J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), was an American Presbyterian scholar and apologist. He was born in Baltimore and educated at Johns Hopkins, Princeton University and Theological Seminary, Marburg, and Gottingen. He taught New Testament at Princeton Seminary from 1906 to 1929. He was a defender of the classic Reformed position. When B.B. Warfield died in 1921, the mantle of leadership for “Princeton Theology” fell upon Machen. He resigned in 1929 due to the Liberal realignment of the seminary. Machen was a principal founder of Westminster Theological Seminary (1929) and what is now the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (1936). The following article is an excerpt from “Christianity and Liberalism – Doctrine” by J. Gresham Machen:
Modern liberalism in the Church, whatever judgment may be passed upon it, is at any rate no longer merely an academic matter. It is no longer a matter merely of theological seminaries or universities. On the contrary its attack upon the fundamentals of the Christian faith is being carried on vigorously by Sunday-School ‘lesson-helps,’ by the pulpit, and by the religious press. If such an attack be unjustified, the remedy is not to be found, as some devout persons have suggested, in the abolition of theological seminaries, or the abandonment of scientific theology, but rather in a more earnest search after truth and a more loyal devotion to it when once it is found.
At the theological seminaries and universities, however, the roots of the great issue are more clearly seen than in the world at large; among students the reassuring employment of traditional phrases is often abandoned, and the advocates of a new religion are not at pains, as they are in the Church at large, to maintain an appearance of conformity with the past. But such frankness, we are convinced, ought to be extended to the people as a whole. Few desires on the part of religious teachers have been more harmfully exaggerated than the desire to ‘avoid giving offense.’ Only too often that desire has come perilously near dishonesty; the religious teacher, in his heart of hearts, is well aware of the radicalism of his views, but is unwilling to relinquish his place in the hallowed atmosphere of the Church by speaking his whole mind. Against all such policy of concealment or palliation, our sympathies are altogether with those men, whether radicals or conservatives, who have a passion for light. (“Christianity and Liberalism – Doctrine”)
Filed under: Bible, Christianity, Church Leadership, J. Gresham Machen, Jesus Christ, Reformed Christian Topics, Samuel A. Cain, Samuel at Gilgal Tagged: | Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Westminster Theological Seminary