This blog chiefly seeks to collate materials available elsewhere on the net by or about J Gresham Machen

Monday, 17 January 2022


In his essay Haykin has a footnote with two quotations from Machen that clarify where be stood on the matter of fundamentalism.
The term fundamentalism is distasteful to the present writer and to many persons who hold views similar to his. It seems to suggest that we are adherents of some strange new sect, whereas in point of fact we are conscious simply of maintaining the historic Christian faith and of moving in the great central current of Christian life.
Thoroughly consistent Christianity, to my mind, is found only in the Reformed or Calvinistic Faith; and consistent Christianity, I think, is the Christianity easiest to defend. Hence I never call myself a "Fundamentalist." There is, indeed, no inherent objec­tion to the term; and if the disjunction is between "Fundamentalism" and "Modernism," then I am willing to call myself a Fundamentalist of the most pronounced type. But after all, what I prefer to call myself is not a "Fundamentalist" but a "Calvinist"-  that is, an adherent of the Reformed Faith. As such I regard myself as stan­ding in the great central current of the Church's life - the current which flows down from the Word of God through Augustine and Calvin, and which has found noteworthy expression in America in the great tradition represented by Charles Hodge and Benjamin Breckenridge War­field and the other representatives of the "Princeton School."

Both quotations are from Stonehouse's Memoir,. 

Dr Haykin on Dr Machen

In a recent festchrift for Dr Bob Penhearow, Michael Haykin has a helpful essay on History and faith in the thinking of J Gresham Machen. For the book see here. Dr Haykin also has a brief article here. Machen's own message on history and faith can be found here

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Machen on church history

Check here for a summary of Machen's approach to church history - an episode of Steve Nichols' Five minutes in church history.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

How not to be an Erdman

 Nice link here

J Gresham Machen Bibliography

 Here is a good link that I don't think we've noted before

Quotation Divinity of Christ

“I ask you now to consider one great central part of the doctrine, the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Bible says that Christ is God, it does not ask us to forget a single thing that it has said about the stupendous majesty of God. No, it asks us to remember every one of those things in order that we may apply them all to Jesus Christ.”

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Five minutes from Steve Nicholls

Check this link for five minutes on Machen and rethinking missions by Steve Nicholls.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Three Gutenberg Books

The three following books can be accessed here online.

A Brief Bible History: A Survey of the Old and New Testaments by J O Boyd/J Gresham Machen

The Literature and History of New Testament Times by J. Gresham Machen

The Origin of Paul's Religion by J. Gresham Machen

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Ranking hymns on the cross

... The Christian doctrine of the atonement, therefore, is altogether rooted in the Christian doctrine of the deity of Christ. The reality of an atonement for sin depends altogether upon the New Testament presentation of the Person of Christ. And even the hymns dealing with the Cross which we sing in Church can be placed in an ascending scale according as they are based upon a lower or a higher view of Jesus' Person. At the very bottom of the scale is that familiar hymn:

Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.

That is a perfectly good hymn. It means that our trials may be a discipline to bring us nearer to God. The thought is not opposed to Christianity; it is found in the New Testament. But many persons have the impression, because the word 'cross' is found in the hymn, that there is something specifically Christian about it, and that it has something to do with the gospel. This impression is entirely false. In reality, the cross that is spoken of is not the Cross of Christ, but our own cross;...

...the verse simply means that our own crosses or trials may be a means to bring us nearer to God. It is a perfectly good thought, but certainly it is not the gospel. One can only be sorry that the people on the Titanic could not find a better hymn to use in the last solemn hour of their lives.

But there is another hymn in the hymn-book:

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

That is certainly better. It is here not our own crosses but the Cross of Christ, the actual event that took place on Calvary, that is spoken of, and that event is celebrated as the center of all history. Certainly the Christian man can sing that hymn. But one misses even there the full Christian sense of the meaning of the Cross; the Cross is celebrated, but it is not understood.

It is well, therefore, that there is another hymn in our hymn-book:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

There at length are heard the accents of true Christian feeling - the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died. When we come to see that it was no mere man who suffered on Calvary but the Lord of Glory, then we shall be willing to say that one drop of the precious blood of Jesus is of more value, for our own salvation and for the hope of society, than all the rivers of blood that have flowed upon the battlefields of history.

Thus the objection to the vicarious sacrifice of Christ disappears altogether before the tremendous Christian sense of the majesty of Jesus' Person. It is perfectly true that the Christ of modern naturalistic reconstruction never could have suffered for the sins of others; but it is very different in the case of the Lord of Glory. And if the notion of vicarious atonement be so absurd as modern opposition would lead us to believe, what shall be said of the Christian experience that has been based upon it? The modern liberal Church is fond of appealing to experience. But where shall true Christian experience be found if not in the blessed peace which comes from Calvary?

Christianity and Liberalism Chapter 6