On a recent visit to the North Coast (of Ireland) I visited the town of Portrush, and made some images of the local Methodist Church there. Why so? Because of its name! This church is named for the learned Bible commentator Dr Adam Clarke.
Adam Clarke was born in 1760 near Tobermore, and died of Cholera in Westminster, London in 1832. Clarke’s greatest work was his Bible Commentary, which was to be a standard theological text among Methodists for around 200 years.
Theologically, he wasa follower of John Wesley, and was deeply opposed to Calvinism, believing in an Arminian soteriology. Clarke’s work was close to the Wesleyian holiness tradition, including prevenient grace to awaken sinners, the offer of salvation to all, and the possibility of entire sanctification this side of eternity. In his comentary section on Revelation, he identified the Roman Catholic Church with the Antichrist.
His views on the eternal sonship of Christ caused some controversy, – and were opposed by many of his contemporaries within Methodism.
Ethically, Clarke took a moral stance against slavery, and this is reflected in his commentary’s section on Isaiah. He was also an accomplished amateur historian, and a member of the American Antiquarian Society.