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Book Review: Christianity And Liberalism

1971 words - 8 pages

Biography of Gresham Machen
Machen was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1881. In 1898, Machen enrolled at Johns Hopkins University and became a brilliant scholar. In addition, Machen obtained theological studies in Germany in 1905 where he being thrown into confusion of his own faith because of the influence of the liberalism. After returning from Europe, In 1906, Machen join as an instructor in New Testament at Princeton Seminary.
Machen’s work in the 1920s was divided between his time at Princeton Seminary and his political work with Presbyterians. In addition to Christianity and Liberalism, Machen works are such as The Origin of Paul’s Religion, What is Faith, New testament Greek for Beginners, The Virgin Birth of Christ, The Christian Faith in the Modern World, and The Christian View of Man.
In 1923, Christianity and Liberalism was first published in a middle of major controversy in a Presbyterian church over the issue of theological liberalism. Throughout Machen’s entire carrier and all of his writings, he asked the same question: why does the liberal stay in church, when they don’t believe the history of Christianity. At the end result, Machen was kicked out from church by the liberals. He ended up leaving a seminary which was captured by the liberals and left a Presbyterian church which was also captured by the liberals. And he formed the Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary and as well as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Machen died in 1937 at the age of 55.
Purpose of Christianity and Liberalism
The purpose of Christianity and Liberalism was to defend that orthodox Christianity and Liberalism are two distinct religions. Machen was conservatism, and in the book he compared the teaching of historic biblical Christianity with teaching of theological liberalism. In conclusion of the book, Machen showed very persuasively that liberalism is not simply an error within Christianity, but it actually an entirely different religion. In the book, Machen goes through the six fundamental and central teachings of Christianity that are God, humanity, the Bible, Christ, salvation and the Church and he compares them with corresponding teachings of liberalism. The core of Machen’s argument was “that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different.” (PAGE 67)
The foundation of Christianity is doctrine. Machen described doctrine as “the setting forth of the event with the meaning of the event.” (PAGE 25) Christianity is based on the truth of the Gospel of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ as the only sacrifice for sin. On the other hand, liberalism does not have doctrine and the foundation is on the individual experience and feelings. Liberalism is independent from standard or historical foundation of Christianity. Thus, Christianity and liberalism are totally different kinds of religions.
Machen stated that the New Testament books “are regarded by all serious historians as genuine...

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