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

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Christianity and Liberalism 1923-2023

Perhaps we wonder at times how Christianity will survive in such a sceptical world. Modernists in the early twentieth century considered the solution to be clear. They thought the church needed to be modernised. They tried to rescue it from irrelevance, putting aside unpopular teachings from the Bible and recasting Christianity simply as a way of life. Resisting these attempts, J Gresham Machen gave an unbending response: Christian doctrine isn’t the problem - unbelief is.
A one-hundredth anniversary edition of Christianity and Liberalism has recently been published. It is intended to remind a new generation that God’s message of salvation is timeless. In defending essential Christian doctrines and exposing liberalism as a false religion, Machen reminds the church that we are entrusted with the truth that the world needs most.
Alternatively find the book in pdf here or here.
In a footnote in his essay on How Scotland lost its hold of the Bible (see here) Iain Murray says
Christianity and Liberalism (repr. 1997, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans), p. 178. This has to remain one of the most important books of all times.
This refers to Machen's statement about Liberalism that it is ‘a movement which is anti-Christian to the core.’ (He also quotes Machen saying ‘There is sometimes a salutary lack of logic which prevents the whole of a man’s faith being destroyed when he has given up a part.')

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Christianity and Liberalism Legacy Edition

In 2019 Westminster Theological Seminary produced a now hard to obtain (except in e-form) legacy edition of Machen's Christianity and Liberalism with a number of interesting extras. Machen founded the seminary in 1929. There is a Foreword by Peter A. Lillback and an Introduction by David B. Garner. There are also a number of essays by the Faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary, as follows:

“Machen and History” by Chad Van Dixhoorn
“J. Gresham Machen, Fundamentalism, and Westminster Seminary” by Peter A. Lillback
“Machen and Apologetics” by William Edgar
“Machen and Philosophy” by K. Scott Oliphint
“Christianity and Liberalism and Preaching” by John Currie
“Christianity and Liberalism and the Church” by Alfred Poirier
“The Value of Christianity and Liberalism to World Missions” by R. Kent Hughes
“Machen and Scholarship” by Sandy Finlayson
“Machen and Liberalism” by R. Carlton Wynne
“Machen on the True Christian Religion” by Lane G. Tipton
“Salvation’s Center: The Sufferings of Christ and the Glories that Follow” by Iain Duguid
“The Historicity of Adam: A Gospel Presupposition” by Jonathan Gibson
“Christianity and Liberalism and the Old Testament as History” by Elizabeth W. D. Groves
“Christianity and Liberalism and Biblical Prophecy” by Stephen M. Coleman
“Machen and Christ’s View of the Old Testament” by G.K. Beale
“Christianity and Liberalism and the Gospels” by Brandon D. Crowe
“Christianity and Liberalism and Hermeneutical Presuppositions” by Vern S. Poythress

I have now managed to get hold of a paperback copy of the work and have enjoyed reading the brief essays.

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.