The Irrelevance Of Indolent Impressionism

Second, I was struck by the fact that the last chapter – on post-confessional, mainline Presbyterianism – indicated just how irrelevant Presbyterianism has become in its liberal forms. With dull preaching, and always appearing to be a day late and a dollar short in its ‘witness’ to the culture and politics of the day, the liberal church is the aging mistress of secularism, trying desperately to make herself alluring in the skimpy underwear of a debased Christian vocabulary which has long since lost any meaningfully orthodox content. As Machen pointed out in his book, What is Faith?, all the intellectual brilliance of liberalism has served to produce nothing more than an ‘indolent impressionism’ – perhaps we might say ‘sloppy sentimentalism.’ Too often this manifests itself liturgically and homiletically as an embarrassing childishness. More broadly, it seems to foster only a tiresome irrelevance.

—Carl Trueman, “Longfield and Presbyterianism

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