22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America (Paperback)
D.G. Hart has proven himself to be one of the finest contemporary historians who focuses on American evangelicalism. For fans of Machen or contemporary North American Presbyterians - this book is absolutely a must read.
What distinguishes this work from other biographies of Machen is Hart's tremendous ability to bring out the historical situation and cultural currents that swirled around the pivotal events in Machen's life. Hart provides us with a richly textured vision of the tensions within North American protestantism during the first half of the twentieth century.
The book is ably written in clear prose. Even though the issues and arguments surrounding Machen's work are often quite complicated, this book is as much of a "page turner" as any work of such meticulous scholarship can be.
Hart's theological astuteness is also indirectly evident throughout the book. This allows him to portray individuals on all sides of the various issues as full and interesting individuals rather than as cardboard characters. We can easily understand why many would find Machen's opponents to be attractive figures, even though one suspects that Hart would often have sided with Machen.