Speer, Robert Elliott
- ( 1867-1947 )Presbyterian leader and missionary statesmanRobert Elliott Speer was born on September 10, 1867, in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, into a devout Presbyterian family. He entered the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1885. As a college student influenced by evangelist Dwight L. Moody, he committed his life to foreign missions. He entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1890 but left after a year to work for the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, where he made his mark during an 1896 world tour. From his involvement with the Student Volunteer Movement, Speer became an early advocate of ecumenism, feeling that theological disputes distracted from the church's mission and its role in solving problems between governments.Speer helped organize the 1920 missionary conference in Edinburgh. The same year he began a four-year term as president of the Federal Council of Churches (in the United States) and in 1927 was moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He took a distinctive position during theFundamentalist-Modernist struggle of the 1920s, opposing both sides on the grounds that the debate was distracting from the missionary cause.Viewed as a Modernist, Speer became the target of Fundamentalist criticism. In 1929, he rebuffed J. Gresham Machen's attempts to have the Board of Foreign Missions bar missionaries who did not meet Fundamentalist standards for orthodoxy. In 1933, Machen again charged the board with tolerating Modernists, and when the Presbyterian Church's assembly backed the board, Machen founded the Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions. By 1936, he was suspended from the ministry and left to form an independent body, the orthodox Presbyterian Church. Speer's defense of the traditional work of evangelism as the core of the missionary endeavor, which brought him into conflict with the Fundamentalists, also led him to criticize the famous Rethinking Missions by William E. Hocking, who advocated a significant transfer of missionary energy into social service.After nearly half a century with the mission board, Speer retired in 1937. He would be remembered not only for his leadership of Presbyterianism in American during a time of change, but also for his early advocacy of racial justice and the rights of women within the church. Speer authored more than 60 books covering not only missions but international relations and christology.Further reading:■ John F Piper, Jr., Robert E. Speer: Prophet of the American Church (Louisville, Ky.: Geneva Press, 2000)■ Robert E. Speer, The Finality of Jesus Christ (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1933)■ ----, Foreign Missions and Christian Unity (New York: Laymen's Missionary Movement, 2001)■ ----, Of One Blood, A Short Study of the Race Problem. (New York: Council of Women for Home Missions and Missionary Education Movement of the United States and Canada, 1924)■ W. Reginald Wheeler, A Man Sent from God: A Biography of Robert E. Speer (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1956).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.
Look at other dictionaries:
Robert Elliott Speer — (1867 ndash; 1947) was an American religious leader and authority on missions.He was born at Huntingdon, Pa., graduated from Phillips Academy in 1886 and from Princeton in 1889, and studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1890 91. In 1891 he … Wikipedia
Robert Elliott — may refer to:* Robert William Elliott, Baron Elliott of Morpeth (born 1920), British Conservative party politician, MP 1957 ndash;1983 * Robert B. Elliott (1842 ndash;1884), African American member of the United States House of Representatives… … Wikipedia
Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy — The Fundamentalist Modernist Controversy was a religious controversy in the 1920s and 30s within the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. The major American denomination was torn by conflict over the issues of theology and… … Wikipedia
Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy — A Fundamentalist cartoon portraying Modernism as the descent from Christianity to atheism, first published in 1922 and then used in Seven Questions in Dispute by William Jennings Bryan. The Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy was a religious… … Wikipedia
List of Protestant missionaries in China — Beginning in 1807, with the arrival of Robert Morrison of the London Missionary Society and ending in 1953 with the departure of Arthur and Wilda Mathews of the China Inland Mission, foreign Protestant missionaries lived and worked in China. The… … Wikipedia
Oxyrhynchus Papyri — Grenfell (left) and Hunt (right) in about 1896 The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a very numerous group of manuscripts discovered by archaeologists including Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt at an ancient rubbish dump near Oxyrhynchus in… … Wikipedia
Oxyrhynchus Papyri — Die Oxyrhynchus papyri sind auf Papyrus geschriebene Manuskripte, die von Archäologen zu Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts in einer antiken Müllkippe nahe dem historischen Ort Oxyrhynchus in Ägypten gefunden wurden. Diese umfangreiche Sammlung von Papyri … Deutsch Wikipedia
Arthur Tappan Pierson — Infobox Person name = Arthur Tappan Pierson image size = 150px caption = birth date = birth date|1837|3|6|mf=y birth place = New York City death date = death date and age|1911|6|3|1837|3|6|mf=y death place = education = occupation = pastor,… … Wikipedia
Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania — Seal … Wikipedia
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania — Infobox Settlement official name = Pagename other name = native name = nickname = Standing Stone settlement type = Borough motto = imagesize = image caption = flag size = image seal size = image shield = shield size = image blank emblem = blank… … Wikipedia