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Christianity and Liberalism, new ed. Paperback – June 2, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
There indeed is nothing new under the sun. The battles that were wrestled in the past are the same battles we are fighting today (though perhaps under different names). Machen iterates, "The greatest menace to the Christian Church today comes not from the enemies outside, but from the enemies within; it comes from the presence within the church of a type of faith and practice that is anti-Christian to the core." It is therefore that menace to the precious church of Jesus Christ that Machen fights against with all righteous tenacity of a shepherd whose flock is under siege by wolves.
Machen reveals that "Liberal Christianity" is not Christianity at all. He goes as far as to say that liberalism is no "mere hersey" as it proceeds from a "totally different root". Liberal Christianity, as Machen defines in the opening, is a false gospel. It has a different view of God, a far more positive view of man, a different view of Jesus Christ, and therefore a far different view of salvation. Jesus under the liberal teaching is no longer the "object of our faith" but a faithful example to us of ethics, morals, and love for all. Man needs only follow his example alone and all will be well! To that Machen says--FALSE RELIGION. If Jesus did not live, die, and rise from the dead in historical time and space we have nothing. A gospel without the supernatural, Machen concedes, may be easier to believe--but it would not be worth believing! We are in desperate need of deliverance from our sin, and only the blood of Jesus can satisfy that need.
Machen also includes a brief and incredibly strong defense of the authenticity of Paul's letters as well as the unity of the Scriptures as a whole. "Christianity and Liberalism" is an excellent defense for the Truth of the Gospel as expressed throughout Scripture and could not be more relevant for today. I marked down one star because the font was scanned directly from the hard copy--and not the Amazon "Bookerly" font I prefer for the Kindle. Some words were impossible to read as some letters were distorted. All in all 5 stars for Machen. 3 for Kindle edition (99 cent purchase keeps it from going any lower).
The voices of Old Liberalism (F. Schleiermacher, A. Ritschl, W. Bousset) that Machen is doing serious war with here, are in so many "conservative" denominations and churches today it's shameful. Every "elementary" Christian issue he speaks about - Christ, the Bible, Sin, Salvation, the Church, God & Man - is so diluted or discarded in today's American "church" that most of us are in a Hebrews 5:11-14 situation at best, and a 2 Tim. 4:1-4 situation at worst. Both our recent and present generations are products of the continued fight for the basic truths of the Bible. Both grandparents and parents who have grown up in the church have not endured sound doctrine, and preachers have not "kept the faith". It's passed on to the "Now" generation of church youth, who believe in an imaginary Jesus, and live in a virtual world.
Machen speaks against this false religion in devastating fashion. He speaks matter-of-factly and with biblical exactitude. His writing is not for the weak-stomached Christian. Those who are used to pastoral jokes, cute stories about Easter, and fun vacations at your small group - you probably need a "Diet" or "Baby Machen" version of this book. He'll punch you in the mouth if you're not careful. I'm serious. Even for the weathered Christian, the person steeped in the Puritans, the Old Presbyterians, the serious Pentecostals, the student of Edwards, the lover of Lloyd-Jones, this is honestly a spiritually exhausting book to read. You're basically reading all-out theological/spiritual warfare. You've been translated into another reality of the spiritual battle raging which didn't end with the Fundamentals, with Machen, with the Chicago Statement, etc., but will rage and continue to rage. It's a battle between true and false religion. Between a Jesus who is a teacher and a Jesus who is the Savior.
Machen, in a concise 153 pages, opens up the biblical canons and fires everything the Word of God has against this false religion. In my estimation it's a book every Christian must read and arm themselves with. There is a profound and substantive difference between true and false religion - Jesus.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The text gives an excellent definition of liberalism vs.Read more