Christianity and Liberalism Turned 100 in February

One hundred years ago this month, in February of 1923, J. Gresham Machen published Christianity and Liberalism. Dedicated to his mother, J. Gresham would, with the charm of a gentleman and the power of a knight, dismantle the liberal theology that slowly infected the Presbyterian Church (as well as other denominations) of his day. He wrote with ruling elders in mind, having lectured on this topic two years prior at a Ruling Elder meeting of the Chester Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church.

Machen would demonstrate how the liberal views of doctrine; God and man; the Bible; Christ; salvation; and the church were different from that of historic Christianity. Essentially, argued Machen, Liberalism, at the foundation, was not a different type of Christianity; it was a different religion. And this different religion was fighting Christianity, not from without, but from within. Machen said, “Christianity is being attacked from within by a movement which is anti-Christian to the core (146).”

This attack began in the academies and seminaries but had made its way all the way down to the Sunday schools, according to Machen. The stories of the Bible were not merely to teach moral lessons, but to bring one to Christ. “That knowledge is given in the story of the cross—For us Jesus does not merely say, “Arise and walk”… he has done a greater thing—for us He died.” (37) A non-doctrinal religion does not need this risen Christ, but Christianity is based upon this glorious truth. Read More»

Nathan Eshelman | “Liberal Christians: A Hundred-Year Oxymoron” | February 20, 2023


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