Friday, April 13, 2007

I have been remiss in my postings about J. Gresham
Machen's book Christianity & Liberalism. There is
so much meat in it that I hardly know where to

Machen is, of course, delineating the places where
Christianity and Liberalism differ. His book is
both a text book (he makes his points clearly and
in order) and a devotional (he leads the reader to
consider the scriptures and the Savior on every

The foundation of the book is that, "Christian
doctrine lies at the very roots of faith."(p.44)
The other foundational truth he expresses is "...
we do not mean that if doctrine is sound it makes
no difference about life. On the contrary, it
makes all the difference in the world." (p. 47)

I John 5:20-21 confirms this for us.
And we know that the Son of God has come and
has given us an understanding, that we may know
Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true,
in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God
and eternal life. Little children, keep
yourselves from idols. Amen.

So first-we must know and be in Him who is true.
(sound doctrine)
Second-we must keep ourselves from idols; we
must keep Him who is true first and foremost;
we must turn from every distraction the world
offers and face God.(it makes a difference in
our life)

Here is a wonderful quote in which Machen is
defending the wealth offered in orthodoxy and
in the history of the church through the ages.

After listening to modern tirades against
the great creeds of the Church, one receives
rather a shock when one turns to the
Westminster Confession, for example, or to
that tenderest and most theological of
books, the "Pilgrim's Prgress" of John
Bunyan, and discovers that in doing so one
has turned from shallow modern phrases to
a "dead orthodoxy" that is pulsating with
life in every word. In such orthodoxy
there is life enough to set the whole
world aglow with Christian love. (p. 46)


LeftCoastOnlooker said...

Very interesting - thx for sharing.
I've never taken the time to read Machen, though I've heard his name.

Kathryn Judson said...

OK, now you've done it... :)

I realized that I'd never read Pilgrim's Progress, only excerpts - so I went to my old Harvard Classics set, where I was pleased to find there was a copy of it, and started in last night.

Thanks for the nudge.