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Harry Emerson Fosdick

1878-1969. American Baptist minister. He was a pastor in Montclair, New Jersey (1904-15) and taught practical theology (especially homiletics) at Union Theological Seminary (1908-46). From 1918 he served as guest minister at First Presbyterian Church, New York City, where he played a prominent role in the fundamentalist-modernist controversy when his 1922 sermon “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” led to his 1925 resignation. Soon thereafter he became minister of the influential Riverside (then Park Avenue Baptist) Church, where he remained until retirement (1946). A popularizer of evangelical liberalism, biblical criticism, psychology of religion, and psychologically oriented “personal religion,” Fosdick greatly influenced American preaching through his “problem-centered” homiletical style. Among his thirty widely read books were The Modern Use of the Bible (1924), A Guide to Understanding the Bible (1938), and devotional books The Manhood of the Master (1913), The Meaning of Prayer (1915), and On Being a Real Person (1943). His autobiography, The Living of These Days, was published in 1956.