Gordon Clark

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Gordon Haddon Clark (August 31, 1902April 9, 1985) was an American philosopher and Calvinist theologian.


  • The purpose of art is expression. Of course this short sentence raises many questions. By itself it is uninformative. One should specify what art can and cannot express. One should specify what art should and should not express. These questions cannot be answered without having some notion of the nature of man. Here it is presupposed that God created man as essentially a rational being. This implies that man’s most valuable expressions are rational and intellectual. Therefore, although man can express emotion, by screaming “Ouch,” art becomes more human and valuable in proportion to its intellectual content. This does not deny that excellent technique may express triviality, evil, and insanity. It asserts, however, that what should be expressed is rational and intelligent.
    • “Christian Aesthetics,” The Trinity Review, May 1989.
  • The more thorough the understanding needed, the further back in time one must go.
    • A Christian View of Men and Things (1951), p. 58.
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