Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Christian View of Man Paperback – 1984
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) was an outstanding New Testament scholar and the founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, USA. In a line of great American reformed theologians, he above all stands out as the master of a forceful literary style.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Because this book is a compilation of timed radio talks, each chapter of the book is short, about 10 pages each. As is typical of Machen, even in a book like this that purports to discuss the Christian view of man, Machen devotes many of the early chapters to discussing God rather than man. Machen held a great resentment, properly so, of theologies and worldviews that glorified man which masqueraded as products of the Christian tradition. As such, even in a discussion about man, Machen very deliberately makes God the focus, particularly in the early chapters. It is here that the nature of God is discussed, along with His decrees and His attributes, particularly where the creation in general and man in particular is concerned. In a discussion about man, the reader might think early on that Machen is not really dealing with the stated focus of the book, but he is as is seen by the later chapters.
It is in the last 7 chapters in particular where this book really becomes riveting, in my view. Machen's discussion of creation and the fall is very good. His treatment of original sin and its relationship to human responsibility is impeccable. His related critiques of Pelagianism, in all its forms, is devastating. Machen presents a very compelling case for the inability of man and the grace of God that intervenes in man's hopeless natural condition.
As I said at the beginning, this book, while excellent, is not his best or most important contribution. While Machen was obviously interested greatly in matters of theological purity, he also was a student of culture and current events. As a result, these talks touched upon a number of cultural issues that were current at that time and there are points in this book where Machen devotes considerable ink to discussing societal issues rather than strictly theological issues. While some of the societal issues discussed here are still pertinent today, the reader may at times sense that the book is at least somewhat dated in these areas, and I confess that some of those discussions seemed at least somewhat off topic, though I certainly acknowledge that my assertion here is debatable.
But in conclusion, this book still provides a much needed antidote to the man-exalting theologies that pack many pews in the American church today. Machen counters this trend with a solidly Biblical argument that confesses that it, like many faithfully Biblical arguments, will not win many popularity contests even among Christians. An important read on the nature of man and what that means relative to our relationship to God.
2. Also reflects Machen's catechetical background (The glorious "Westminster Little Catechism"). He learned it word-perfect by age 12. It shows. In this respect, Machen refelcts a more intelligent time period, when parents catechetized their children. Kudos to Machen's parents. His pedigree shaped by parental industry and love is demonstrated, methinks with little effort.
3. A good brief on overall anthropological issues.
4. For the seminarian, however, one needs the weightier works (although Machen could "surely hang with the heavy-weights). As radio lectures, this was for the public.
5. Worth having on the shelf after buying 25-30 of the heavy-weights.