." S. T. D. Dissertation, University of Dubuque Graduate School of Theology, 1930.


  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "A Call for Witness." The Messenger 17 (April 1945): 14-15.
  • _____________. "After the B. D. What?." Pulpit Digest 51: 381 (January 1971).
  • _____________. "A Man Who Abolished Sunday School!," International Journal of Religious Education XI: 2 (October 1934).
  • _____________. "A Prayer for the General Assembly." The Presbyterian Outlook 29 (April 1968): 3.
  • _____________. "A Step Toward Christian Unity." The Presbyterian Tribune 57:1 (October 1941): 35-36.
  • _____________. "A Young Minister's Counter Revolution." Christian Century 48:1 (18 February 1931): 236-238.
  • _____________. "An Overture on Biblical Preaching." Theology Today X:I (April 1953): 1-11.
  • _____________. "Asian Light on Christian Education." World Christian Education X:4 (4th Quarter, 1955): 99-100.
  • _____________. "Axioms of Evangelism." The Pastor XVII:4 (December 1953): 3-6.
  • _____________. "Barth and the American Theological Scene." Union Seminary Review XLVI:4 (July 1935): 283-301.
  • _____________. "Barth on Hitler's Church Policy." The Christian World 74:45 (11 November 1933): 4-5.
  • _____________. "Barth Resists Hitler." Christian Century 50:2 (26 July 1933): 954-955.
  • _____________. "Barthianism and the Kingdom." Christian Century 48:2 (15 July 1931): 922-925.
  • _____________. "Behind the German Jewish Problem." Reformed Church Messenger CVI:39 (24 August 1933): 9-11.
  • _____________. "Behind the Jewish Problem in Germany." The Christian World LXXXIV:34 (26 August 1933): 2, 14-15.
  • _____________. "Books-And the Book." Reformed Church Messenger CII: 53 (28 November 1929): 8.
  • _____________. "Biblical Foundations of Christian Education." World Christian Education (4th Quarter 1955): 104-106.
  • _____________. "Buchmanism-Liability or Asset." Butler Alumnal Quarterly 21-22 (April 1932-January 1934): 182-189.
  • ______________. "Calm After Storm: Twelfth in the Series How My Mind Has Changed in This Decade." Christian Century 56:1 (12 April 1939): 477-479.
  • ______________. "Can the Protestant Sermon Survive?" Christian Century 49:1 (27 January 1932): 114-116.
  • ______________. "Christian Education: After Ten Years of Ecumenical Thinking." Religion in Life XIX: 2 (Spring 1950): 176-185.
  • ______________. "Christian Theology and Christian Education." Religious Education XLIV: 6 (November-December 1949): 353-363.
  • ______________. "Christianity Meets the Issues." Pageant 1:6 (June 1938): 18.
  • ______________. "Commencement in Gothic." Princeton Seminary Bulletin 111:2 (New Series 1981): 125-133.
  • ______________. "Communicating the Christian Faith." Theology Today 1:4 (January 1945): 487-504.
  • ______________. "Confessions of a Barthian Translator." Reformed Church Messenger CVII:3 (14 December 1933): 13-14.
  • ______________. "Convictions!" The Presbyterian CIX:19 (11 May 1939): 8-9.
  • ______________. "Cooperative Evangelism and the Unity of American Protestantism." Religion in Life, Abingdon (Summer 1970).
  • ______________. "The Ethical Dilemma of German Christians." Christian Century 50:2 (30 August 1933): 1085-1087.
  • ______________. "Evangelism and Christian Nurture." The Christian Review VIII:4 (October 1939): 271-278.
  • ______________. "Evangelism and The Jewish People." International Review of Mission XXXIX:155 (July 1950): 318-329.
  • ______________. "Evangelism and the Modern Mind." The Asbury Seminarian VII:2 (Spring-Summer 1953): 46-62.
  • ______________. "Evangelism and the Presbyterian Reformed Churches." Presbyterian World XIX:2 (June 1949): 71-76.
  • ______________. AEvangelistic Calling." Pastoral Psychology 7:69 (December 1956): 55-57.
  • ______________. "Dr. Homrighausen's View of the Bible." Christianity Today 8 (January 1938): 174-75.
  • ______________. AGeneva Conference on Evangelism." The Presbyterian CXVII:20, (17 May 1947): 13-14.
  • ______________. "Hitler and German Religion." Christian Century 50:1 (29 March 1933): 418-420.
  • ______________. "I Like Karl Barth's Faith." The Christian (3 September 1932): 647-49.
  • ______________. "Is Your Church Catholic?" Monday Morning XI:12 (25 March 1946): 3-4.
  • ______________. "Josef Lukl Hromadka, 1889-1969." Theology Today XXVII: 2 (July 1970): 126-128.
  • ______________. "Making an Accredited Theological Curriculum." Christian Education XXXII:5 (June 1939): 391-399.
  • ______________. "Making Christianity Effective." Church Management XV:7 (April 1939): 360-362, 364.
  • ______________. "My World and My Task." Reformed Church Messenger CVII:44 (27 September 1934): 2, 15.
  • ______________. "One World at a Time." Christian Century LIII:2 (11 November 1936): 1493-1495.
  • ______________. "Oxford Group Movement-Asset or Liability." The Christian World LXXXIV:3 (21 January 1933): 6-7.
  • ______________. "Princeton Theological Seminary and Biblical Studies: Personal Reflections," 1924 (by the author).
  • ______________. "Protestantism and the Bible." Intepretation XIII:3 (July 1959): 316-332.
  • ______________. "Reclaiming Inactive Members." The Pastor 16:10 (June 1953): 5-6.
  • ______________. "Reconstructing Christian Nurture." The Union Review 3:3 (May 1942): 11-14.
  • ______________. "Rediscovering the Reformation." The Chaplain 5:3 (March 1948): 26-32.
  • _______________. "Religious Education Vs. the Church." Christian Century 56:2 (29 November 1939): 1465-1466.
  • _______________. "Sowing Educational Seed in the Fallow Soil of Youth.@ The Christian World LXXVIII:2 (8 January 1927): 20-21.
  • _______________. "The Basis of Christian Evangelism." Watchman Examiner (April 1948): 332-333.
  • _______________. "The Belfast Council." Reformed Church Messenger CVI:35 (27 July 1933): 9.
  • _______________. "The Bible Today." The Presbyterian CVII (24 March 1938): 3, 10-11.
  • _______________. "The Bible Today." The Presbyterian CVIII:12 ( 24 March 1939): 3, 10-11.
  • _______________. "The Christian Education Problem Today." Christianity and Crisis VIII:17 (18 October 1948): 130-132.
  • _______________. "The Churches Look to 1937." Reformed Church Messenger CVIII:46 (10 October 1935): 8-9.
  • _______________. "The Edinburgh Conference." The Messenger 11:35 (30 September 1937): 9-10.
  • ______________. "The Ethical Dilemma of German Christians." Christian Century L:2 (30 August 1933): 1085-7.
  • _______________. "The Finality of Jesus Christ." Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXVII:2 (Spring 1975): 1-21.
  • _______________. "The Fine Art of Teaching Religion," The Christian World LXXX:22 (1 June 1929).
  • _______________. "The Holy Spirit and the Renewal of Witness." Theology and Life VII:I (Spring 1964): 46-57.
  • _______________. "The Importance of the Bible in the Present Crisis-As a Revelation of God." Journal of Bible and Religion 9:1 (February 1943): 16-21.
  • _______________. "The Issues in the German Church Struggle." Reformed Church Messenger CVII:48 (25 October 1934): 8-10.
  • _______________. "The Mark of a Christian." The Christian World LXXX:47 (23 November 1929): 6.
  • _______________. "The Meaning of Barth." The Presbyterian Tribune 51 (26 December 1935): 7-8.
  • _______________. "The Minister and Religious Education." Christian Education 21:4 (April 1938): 233-245.
  • _______________. "The Nature and Necessity of Theology." The Presbyterian Banner 123:29 (14 January 1937): 6-8.
  • _______________. "The New Emphasis in Christian Education." Christendom VII:I (Winter 1942): 81-89.
  • _______________. "The Nub of the German Church Crisis." Christian Century 52:3 (6 February 1935) 174-176.
  • _______________. "The Nub of the Protestant Predicament." Reformed Church Messenger CIV:10 (5 February 1931): 6-7.
  • _______________. "The Oxford Conference on Life and Work." The Messenger II:35 (16 September 1937): 9-11.
  • _______________. "The Oxford Group in Switzerland." Reform Church Messenger CVII:41 (6 September 1934): 2, 16.
  • _______________. "The Problem of Protestant Liberals." The Christian IX:I (1 November 1932): 9-17.
  • _______________. "The Prophetic Message and Social Reconstruction." Reformed Church Messenger CVI:12 (16 February 1933): 10.
  • _______________. "The Real Problem of Religious Education." Religious Education 34:1 (January-March 1939): 10-17.
  • _______________. "The Reason for Evangelism." The Baptist Leader (September 1948): 9-10, 86-87.
  • _______________. "The Salvation of Christian Education." International Journal Of Religious Education XV:9 (May 1939): 12-13, 40.
  • ________________. "The Second Ecumenical Seminar." The Messenger 1:18 (4 June 1936): 7-8.
  • ________________. "The Significance of the Oxford Conference." The Review of Religio Religion 11:2 (January 1938): 175-183.
  • ________________. "The Task of Christian Education in a Theological Seminary." The Princeton Seminary Bulletin 34:1 (July 1940): 3-21.
  • ________________. "The United Evangelistic Advance." Church Management XXVI (October 1949): 46, 48-49, 50, 52.
  • ________________. "The Use of the Library in Preparing Students for the Pastoral Ministry." Princeton Seminary Bulletin XL:l (Summer 1946): 13-17.
  • ________________. "The Younger Churches Today." Theology Today XV: 4 (January 1959): 437-447.
  • ________________. "Theological Schools Viewing the World Task." American Association of Theological Schools Bulletin 14 (July 1940): 100-116.
  • ________________. "Theology and Children." International Journal of Religious Education 33:1 (October 1956): 19-21.
  • ________________. "Theology and Christian Education." Religious Education XLVIII:6 (November- December 1953): 415-421.
  • ________________. "Toward a Pastoral Church." Princeton Seminary Bulletin XLVIII:4 (May 1955): 10-19.
  • ________________. "United Evangelistic Advance." Church Management XXVI:1 (October 1949): 46, 48-50, 52.
  • ________________. "Universal Christ-Parochial Church." The Presbyterian Outlook 153: 7 (15 February 1971).
  • ________________. "Wanted: The Recovery of Christian Paideia." Religion in Life 15:1 (Winter 1945-46): 126-136.
  • ________________. "We Need Sound Theological Knowledge." The Presbyterian Banner 122:36 (5 March 1936): 6-8.
  • ________________. "What I Do Not Like About Barth." The Christian Community 1:3 (21 February 1935): 6-7.
  • ________________. "What is the Witness of Presbyterianism?" The Presbyterian World XXII:4 (December 1953): 152-158.
  • ________________. "What is Wrong With Individualism?" The Presbyterian Tribune 52:22 (22 July 1937): 10-11.
  • ________________. "What of Germany Now?" Christian Century 51:2 (29 August 1934): 1090-1092.
  • ________________. "Why Evangelism?" World Dominion XXVI:6 (November-December 1948): 345-348.
  • ________________. "Without Evangelism." Shepherds IV (January 1950): 1-2.
  • ________________. "Youth and Religion." The Builder I:11 (November 1938): 8-11.
  • ________________. "Youth and the Current Revival." British Weekly, No. 4442 (14 April 1972)
  • ________________. "Youth and the Current Revival." The Presbyterian Outlook (20 December 1971).

Reports as Contributing Editor "The Church in the World" Series for Theology Today, 1946-1973

  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "The Church in the World" (The Social Status of Religious Constituencies; The Church and Germany's New Beginning; Youth, Christ, and the Church; The Church in England Issues Report on Evangelism; The Atomic Bomb and Man's Precarious Position). Vol. II:4 (January 1946): 543-554.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Teaching Christianity Today; Committee of World Council of Churches Meets in Geneva; Fiftieth Anniversary of the World Student Christian Movement; The Roman Catholic Church Becomes More Catholic; Christian Delegation Visits Japanese Christians; Dutch Church Makes "New Beginnings"; The State of Religion in the United States). Vol. III: 1 (April 1946):109-119.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (A British Conference on Evangelism; Religious Instruction in School Buildings Upheld; The Future of the UNIAT Churches; Two Problems in Christian Unity; Ecumenical Training Center; Christianity and Racial Segregation; Spain Still Restricts Religious Liberty). Vol. III: 2 (July 1946): 253-262.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Dutch Church and the Colonial Problem; The Church, Alcoholism, and Temperance Education; The End of the European State Churches?; The Mixed Marriage; Chaplains to Organized Labor). Vol. III: 3 (October 1946): 391-399.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Case of Stepinac; A Total Evangelistic Program; Christianity in Germany; Christianity in Free India; Federal Funds for Church Schools; What is Tolerance?; The Status of the Conscientious Objector; Princeton University Bicentennial). Vol. III:4 (January 1947): 533-545.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Theology and Christian Education; The Una Sancta Movement; Church Union in South India Consummated; The Federal Council Meets in Northwest; New Approaches to Christian Unity; UNESCO and Christianity). Vol. IV:1 (April 1947): 123-133.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Centers of New Life in Europe; The Small Church Problem; Religious Liberty in Italy; Mass Media and Adult Education; Toward a Christian Culture; A Scientist States His Faith in God). Vol. IV:2 (July 1947): 266-276.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Disintegration of Monogamy; Niemoller and Central Europe; Stewardship and Destiny; Trends in Latin America; The Quest of Infant Baptism in Europe; Deeper Issues in the Catholic School Problem; The National Missionary and Missions). Vol. IV:3 (October 1947): 407-418.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Crisis in Morality; Socialism in Europe; Holland and Indonesia; Christianity and Local Democracy; Protestantism and Social Work). Vol. IV:4 (January 1948): 543-552.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Separation of Church and State; The Refugee Problem; "Does the Church Reach the Layman?"; The Meaning of Loyalty; China-Doom or Dawn?; The Church and Civic Reform). Vol. V: 1 (April 1948): 107-117.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (An Ecumenic Shorter Catechism; Christian Publicity; Christianity in the Orient; Shall We Have Confessional Representations in the World Council?"). Vol. V.2 (July 1948): 287-296.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The European Churches and Communism; Community Church's Organize; Americans in Europe; The Church in London; The Church in the Eastern Zone of Germany). Vol. V:3 (October 1948): 415-425.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Church Speaks about the World at Amsterdam; The Church Expresses its Mind; The Church Speaks about the Church; The Church Speaks about its Witness. The Church Speaks about Society; The Church Speaks about the International Status; The Church speaks on Human Rights and Religious Liberty; The Church Speaks on the Refugee Program; The Church Speaks about the Jews; Epilogue). Vol. V:4 (January 1949): 553-567.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" ("God and the American People"; The Supreme Court and the Parochial School; Christianity in China; The Church in Czechoslovkia). Vol. VI: 1 (April 1949): 103-115
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Renewing the Church; French Protestants Seek to Convert Communists; Catholicism and Western Europe; Reformation in Hungary; Evangelsim in the New India; "Sanatoria for Collective Mental Illness"; "Cry the Beloved Country"; Christian University for Japan; Church to Study Economics). Vol. VI: 2 (July 1949): 247-261.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (East, West, and the World Council of Churches; Gambling a Disease?; The North Atlantic Pact; School Issues Still Unsettled; Let the People Know!). Vol. VI:3 (October 1949): 386-396.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Toward a Christian Doctrine of Work; Religion in Our Colleges; The Evangelism of Modern Man in Mass Society; Religion in the United Nations Organization). Vol. VI:4 (January 1950): 541-550.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Co-Operation Versus Paternalism; A Clear Voice of Prophetic Statesmanship; The United Evangelical Advance; Literacy Evangelism; "A Full-Guidance Church"). Vol. VII:1 (April 1950): 103-113.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Organized Baseball, Race Relations, and a Christian Layman; The "Vital Center"; Literature and Society; The Christian Mission and Communism; World Christian Survey; Best Sellers and the Religious Quest; The Taylor Appointment and the Churches). Vol. VII:2 (July 1950): 245-256.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The World Council of Churches and the Korean Issue; Apartheid in South Africa; The Christian Attitude toward Communism; Religious Liberty: A Basic World Issue; Christians in Korea). Vol. VII:3 (October 1950): 386-396.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The University and the Loyalty Oath; Brunner on East and West; New Stage in American Protestantism; Christianity in Africa; "Return to Apostolic Times"; Mass Meetings in Essen). Vol. VII:4 (January 1951): 525-534.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (German Church Discusses Rearmament; New Protestant Newspaper; Religious Freedom in Colombia; China Missions Face New Situation; The Witness of Compassion; The Christian Attitude in the Present Crisis; Christian Youth and Work Camps). Vol. VIII:1 (April 1951): 108-118.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Church Lobbying in Washington; Lay Assembly to Meet in Berlin; The Church and Television; Pentecost: Festival of the Church; The New Home Missions; The Church and Gambling; "The Gravest Problem of Our Time"). Vol. VIII:2 (May 1951): 244-254.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (On "Joining the Human Race"; After Nineteen Hundred Years; Now, It's Higher Education; Swedish Church and Religious Freedom; The Beirut Refugee Conference; Peace and the Churches; Education for Ecumenical Administration). Vol. VIII:3 (October 1951): 390-400.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Festival of the Reformation; A Christian Sociology?; Vatican Embassy Appointment Arouses Protestantism; United Church Men Constituted; France Votes Tax Funds for Catholic Education; The Witness of the Laity; "Christian Action"). Vol. VIII:4 (January 1952): 545-557.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Religion in American Life; The New Foreign Missions; A Mission to the Military; Novel Protestant Missionary Training; Niemoller and the European Problem; New Study in Evangelism; "The Order of the Yoke"). Vol. IX:1 (April 1952): 117-126.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Christian Ministry and the Task of the Church in the World; Christian Ambassador Extraordinary; Laymen in the Church; The Christian Answer to Communism; The Appeal of the Christian Ministry; The Church's "Growing Edge"). Vol. IX (July 1952): 234-247.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Silent Generation; The Case of Dr. T. C. Chao; A Major Court Decision; Revival in Greece; The Modern Migration of Peoples; The Word of God in the Language of Modern Man; Iowa Plan Celebrates Twenty-Fifth Anniversary; Barth Writes Bereczky). Vol. IX:3 (October 1952): 387-399.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Rebuilding Korea; "Christ Calls to Mission and Unity"; India in the Making; Do Liberals Fight Communism?; Student Ambassadors; World Christian Education; A Disciplined Church Membership). Vol. IX:4 (January 1953): 527-537.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Struggle for Freedom; Christian Involvement in Kenya; The Churches and the United Nations; Christianity in East Germany; Central Committee Meets in Asia; Maintaining Relations between Christians Separated by the Iron Curtain). Vol. X:1 (April 1953): 107-117.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Mission to Australia; Problems and Progress in Indonesia; Do Church Members Practice Spiritual Disciplines?; Bishop Sheen, Television, and the Public; Protestantism and the Press; A Christian Fellowship for College Professors). Vol. X:2 (July 1953): 249-258.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Christian in a Communist Society; Church and State in Yugoslavia; Ecumenical Witness through Inter-Church Aid; Fiftieth Anniversary of the Religious Education Association; On Investigating the Clergy). Vol. X:3 (October 1953): 407-417.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (A Decade of "the Church in the World"; Justification by Faith in a Sound Movie; Brunner Goes to Japan; Ministers in Industry; The Kinsey Controversy). Vol. X:4 (January 1954): 533-542.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Evanston Event; Worker-Priests in France; The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren Issues a Message to Protestants of the World; "Technecclesiasticism"). Vol. XI: 1 (April 1954): 96-106.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The H Bomb Explodes; A New Office of Religious Information; Billy Graham in London; Protestantism Outlawed in Colombia). Vol. XI: 2 (July 1954): 277-284.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Church Day in Germany; The School Desegregation Decision; The Problem of Juvenile Delinquency; Foreign Missions in India Today). Vol. XI: 3 (October 1954): 392-400.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Evanston). Vol. XI: 4 (January 1955): 534-549.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Interracial Church Conference in South Africa; Religion in Business; Are We in a Revival of Religion?; First Protestant Radio-Television Center; Mixed Marriages). Vol. XII: 1 (April 1955): 103-112.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Fight for Christian Schools in South Africa; The Espelkamp Synod; The God That Failed; Christian Mission to Nepal; Bingo-And the Churches). Vol. XII: 2 (July 1955): 252-257.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Problems of the Younger Churches; The Church in Indonesia; The Church in Formosa; A First Visit to Korea). Vol. XII: 4 (January 1956): 516-526.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (American Churches Abroad; Christianity in Thailand; Christianity in Japan Today; On Returning to the United States). Vol. XIII:1 (April 1956):93-104.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Churchmen Visit Russia; Christianity and the Arts; "Suburbia"; East German Churches Face Crisis; The Crisis of Desegregation). Vol. XIII: 2 (July 1956): 240-250.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Karl Barth Reaches Seventy; Tenth Anniversary of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs; Cyprus; Youth in East Germany; The Christian in Politics"). Vol. XIII: 3 (October 1956): 407-418.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Actual World and the Biblical World; Automation; Youth and Military Life; Television: Revolutionary Power of Communication; What is a Layman?). Vol. XIII: 4 (January 1957): 535-546.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Tragedy of Hungary; The Church in China; Christian Leaders in Indonesian Politics; Church Censorship in Chicago; Church-State Relations in Sweden). Vol. XIV: 1 (April 1957): 115-124.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Prapat-New Evangelical Term; Threats to Liberty; A Church Speaks on Public Schools; Ghana: Achievement and Promise; Commencemen-International Christian University). Vol. XIV: 2 (July 1957): 263-273.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Church-State Relations in South Africa; Tension between Hinduism and Christianity; The National Council of Churches Defines Evangelism; The World Council Asks Truce on Atomic Tests; Toward Equal Opportunity in Housing; Toward a New World Perspective). Vol. XIV: 3 (October 1957): 409-420.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" ('The Art of Overseasmanship'; The 'Organization Man'; Sputnik: Portent or Promise; Thailand Church becomes Independent; Atlanta Ministers Speak on Racial Integrity; Reconciliation in Kenya; A Study on Religion in American Life). Vol. XIV: 4 (January 1958): 535-545.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (To Make the Ministry Relevant; East German Martyr Church; Message of First All-Africa Church Conference; Roman Catholic Strategy and the Separation Issue). Vol. XV: 1 (April 1958): 122-130.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" ('Population Bomb'; Protestant Witness at World's Fair; Blue Laws and the Open Sunday; Church, State and Marriage; No U.S. Census on Religion in 1960; Three New Churches; Kerala and the Communists). Vol. XV: 2 (July 1958): 255-264.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Overseas Churchmanship Institute; Russia: First Impressions; Cuba's Awakening; Caution on Syncretism; 'Are Congregations Out-of-Date?'). Vol. XVI: 1 (April 1959): 99-107
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Religion and Public Education in a Pluralistic Society; Liberties of Protestants in Latin Countries of Europe; The Challenge of Secularism; Evangelism and the Jews; Christianity and the Leisure Class). Vol. XVI: 2 (July 1959): 255-266.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Mackay Era; East Asia Churches Come of Age; The Calvin Year; Kerala, Communists, and Christians; Barmen-Redivivus). Vol. XVI: 3 (October 1959): 373-383.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Hromadka Reaches Seventy; Charles Van Doren; Symbol of Society; World Refugee Year; The Church Looks at the Family; the Family Looks at the Church). Vol. XVI: 4 (January 1960): 520-529.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Church in Africa's Ferment; Big Church News in 1959; The Civil Liberties Front; The Exploding Population: Control or Feed?; The Confused Role of the Protestant Minister). Vol. XVII: 1 (April 1960): 100-111.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Religion and the Presidency; What Next in South Africa?; 'The Church Dare Not Be Silent'; South Korea's Ordeal; The Christian Conscience and Nuclear Power). Vol. XVII: 2 (July 1960): 223-234.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The End-Or the Beginning; On Finding a National Purpose; Biblical Theology and the Medical Profession; The Person in a Mass Technological Culture; Evangelism and the Attack upon the Churches). Vol. XVII: 3 (Octovber 1960): 375-385.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Brazil-Awakening Giant!; The Congo, 'Missions,' and the Church; Christian Youth Speaks!; Christians and the Japanese-United States Treaty). Vol. XVII: 4 (January 1961): 529-539.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (How Does a Christian Live in a Communist Society?; Towards a Theology of Evangelism; A Journalist Looks at the British Clergy; Epochal Consultation in South Africa; Ceylon Churches Lose Their Schools). Vol. XVIII: 1 (April 1961): 94-104.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Being a Christian in a Wasteful Society; Must We Redefine Church Membership; Spage-Age Sunday; Dr. Fosdick Writes to 'Ted Brown'; Christ and Other Religions-A Growing Issue; What about Theological Education in Africa, Asia and Latin America?). Vol. XVIII: 2 (July 1961): 201-212.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Another Look at Cuba; The Plateau of Self-Critical Protestantism; Abraham Lincoln's Philosophy of History in Our Time; Biblical Faith and Culture Religion; Unity and Mission). Vol. XVIII: 3 (October 1961): 348-358.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Reflections on the New Delhi by a Non-Attendant; Is Christianity a Faith for One World?; Belief in God and American Culture). Vol. XIX: 1 (April 1962): 98-107.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Barth Visits the United States; Let Church Be Church-And Be State; The Crisis in the Korean Church; Welfare in an Industrial Society). Vol. XIX: 2 (July 1962):259-266.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (To Pray or Not to Pray-In Public Schools; 'The Wall'; Presbyterians Stirred by Church-State Report; The Alternative Before the Asian Churches; Global Television-To What Purpose?). Vol. XIX: 3 (October 1962): 412-421.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Eyes on Latin America; African Nationalism and the Christian Faith; The Roman Catholic Church Faces the World; Religion in American Life). Vol. XX: 1 (April 1963): 95-103.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (African Conference of Churches; Youth in a 'Normless' Time; Action-Reconciliation; The Productive Machine and the Unemployed Man; The Encyclical on Peace). Vol. XX: 2 (July 1963): 266-273.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Bible Reading, Prayer, Public Education; Sudan and Religious Liberty; NCC on Crucial Issues; Church and World Mission; The 'New' Sexual Morality). Vol. XXI: 1 (April 1964): 95-104.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Report from the Phillipines). Vol. XXI: 3 (October 1964): 352-356.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" ( Professor of Atheism; New Religions in Japan; The Rise of Conservativism; Mississippi Baptists Denounce Racial Violence). Vol. XXI: 4 (January 1965):491-497.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Maryland Case: State Aid for 'Church-Related Colleges'; Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Latin America; The Christian Approach to Leisure; Christianity and the New Africa in Dialogue). Vol. XXII: 1 (April 1965): 111-118.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The World, the Church and Theological Education; Meeting the New Barbarism; Teaching Religion in Public Education; The City-God's Gift or Man's Enemy?; Selma-Act and Symbol). Vol. XXII: 2 (July 1965): 265-274.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Religious Liberty in Spain; Evangelizing West Africa Today; A Shortage of Ministers? Can an Old Church Be Born Again?; Burma Nationalizes Schools). Vol. XXII: 3 (October 1965): 420-431.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (A Look Around Latin America; The 'Revolutionary Reality'; The Roman Catholic Church; Latin American Protestantism). Vol. XXIII: 1 (April 1966): 129-138.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Evangelism; Education; Social Involvement; Leadership; ). Vol. XXIII: 2 (July 1966): 264-270.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Fight against Poverty; The Church in a Pluralistic World). Vol. XXIII: 3 (October 1966): 428-434.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Crisis in the Churches of South Africa; The University: New Sanctuary?; The Christian-Communist Dialogue; Christians in the Republic of China). Vol. XXIV: 1 (April 1967): 64-74.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Let the Church Be the Church-After Thirty Years; Conversions in Indonesia; Hungarian Quadricentennial; Christianity and the Israeli-Arab World). Vol. XXIV: 3 (October 1967): 366-378.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Church and Its Mission to the Nation in Distress; A Unique Catholic Study Center; The Church and the Science of Man; Should Church Property Be Taxed?; Cuban Churches Face Revolutionary Situation; Grass Roots Ecumenicity). Vol. XXV: 1 (April 1968): 88-99.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The Church and the Urban-Racial Crisis; Church Growth and the Christian Mission; Middle East Churches Face Watershed; The Third Christian World). Vol. XXV: 2 (July 1968): 336-345.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World, 1944-1969" (The Church in the World of 1944; The Changing World Situation; Interchurch Relationships; The Church in Mission; Critical Issues). Vol. XXV: 4 (January 1969): 462-473.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Czechs Face a New Situation; Catholic Ferment in Latin America; A Memorable Experience with Barth; Black Consciousness; The Biafran Tragedy). Vol. XXVI: 2 (July 1969): 172-184.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" ('The Black Manifesto': What Does It Say to Church and Synagogue?; 'Can the World Be Saved?'; Church Membership Statistics and Religious Commitment; Genetics: Man's New Frontier; The Church and the Crisis in Higher Education). Vol. XXVI: 3 (October 1969): 312-322.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Pentecostalism in the Third World; Religious Conflict in Ulster; Christianity in China; Christianity in China-Past, Present and Future; Spanish Protestantism Faces New Century). XXVI: 4 (January 1970): 455-465.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Development: The New Ecumenical Emphasis; An Old Church in a New Order; The General Education of Christians; The Local Church-Death and Resurrection;.And Now-Woman Power). XXVII: 2 (July 1970): 195-206.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (New Issues for the World Council; Economic Recession and the Church's Agenda; African Christianity and the Future; The Churches and Latin America; The Churches in the Caribbean; The Burmese Church Weathers Revolution; New Zealand's Nation-Wide Discussion). XXVIII: 2 (July 1971): 197-215.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (What's Ahead in the 1970s?; WCC on Racism and Violence). XXVIII: 4 (January 1972): 477-485.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (A Taiwan Church Speaks; Churches and Financial Investments; French Protestants and 'the Powers'; The Church in the South Pacific; The Church in Spain; The Church and the Madagascar Revolt). Vol. XXIX: 2 (July 1972): 179-189.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (The American Dream and the Church; North and South Korean Breakthrough; The Church as Sudan Peacemaker; The Crisis of Missions). Vol. XXIX: 4 (January 1973): 409-419.
  • ____________. "The Church in the World" (Church-State Clash in Korea; Religious Revival in Russia; Crisis of Churches in Latin America; And Now-In Conclusion). Vol. XXX: 4 (January 1973): 140-151.

Dictionary or Encyclopedia Articles

  • Cully, Kendig Brubaker, ed. The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Education. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1963. S. V. "Decision," by Elmer G Homrighausen.
  • Colliers Encyclopedia (found Homrighausen's name in the list of contributors but was unable to locate his contribution)
  • Encyclopedia Americana (found Homrighausen's name in the list of contributors but was unable to locate his contribution)
  • Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (unable to locate)
  • Interpretation Eirchenblatt (unable to locate)
  • Interpreter's Bible Vol. XII, James, Peter, John, Jude, Revlelation. "Exposition" sections for 1st & 2nd Peter and Jude, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1957 [1987]: 75-206; 315-343.
  • Sermons by the Sea, "Justification by Faith," New York: Abingdon, 1938: 56-71
  • Theological Education Fund "Bibliography and Comments on Practical Theology." London (1971 edition).
  • World Christian Handbook (1952 ed.). "Trends in World Evangelization," eds. E.J. Bingle & K.G. Grubb, London: World Dominion Press, 1952: 32-49.

Book Reviews

  • H. Richard Niebuhr. Christianity in America: A Crisis in the Christian Century LIV: 1 (6 January 1937): 19-20.
  • E. Brunner. The Divine-Human Encounter. Theology Today 1:1 (April 1944): 135-137.
  • Lewis Sherrill. The Rise of Christian Education . Theology Today 1:4 (January 1945): 559-561.
  • Wm. Bower. Church and State in Education. Theology Today 1:4 (January 1945): 565-567.
  • J. Paul Williams. The New Education and Religion. Theology Today III:1 (April 1946): 138-140.
  • C.W. Dugmore, ed. The Interpretation of the Bible. Theology Today III:3 (October 1946): 413-515.
  • Adolf Keller. Amerikanisches Christentum-Heute. Theology Today III:4 (January 1947): 560-562.
  • Committee on Religion and Education of the American Council on Education. Religion and the Public Schools: The Relation of Religion to Public Education-The Basic Principles. Theology Today IV:4 (January 1948): 578-580.
  • A Report on Laymen's Institutes and Groups. Theology Today V:4 (January 1949): 579f.
  • David E. Roberts. Psychotherapy and a Christian View of Man. Theology Today VIII: 3 (October 1951): 422-424.
  • Gordon Allport. The Individual and His Religion. Theology Today IX:1 (April 1952): 141-143.
  • George Buttrick. Faith and Education. Theology Today IX:3 (October 1952): 415-517.
  • W. R. Forrester. Christian Vocation. Theology Today X:3 (October 1953): 439-441.
  • George Warren. History of Theological Seminary of the Evangelical and Reformed Church at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Theology Today XI:3 (October 1954): 408-411.
  • Bernard Meland. Faith and Culture. Theology Today XII: 3 (October 1955): 391-392.
  • Hendrik Kraemer. The Communication of the Christian Faith. Theology Today XIV: 4 (January 1958): 553-555.
  • Anthony T. Padovano. American Culture and the Quest for Christ. The Presbyterian Outlook: (1971): 309.
  • R. Stark & C.H. Glock. American Piety: The Nature of Religious Commitment. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 1 (March 1971).
  • Michael Green. Evangelism in the Early Church. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 1 (March 1971).
  • Jacques Ellul. Prayer and Modern Man. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 1 (March 1971).
  • James Smart. The Strange Silence of the Bible in the Church. A Study in Hermeneutics. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 1 (March 1971).
  • Julian Charley. Fifty Key Words: The Bible. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 2 (July 1971).
  • J. M. Gustafson. The Church as Moral Decision-Maker. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 2 (July 1971).
  • Emile Caillet. Alone at High Noon. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXIV: 2 (July 1971).

Audio Tapes

  • (These tapes of Dr. Homrighausen's lectures and sermons and dialogues, including his Erdman Chair in Pastoral Theology inaugural address, are available through the Media Services department of Princeton Theological Seminary).
  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. "Toward a Pastoral Church," Feb. 1, 1955, Inaugural Address (#2788).
  • ____________. "Hosea: A Study in the Love of God," March 4, 1955, University of the Air-WFIL-TV (#2789).
  • ____________. "The Secret Action of God: Isaiah 45:5," January 18, 1959 (#2790).
  • ____________. "Varieties of Church Vocations," April 30, 1960, Church Vocations Conference (#2791)
  • ____________. "Walls: Romans 8 and Ephesians 2," July 17, 1962, Institute of Theology (#2792)
  • ____________. "Sin" [with Seward Hiltner], October 13, 1964 (#2793).
  • ____________. Opening Chapel Service-Matthew 25, April 3, 1965, Princeton Evangelistic Fellowship Conference (#2794).
  • ____________. Evangelism Conference, New Jersey Synod, September 9, 1965 (#2795).
  • ____________. "What is Christianity?" Isa. 42:1-9; 2 Cor. 5:14-16, March 5, 1967, Vocations Conference (#2796).
  • ____________. "The Great Commission Reconsidered: The Condition," July 10, 1967, Inst. of Theol. (#2797).
  • ____________. "The Great Commission Reconsidered: The Compulsion," July 11, 1967, Inst of Theol. (#2798).
  • ____________. "The Great Commission Reconsidered: The Concept," July 12, 1967, Inst. of Theol. (#2799).
  • ____________. "The Great Commission Reconsidered: Conduct," July 13, 1967, Inst. of Theol. (#2800).
  • ____________. "Disaster or a Human Community," May 31, 1970, Baccalaureate (#2801).
  • ____________. "The Personal Emergency," July 5, 1970, Inst. of Theol. (#2802).
  • ____________. "The Stringency of the Christian Faith," Matt. 16:13-26, March 19, 1971 (#2803).
  • ____________. Chapel service-Acts 26:1-29 (#2804).
  • ____________. Memorial Service for J. Christy Wilson, April 23, 1973 (#2805).
  • ____________. "The Finality of Jesus Christ," Robert E. Speer Lecture, March 13, 1974 (#2806).
  • ____________. Communion Service, Presbyterian Charismatic Conference, April 19, 1980 (#2807).
  • ____________. Alumni/ae awards with James McCord & D. Hugh Jones, Alumni/ae reunion, June 2, 1980 (#2808).
  • ____________. "Commencement in Gothic 1980," Commencement, June 30, 1980 (#2809).

Interviews of Elmer G. Homrighausen

  • Homrighausen, Elmer G. Interviewed by D. Campbell Wyckoff, 18 March 1976, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.

Assorted Unpublished Addresses

  • Elmer G. Homrighausen. "America's Educational Credo." Address to the National Educational Association, on the Centennial of the N.E.A. Princeton, NJ (n.d.).
  • ______________. "And Now Abideth-Faith." World Sunday School Convention address, Mexico City (1941).
  • ______________. "The Biblical Basis of the Ecumenical Movement." Address to Methodist Ministers, Philadelphia PA (circa 1950).
  • ______________. "Christian Education and Architecture. Butler University (n.d.).
  • ______________. "The Contribution of the Federal Council of Churches to Evangelism." Inauguration of the National Council of Churches. Cleveland OH (circa 1950).
  • ______________. "The Dimensions of the Christian College. Address on the 50th Anniversary of Hood College (n.d.).
  • ______________. "Ethical Issues and Christian Education. National Council of Churches, Seoul, Korea (n.d.).
  • ______________. "Evangelism and the Post-War World." Address to denominational secretaries of evangelism, New York (December 20, 1943).
  • ______________. "The Hugenot Witness of Our Time." Address in honor of his receiving the Hugenot Cross, Valley Forge Academy, Valley Forge PA (n.d.).
  • ______________. "I Believe in the Church." The Sunday Evening Club, Chicago IL (n.d.).
  • ______________. "Ivan Illich and Deschooling Society." Princeton Symposium, Princeton Theological Seminary (n.d.).
  • ______________. "The Relation of Church and State." Address to the Synod of Tennessee, PCUSA (1966).
  • ______________. "Religion or Religions?: The Relevance of the Question of the Whole Curriculum." Address to the Preparatory School Convention, NY (n.d.).
  • ______________. "The Role of Lutheranism in American Christianity." Address to Lutheran ministers, New Jersey (n.d.).
  • ______________. "Tillich and the Protestant Era." Princeton Symposium, Princeton Theological Seminary (n.d.).
  • ______________. "What Should Be the Relation of the Content to the Practical Course in a Theological Seminary?" Faculty seminar, Princeton Theological Seminary (circa 1949).
  • ______________. "Why Am I Teaching in a Church-Related Seminary?" Paper delivered for the Council on Theological Education, UPCUSA (n.d.).

Unpublished Manuscripts

  • Elmer G. Homrighausen. Effective Projects in Evangelism in North and South America. (n.d.).

Dissertations on Elmer G. Homrighausen (in whole or in part)

  • Lovell, Arnold B. ACommunicating the Christian Faith: A Study of the Relationship Between Education and Evangelism in the Work of Elmer G. Homrighausen.@ Ph. D. dissertation, Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, VA. (May) 1995.
  • Voskuil, Dennis N. "From Liberalism to Neo-Orthodoxy: The History of a Theological Transition, 1925-1935." Ph. D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1974).
  • Willey. Robert J. AElmer G. Homrighausen: Neo-Orthodox Religious Educator.@ Ed. D. dissertation, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1986.

Reviews of Homrighausen books

  • Craig, Samual G. Review of Christianity in America: A Crisis, by E.G. Homrighausen. Christianity Today 8 (July 1937): 69.
  • Lyons, Rabbi Alexander. Review of Christianity in America: A Crisis, by E.G. Homrighausen, The Supplement 17:7 (March 1937).
  • Niebuhr, H. Richard. "A Call for Religious Authority," review of Christianity in America: A Crisis, by E.G. Homrighausen, The Christian Century 54 (6 January 1937): 19-20.
  • Van Til, Cornelius. Review of Christianity in America: A Crisis, by E. G. Homrighausen. The Presbyterian Guardian (February 1938): 26-27.

Interviews on Elmer G. Homrighausen

  • Harris, William J. Interview by Arnold Lovell, 12 July 1991, Princeton, New Jersey (Tape held by Lovell).
  • Kerr, Hugh T. Interview by Arnold Lovell, 12 July 1991, Princeton, New Jersey (Tape held by Lovell).

Reports on Elmer G. Homrighausen

  • Allen, Diogenes. Untitled tribute to Homrighausen's service to Theology Today. Theology Today Vol. XXVII: 1 (April 1970): 125.
  • Craig, Samuel G., ed. "Developments at Princeton Seminary." Christianity Today 8 (November 1937): 127-28.
  • _____________. "Dr. Homrighausen Confirmed." Christianity Today 10 (Fall 1939): 10-12.
  • _____________. "Dr. Homrighausen Fails Confirmation." Christianity Today 9 (October 1938): 14-15.
  • _____________. "Dr. Homrighausen: His Views of the Bible and the Approaching Assembly." Christianity Today 8 (April 1938): 245-247.
  • _____________. "The Homrighausen Case." Christianity Today 9 (Spring 1939): 102-04.
  • _____________. "The Present Status of Dr. Homrighausen." Christianity Today 9 (Winter 1939): 54.
  • McCord, James I. "Elmer George Homrighausen, 1900-1982: A Memorial Tribute." Princeton Seminary Bulletin IV:I (New Series 1983): 45-49.
  • Murray, John. "Dr. Homrighausen and the Bible." The Presbyterian Guardian 5 (May 1938): 81-82.

Discussions of Dr. Homrighausen's work in Books or Chapters

  • Bensen, Warren S. "Seeking a Biblical Base: An Evangelical Perspective" in Marlene Mayr, ed. Does the Church Really Want Religious Education? Birmingham, AB (Religious Education Press 1988): 198-200.
  • Elliott, Harrison S. Can Religious Education Be Christian? New York (Macmillan 1940): 68-69, 261-264, 270, 275.

Dissertations on Homrighausen's Theological Context

  • Clutter, Ronald Thomas. "The Reorientation of Princeton Theological Seminary, 1900-1929." Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1982.
  • Haines, George Lamar. "The Princeton Theological Seminary, 1925-1960." Ph. D. dissertation, New York University, 1966.
  • Kennedy, William Bean. "The Genesis and Development of the Christian Faith and Life Series." Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1957.
  • Kim, Ki-Hong. "Presbyterian Conflict in the Early Twentieth Century." Ph.D. dissertation, Drew University, 1983.
  • Quirk, Charles Evans. "The >Auburn= Affirmation." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa.
  • Voskuil, Dennis Neal. "From Liberalism to Neo Orthodoxy: A History of a Theological Transition, 1925-1935." Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1974.
  • Weston, William Joseph. "The Emergence of the Idea of Religious Pluralism within the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., 1890-1940." Ph. D. Dissertation Yale University, 1968.
  • Wright, Dana R. "Ecclesial Theatrics: Toward a Reconstruction of Evangelical Christian Education Theory as Critical Dogmatic Practical Theology," Part I, "The Neo-Barthian Imperative in Postmodern Practical Theology." Ph.D. Dissertation Princeton Theological Seminary, 1999.

Books or Essays in Books or Articles which touch on Homrighausen's Significance

  • Ahlstrom, Sydney, E. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven (Yale Univ. Press 1972): 943
  • Handy, Robert. "Fundamentalism and Modernism in Perspective," in Religion in Life XXIV (Summer 1955): 381-394.
  • Loetscher, Lefferts A. The Broadening Church. Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania Press 1954).
  • Longfield, Bradley. The Presbyerian Controversy. New York (Oxford Press 1991)
  • McClure, John. "Changes in the Authority, Method, and Message of Presbyterian (UPCUSA) Preaching in the Twentieth Century," in The Confessional Mosaic: Presbyterians and Twentieth-Century Theology, eds. Milton Coalter, John Mulder, and Louis Weeks. Louisville (Westminister/John Knox Press 1990): 84-108.
  • Rian, Edwin H. The Presbyterian Conflict. Grand Rapids (Eerdmans 1940): 256-270.

Excerpts from Publications

On the self-involving nature of the epistemology of faith, from Christianity in America: A Crisis:

[Existential thinking] means that the whole person enters, is drawn into, the event it seeks to understand. It lets itself be drawn into the moving and forming factors of the deed. It utilizes the high powers of moral imagination, spiritual insight, and repentant, receptive faith. It does not stop with the mere human idea of a thing, not with dogma about it, but is concerned with the thing itself, its reality and its sovereign life. Never does existential thinking seek exhaustively and rationally to control the object of its study. On the contrary, it allows the thing studied to study the observer. Never does existential thinking involve only the human understanding of God; it lets God give a divine understanding of man the thinker. It is not fragmentary thinking, done for the mere amusement of research. The whole man enters into the knowing act with a desperate desire to be researched, or "placed," himself. Christianity is a religion of existential thinking [54f]

The relation of Christian nurture to divine action, in "Reconstructing Christian Nurture":

Christian nurture does not make persons Christians; only God through His Word, Community, and Spirit is able to accomplish this end. Christian nurture, for churches practicing infant baptism is the deliberate employment of legitimate activities in order to bring the growing but perverted and falsely-centered ego into an ever maturing harmony and unity with God's will and purpose in Christ, and to keep it so oriented that it will become what God in creation intends it to be. The ego, to be sure, does not live alone; it lives with other egos. Christian nurture is a community ego-orienting process which aims to set up conditions whereby God may bring about the blessed community. Such orientation comes through repentance and faith; the former implying a turning away from conditions which prevent fellowship with God and others, and the latter a turning towards God's will and grace in total assent. This creates human and divine unity [12].

….and in "Religious Education vs the Church":

The Christian movement is much larger than religious education. Further, contrary to radicals in the educational movement, there is a real place for evangelism and theology in education. And Christianity must have forms. Without creeds, tradition, theology, worship, and official organization, it is impossible to preserve or even have a Christian faith [1466].

The "decisional mode of being human" in Choose Ye This Day:

Decision and commitment are of the very essence of personality. Pascal said that to make no choice was to make the worse choice. Men do choose, even through they say they do not choose! It is in decision that the direction of life is determined. The power of decision is of the very essence of human nature. We become what we choose. History is the result of human choices, and the result of individual choices is character. The common assumption of the era through which we have come was that choice was unimportant. In fact, it was interpreted as fanaticism. One must have no strong convictions, lest he lose his open-mindedness and his ability to be an observer. All that has changed because of the necessity of choice in the face of the present situation…. (Decision) is essential to wholesome and powerful living. No playing around with religious ideas will suffice. A clean-cut decision alone gives life stability, peace, unity, and drive [25f].

The crucial element in the Christianizing of individuals is that a radical change must take place in the self-directed ego of man. Man must meet the will of God and be brought to repentance and obedience. This will involve, not a mere remorse for our perverted thoughts, affections, and deeds, but a radical repentance about what we are. A radical decision is necessary on the part of the Church of our times….Christians in many quarters have been losing their faith in the decisive nature of the Gospel….Christianity has been reduced to a non-aggressive religion of an ethical and rational nature. It is made an elective which men may choose or reject, as they please. It then becomes a debatable subject for observers, but not a revelation laying an absolute claim upon men. The decisive nature of Jesus Christ as the once-for-all revelation of the will and love of God may be casually accepted by Christians generally, but it no longer seems to grip them with a passion to share and proclaim him as the one Saviour of the world…A Christianity that is interpreted in these terms soon loses its abiding realities and is diluted in the emerging relativities of the present. And once Christianity has lost its center, there can be no thought of evangelism, of calling men to a decision and commitment. All that is needed is an experimental attitude toward emerging values in the constant flux of life, for individual and social values are constantly subject to radical revision [28, 31, 34]

…genuine evangelism accompanies and is a part of all Christian education, or it is not Christian. Evangelism is not only the spirit in which education is done, but it is also the work of bringing individuals to decision and commitment regarding Christ. The Christian educator cannot uncritically accept into the Christian field a law of growth which has been developed in the secular field, for he as a Christian educator is constantly dependent upon the Holy Spirit for the success of his work. The Christian life does not grow so gradually as we are sometimes led to believe. It is a life of constant decision and commitment through various experiences, each of which is but a new beginning to more growth…It is impossible to think of the education of a human personality….as we think of the slow growth of a vegetable. When we speak of Christian education, the personal element is involved in a more subjective and intense fashion. Education and evangelism in the Christian sense are not incompatible; they are two aspects of the same process [50f].

No pattern of revelation which is set in only historical or institutional terms will reach individual man…..Unless the emphasis upon the Church is constantly vitalized from within by a preaching of the Gospel to bring about individual decision and commitment, the Church will gradually devolve into something unchristian. Such a Church will lack a transcendent norm, which judges and saves. Such a self-contained Church has no power of self-transcendence through a revelation which comes from beyond the historical continuum. This may lead to ecclesiastical totalitarianism or undefined inclusiveness [52f].

Niebuhr's theology is a "starting point" in evangelistic strategy, but it is hardly a complete guide to the intensely practical and individual work of the Church in these times. For our strategy we shall have to go to the New Testament in order to find a Gospel which really made men Christian and made them serious about winning others for Christ in a concrete way. No salvation can come from a paradox; the paradox will become evident after men have made concrete decisions. While it is dangerous to become a Christian, it is a real venture we must attempt. What is impossible for men becomes possible through the grace of God offered to repentant and believing hearts [56].

There is something about decision and commitment that makes a human being truly personal. If a man refuses to decide, he is less than personal. If he decides for false ends, he is a false person. Decision is what one does with his existence. It is a most intimate and individual matter. Not only is personal decision necessary to being a Christian, it is necessary to being a man. It is the act whereby the individual becomes passionately concrete. When one confronts God and his destiny he is "solitary" and "alone," his "I-self" is involved [65f].

On the centrality of Jesus Christ, from Choose Ye This Day:

Human dismissal of the centrality of Jesus Christ for general ideas and moral concepts is also not acceptable. The historic Christ has always been central where vital Christianity flourishes. Christianity is an announcement of a deliverance carried out by this Person, a decisive act of God for our salvation. "The Gospel inaugurates a new relationship between God and man" [79]. It is grounded in radical grace, gift, of the movement of God into human history which alone justifies human beings and communities before God. "This revelation is a once-for-all manifestation in history…(the content of which) is from beyond man's quest" [80].

When (the tension) is reached, the person who faces Christ enters a deep state of agitation, since he is face to face with a critical decision that involves the profoundest motives of personality. In this state of "reflective pause," the human being faces an either-or. He is aroused to the highest form of self-activity. For….decision for and commitment in Christ are not casual, since Christ assumes tremendous proportions in his demands if we would accept the Gospel. Christ comes to close grips with the soul. He assumes the role of the Absolute, the Great Alternative [88].

….from Christianity in America: A Crisis:

Today we are bewildered by our cheap church success and illusory popularity. The world is weary of sentiment, illusions, and man-made ideals. This same world…is turning to absolute loyalties beyond its reach. We have suffered the deflation of our optimistic conceptions of man, history, and reality. And today we churchmen are again reading the New Testament and about the Christ of historic faith in a different light and with a different attitude…I think we will again see with more abundant enthusiasm and with more exalted vision the high doctrine of the Christ of God which gave the Church its birth, and which in history has given it the power of a triumphant faith [182].

….and from "The Finality of Jesus Christ":

The Great Commission has come full cycle. The authority of Jesus is no longer confined to the human soul and its salvation. His authority is global in extent, profound in personal depth and inclusive in human relationships. It has to do with academia and truth, with the laboratory and the meaning of life, with the market place and everyday economic affairs. It is related to political power, and the uses of natural resources. It has to do with everything that affects the life of man in the mission of God on this planet [14].

Christianity has a character all its own, even though it is similar to other religions in many ways. It has a book, a cultus, a personal center, a set of doctrines, a group of set-apart leaders, a variety of institutions, a number of ceremonies, and the like. But, it has always maintained that its basis is not a man-made mysticism or ideology, but in a Person: Jesus Christ. The Old and New Testaments do not deal with eternal "values" but with meaningful actions centering in historical personages and events…..The coming of this Person has changed the human situation. This Person is human, but he is also unique. He has a mission none other has ever claimed. He combines in himself the Son of Man and the Suffering Servant. He is the Second Adam, the source and center of a new humanity. In his words, his life-style, actions, suffering, death and resurrection he was a man for all mankind. He brought grace and truth and right into the human situation and through his continuing and living Lordship he pulls us towards the future. Those who are "in him" have new life; they are the community of the realized universalism who live and work in the meaning and diversity of history. The community's main task is to be that community and to witness to God-in-Christ's presence, action, hope [19f].

"…the claim to finality and uniqueness [does not] make Christianity provincial, arrogant, militant, triumphant and intolerable?" There is nothing provincial about Jesus Christ. He has made his way across the world into most of the cultures of mankind. Often he breaks out of his institutional and provincial prisons into which his followers have confined him. He is not bound by race, time, culture, sex, nation. He is more than an individual; he possesses corporate character. Indeed, because he is the Logos made flesh he is latent in all persons. He is radically individual and radical universal. He is radically human and radically divine. As Harvey Cox once put it: "The church is in the broadcasting business, proclaiming that in and through Jesus Christ God has let loose a liberating movement in history for all mankind." The more serious the church and the Christian become about Jesus Christ the more universal they become [20]

….The finality and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ cannot be promoted any longer by military force, colonial domination, cultural superiority, or even by dogmatic debate. It must be done in the same weakness of him who bore the Cross and made himself utterly vulnerable to sinful men…Only in this way can faith-response take place in freedom of the Spirit. Finality and uniqueness of Jesus Christ must stand in their own sovereign reality. The answer to the question 'What think you of Christ?' must be made in the atmosphere that is free of manipulation, deception, or sentiment [21].

On the relation of evangelism to education, from Choose Ye This Day:

education and evangelism in the Christian sense are not incompatible; they are two aspects of the same process. When divorced from each other they work for a one-sided method in and conception of the Christian life. Christian education is not evangelism, but it must be evangelistic and rest upon the Evangel; Evangelism is not education, but it must be educational and also rest upon the Evangel. A great deal of confusion has resulted from the fusion of these two functions of the Church, which are separate and yet related in the Gospel and in the communication of the Christian faith.

On the need for conviction, from "Communicating the Christian Faith":

"The communication of the Christian faith cannot proceed until we know what Christianity we want to communicate" [490].

On the problem of Fundamentalism, from Homrighausen's Dubuque thesis:

The ideal of attempting to force all Christians into the straightjacket of a uniformity of belief does violation, not only to human nature, but to basic Christianity itself…We must learn to soften our judgments upon so-called heretics. We cannot measure Christians with too limited a yardstick, especially if our yardstick is a particular mental or doctrinal formula.

[H]ow far shall we incorporate the search for God outside the Christian group into the curriculum of Christian education?…In how far shall we introduce the methods of teaching found in other religions and cultures into our religious education? Shall we use the older philosophical arguments for God in a study of Christian theology? Is Christian education a study of a "given" revelation, or is it the study of truth everywhere as a revelation of God? Is conversion an act of instantaneous change, brought about by eschatological "preaching," or is it a process brought about by "teaching" of enlightened truth? [77].

The multiplicity of creeds suggests that the Christian religion is too great to be expressed with the limits of one creed; that not one of them or all together can claim infallibility: that diversity in form may be compatible with the vital spirit of Christian unity, provided of course that the essence of the faith is the supreme loyalty to a Person and to in loyalty to a creed [165].

Homrighausen on teaching, from "The Fine Art of Teaching Religion":

Everyone knows that we cannot teach anything, in the sense of transferring character to another individual. All we can do is illustrate, testify to what we actually know, so that others may "catch" the experience we are trying to share. The word "teach" is old Anglo Saxon and literally means "to show." A teacher is a "showman." Now whether it is algebra, history, or the arts-of which religion is the queen-their essences are really "caught," discovered-by the mysterious intuitive "plus" capacity which is a remarkable God-given element of the human personality [12].

Homrighausen on properly realistic theology, which resists the temptation to overly systematize itself, in "Current Trends in Theological Thought" (1937).

[T]heology…must make the Church aware of the compelling and sovereign realities at the heart of the Christian tradition, and seek by the best possible mentality to make these realities contemporary in the vocabulary and situation of our times. As such, theology is always a servant. So long as it keeps the servant's humility and sense of servitude to its Lord, it will not go astray….[it] will always be fresh and helpful…not divisive, since it is unitive in its common Object and objective. But once theological trends seek to crystalize and too carefully define reality, they become dogmatic in a false sense and make theology itself a burden to living Christianity. Nothing less than a realistic theological thought will save us and the Church. And realistic thought is never satisfied with anything less than the real truth about man, about God, about fellowship between man and man and between man and God [34].

On the need for "existential" and "evangelical" preaching, from Billy Graham and the Protestant Predicament:

…the problem of individualism has been intensified in our time. Many people have said that if the Christian faith does not begin with the individual, it does not begin. But if it ends there, it ends! Existentialism of all types has confronted us with the loneliness and uniqueness of personal life. Unless this individual is brought into an encounter with God-in-Christ so that his very existence is placed before the absolute judgment and mercy of God, he has not heard the "gospel." Unless he is "converted" he has not been initiated into the new life in Christ. It is this kind of existential preaching that is needed today; but it must be a true Christian existential preaching…..some evangelists may give comfort to those who still think of a Christian life in moralistic, aesthetic or even theological terms. But I am still fearful of neo-orthodoxy's preaching of a paralyzing judgment unto repentance that never gets beyond a negative or even morbid feeling of guilt before God [848]

On the weakness of neo-orthodoxy in its inability to articulate a Gospel of salvation, from Billy Graham and the Protestant Predicament:

….many of us have been profoundly influenced by the neo-orthodox movement in theology. Indeed to it I owe my concern for evangelism. But through my own pastoral experience I have come to see that neo-orthodoxy-with all its emphasis on realism in theology, on the kerygma of the Bible, on the sinfulness of personal and corporate life, on the radical nature of the new life, and so forth-is hesitant and weak in calling persons to a positive faith (Where are the neo-orthodox evangelists?) [849]

On Homrighausen's "predicting" of the rise of "post-denominationalism, in "Current Trends in Theological Thought":

Perhaps we shall see the greatest transition in group types in the next generation when the rising generation, which has not strong denominational loyalty [except in those groups which are theologically exclusive and support parochial schools] assumes leadership. Because of this possibility it is all the more imperative that we discuss theological trends in a general, ecumenical way rather than according to denominational groupings [5]

Homrighausen quoting Richard Baxter and commenting on unsanctified leadership, in "Toward a Pastoral Church":

"Above all, see to it that a work of saving grace be thoroughly wrought in your soul. Take heed to yourselves lest you be strangers to the effectual working of that gospel which you preach…It is a dreadful thing to be an unsanctified professor; but much more to be an unsanctified preacher." Until the pastor knows what it means to be ministered unto he will not have the passion, the power, or the skills to minister to others, nor will he be able to communicate to the people of the parish the vision of a ministering Church in which each member will exercise his pastoral vocation to the neighbor in family, congregation, community, or society [17].

Homrighausen on Barth and Barthianism, from selected writings: Homrighausen being described as a "qualified" Barthian in the editor's introduction to Homrighausen's article "Barthianism" in Varieties of American Religion, 1936:

Much interested from the first by the Barthian movement in Germany, Dr. Homrighausen has applied himself diligently to its study and, while not a one hundred percent Barthian, has come to be regarded as one of the leading exponents of the general Barthian point of view in America [92].

Homrighausen's paraphrase of Wilhelm Pauck's Barthianism en nunc, in "A Young Minister's Counter Revolt."

"Professor Pauck says that we do not want to know how to adapt our faith to the age, but how to penetrate this age with our faith. I would say that we need to get some faith that we might adapt the age to" [237].

On Barth the "martyr" in "Barth Resists Hitler":

Barth has not kept silent. Yesterday he handed me a long proof-sheet of a manifesto he was to release on the situation which was the result of many inquiries from friends. As I glanced through the writing and saw its brave and unequivocal contents, I was aware I was face to face with a man of martyr's spirit [954].

On the "hard sell" of Barth to North Americans, in "Barth and the American Theological Scene":

This article outlines reasons why Barth did not become more influential in America and then it offers insights American Protestants could learn from Barth. In relation to the former, Homrighausen points to American pragmatism, materialism, secularism, its cult of youth, its lack of philosophical and theological depth of tradition, etc. He points out that Americans are impatient with attending to Barth's linguistic revolution as well. But he argues that American Protestants can learn a great deal from Barth. First, Barth's exegeting of Scripture to uncover and articulate Christ's profound situating of the human condition is exemplary. Second, Barth understands that faith is pre-eminently eschatological, so that faith is not a human possibility but a divine actuality. This means third, that the Church is a creation of the Spirit of Christ, an emphasis lost in American institutionalism. Fourth, the Gospel cannot be divorced from culture, but has intrinsic to it a prophetic witness to culture. Fifth, Barth's theo-anthropology is a challenge to all autonomous versions of anthropology. Finally, there is no establishment of divine-human relations outside revelation.


Homrighausen, E.G. (1943). Choose Ye This Day: A Study Of Decision and Commitment in Christian Personality. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

This treatise, which he wrote as the chairman of a select committee appointed by the Department of Evangelism of the Federal Council of Churches to study decision and commitment in Christian faith, may be Homrighausen's most important writing. In this document he develops the substance of his "decisional mode" of being human as the basis for reviving the Church's commitment to, and understanding of, her evangelistic and educational task. He ties his concern to recover the "decisional" nature of Christian faith to the loss of transcendence, arguing that "when God is made only immanent and his continuity with man is stressed, there is no place for a confrontation of the two. Radical faith and repentance are unnecessary" [34]. Included in this work is a substantive critique of modernity's impact on evangelism, an historical discussion of why evangelism has been difficult for the mainline denominations to embrace and practice, an analysis of the relationship of decision and commitment to sin, repentance and faith, a discussion of Jesus as the prototype of "decisional man," an elaboration of the problem of Christianity's "point of contact" with modernity [developed in relation to his notion of the "tragic"], and the nature of Christian experience as "permanent revolution." Homrighausen's discussion of these issues remains germane in our day and age. One of three or four essential works to read on Homrighausen's theology.

_____________. (1936). Christianity in America: A Crisis. New York: Abingdon Press.

This book is a demonstration of the passion of Homrighausen, theologian and churchman, engaged in an agonizing critique of all that he holds dear, and it alerted the theologians in the United States to Homrighausen powerful mind and expansive heart. In it Homrighausen develops the foundations for an indigenous theology of crisis to address the Protestant Church's impotence on the American scene. Homrighausen's first major work is a "cry in the wilderness" [12] against all that plagues the churches of America-i.e. [a] the lack of congregational self-understanding according to the universal dimensions of the Church understood theologically, [b] the sterile nature of most efforts to make Christianity reasonable to modern persons, rendering it unrelated to congregational life, [c] the bourgeois and activistic nature of much fashionable religiosity found in America, which is the opposite of redemptive faith, and [d] the loss of an integrative Christian mind. He argues for an existential theology, a self-involving theology that places Christian experience under the transcendent judgment of the Word of God revealed in Jesus Christ. He elaborates how such a shift in our understanding of theology might reshape our Christian self-understanding and practice. It is a work heavily dependent upon Kierkegaard and Barth for its theological categories [which may make his claim for writing an indigenous theology questionable], but his sense of what is at stake in getting theology grounded in transcendence is compelling. A second essential read to grasp Homrighausen's theological mind.

_____________. (1937). Current Trends in Theological Thought. Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education.

An address to the 149th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church which provides a summary of the arguments elaborated in Christianity in America: A Crisis.

____________. (1959). I Believe in the Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

A small book directed toward pastors and lay persons, seeking to help them understand the doctrine of the Church in light of the Gospel. It was written as a seventh volume in the Know Your Faith Series published by Abingdon on the nature of Christian faith in the modern world. This book orders its discussion around different metaphors for understanding different aspects of the Church, including The Chosen Community, the Body of Christ, the Herald of the Gospel, and the School of Christ, etc. Two main foci of the book relate to [1] the Church's central place in the economy of God, and [2] the paradoxical nature of the Church-visible/invisible, divine/human, victorious/militant., heavenly/earthly, etc. This book would probably still function quite nicely as a foundational Bible study for today's congregation.

_____________. (1940). Let the Church be the Church. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press.

A collection of ten essays/sermons which Homrighausen had delivered over the past decade. Shows his strong theological mind at work exegeting important Biblical texts and elaborating their meanings in the context of the modern world's tendency to trivialize Christian faith. A good way to gain a sense of Homrighausen's considerable homiletical depth.


Homrighausen, E.G. "A Young Minister's Counter Revolt," The Christian Century 48:1 (18 February 1929): 236-238.

Homrighausen's first significant publication. He takes on the over-intellectualization of liberal Protestantism and its commitment to adapting faith to the spirit of the times. His burgeoning commitment to neo-orthodoxy is apparent. Paraphrasing Wilhelm Pauck, "we do not want to know how to adapt faith to the age, but how to penetrate this age with our faith" [237].

_____________. "Barth and the American Scene," Union Seminary Review XLVI: 4 (July 1935): 283-301.

Discussion of reasons for Barth's failure to find broad acceptance in the United States, and an appeal to theologians and pastors to give Barth a careful consideration.

_____________. "Barthianism and the Kingdom," The Christian Century 48:2 (15 July 1931): 922-25.

Homrighausen "takes on" none other than Reinhold Niebuhr in his first public defense of "Barthianism." Homrighausen argues that Barthian realism of revelation does not render his thought irrelevant to social needs, but only establishes the importance of disestablishing the Reign of God with any social movement or ideology. Note, don't forget to read Niebuhr's response to Homrighausen immediately following.

_____________. "Calm after Storm," The Christian Century 51: 6 (12 April 1939): 477-79.

Important testimony to Homrighausen's growth as a neo-orthodox theologian. He portrays his neo-orthodox development in five maturing stages: [a] Curious inquirer, [b] Rebellious critic, [c] Ardent disciple, [d] Critical detachment, and [3] independent thinker.

_____________. "Christian Theology and Christian Education," Religious Education XLIV: 6 (Nov. Dec. 1949): 353-363.

An apology for taking theology seriously in the field of Christian education, but not too seriously. Homrighause discusses the meaning of doctrine as the sub-structure of living faith [he uses the image of a "skeleton"], and argues that neither experience-based religion without doctrine nor assent to doctrinal systems disconnected to faith experience, are effective in Christian education. He then discusses several doctrines-theological anthropology, ecclesiology, and the relation of education to evangelism-and shows the implications of these doctrines for Christian education.

_____________. "Communicating the Christian Faith," Theology Today I:4 (January 1945): 487-504.

An appeal to situate Christian education within the context of revealed faith. He argues that Christian education must recognize the power of the nurturing community, the body of Christ, must call for personal decisions in response to the offer of salvation made available in Jesus Christ, and must fully appreciate the dimensions of historic Christian tradition, if it effectively communicates Christian faith.

_____________. "Current Trends in Theological Thought," address to the 149th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, May 29, 1937.

Homrighausen succinctly outlined the current state of theological thinking, summarizing the positions of all the major "players" on the theological horizon of his day. Especially helpful to delineate what differentiates Neo-Thomism from Barthianism.

_____________. "The Finality of Jesus Christ," Princeton Seminary Bulletin LXVII:2 (Spring 1975): 1-21.

The Robert Speer Lecture, this work represents a mature reflection of Homrighausen on the central feature of his theology, the Person of Jesus Christ, in relation to the ecumenical movement and the rise of world Christianity. He argues that during the life and ministry of Robert Speer missionary concerns of the Church reached a new epoch, especially in relation to the Church's claims concerning Christ. First, in terms of motivation, for the first time non-Western nations were no longer seen as "targets" of Western initiative but as co-partners in a world-wide mission, the mission of Christ to the world. Second, in terms of a deepening of catholicity-the universal reach of the claims of Christ, the Church will give up her aims to "possess" and "colonize" and dominate the more the Church embraces the universal implications of Christ's salvation. And third, the rise of Christologies from below signifies that Christ is "still a reality with which to reckon." Homrighausen concludes that the "finality" of Christ must be redefined, shedding its connotations of closed systems, dogmaticism, finished and infallible texts, etc. to develop a more dynamic understanding of the Church in "dynamic continuity" with the Person of Christ.

_____________. "The Real Problem of Religious Education," Religious Education XXXIV:1 (Jan. March 1939): 10-17.

Important statement by Homrighausen on the crucial place of theological anthropology for Christian education, understood in terms of a dynamic relationality between divine and human action. This article appreciates both the contribution of liberal religious education to our understanding of human agency and to neo-orthodoxy for our understanding of divine agency, and suggests a way to take both seriously by privileging the divine side of the relationship. Implicitly Chalcedonian in structure.

_____________. "The Minister and Religious Education," Christian Education 21:4 (April 1938): 233-45.

The publication of an address to the International Council of Religious Education in Chicago, February 9, 1938, and one of Homrighausen's first publications after being named the Synnott professor at Princeton. Illuminates the nature of the suspicion that plagues the relation between pastors and lay religious educators, both conservative and liberal. Argues that we must overcome that suspicion by becoming more theological in our understanding of our callings. In an aside [a footnote] Homrighausen writes: "I have often been asked why I went into the field of Christian Educaiton, in the Practical Theology department. It is primarily because I regard the practical field as in desperate need of being undergirded by sound theological structure" [236 n.5].

_____________. "The Task of Christian Education in a Theological Seminary," Princeton Seminary Bulletin XXXIV:1 (July 1940): 3-12.

Abridged edition of Homrighausen's inaugural address as the Thomas Synnott Professor of Christian Education. Homrighausen outlines three essential tasks of the Christian educator in a theological seminary. First, s/he must help students trace and appreciate the vital history of Christian education from biblical times to their own, suggesting that "the history of Christian education is indeed the history of Christianity's process or renewal from age to age" [5]. Second, he argues that the department of Christian education must help students grasp crucial theological issues in the field and thereby help Christian education return to its theological roots. Third, the department must help persons understand how to educate people into a dynamic faith experience, giving them "a working knowledge of the way in which the Christian faith can be taught, according to the nature of the faith and the way in which human beings learn to be Christian" [15].

______________. "Toward a Pastoral Church," Princeton Seminary Bulletin XLVIII.4 (May 1955): 10-19.

This is the text of Homrighausen's inaugural address for the Charles Erdman Chair of Pastoral Theology, delivered on February 1, 1955. He makes a plea for what he calls "the pastoral church," by which he means an alternative community set in the midst of a sick society which bears witness to and signifies through its corporate existence a holistic way of being human. Such congregations require a radical trust in God, a mature leadership that knows the depths of the human condition, and a liberated laity willing to take up their vocation in the world.

_____________. "Wanted: The Recovery of Christian Paideia," Religion in Life XV:1 (Winter 1945-6): 126-136.

Homrighausen argues for the recovery of the public nature of Christian faith and a nurture intrinsic to that public, centered in the local congregation as an expression of the Church, which is the locus of God's concern in the world. Such a recovery of an ecclesial public nurture is necessary in order to overcome the fragmentation of Christian education and the individualizing impact of evangelism which plagues modern Protestantism.

Author Information

Dana R. Wright

Dana R. Wright, Ph.D, has taught Christian education at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He now resides with his wife Judy in Seattle, Washington.