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Christianity and Liberalism, new ed. Paperback – June 2, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Machen's Christianity and Liberalism. Machen's classic was written in the
height of the battle for control over the Presbyterian Church USA (the most
prominent of the "mainline denominations"), and defines with brilliance the
battle lines between liberal (so-called) Christianity and the orthodox
faith. Moreover, it points out exactly what is at stake: the true faith, as
opposed to a perverse shadow of that faith, a shadow based on subjectivism
which elevates man's sovereignty over God's and ends in believing nothing at
It is important to understand that the liberalism Machen castigates is not
political but theological (although many if not most of the liberals of the
latter camp fell also in the former, numerous prominent political liberals
-- such as three-time Democrat Presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan
-- fought alongside Machen). This theological liberalism manifests itself in
many ways, but is chiefly characterized by a rejection of Scripture as
infallibly inspired, a denial of the doctrines of the Fall and of Hell, and
a belief in man's evolutionary self-perfection (process theology, with
progress guided by an "enlightened" elite). Machen correctly asserts that
this is not merely a different approach to the Gospel, but is in fact a
different gospel: an exchange of God's sovereignty for man's, God's law-word
for man's, God's eternal, unchanging standards for man's evolving, situation
ethics. For this reason, Machen contends that liberalism and Christianity
are separate things: rival religions, permanently at war.Read more ›
The major thesis of the book is that Liberalism (modernist theology) and Christianity are diametrically opposed religions that unfortunately use the same language to describe their opposite views of things. He states, "the great redemptive religion which has always been known as Christianity is battling against a totally diverse type of religious belief, which is only more destructive of the Christian faith because it makes use of Christian terminology." Later he states in his thesis, "...we shall be interested in showing that despite the liberal use of traditional phraseology modern liberalism is not only a different religion from Christianity, but belongs to a totally different class of religions."
Machen is interested not in necessarily proving that Liberalism is wrong as he is in explaining that it is not Christian. His burden is not to disprove the tenants of Liberalism (although he speaks some to that end), but to simply describe each clearly and make obvious the huge divergence of thinking in the two groups.
Although Machen is perhaps "the" great Fundamentalists, on must keep in mind this was before Fundamentalist meant: narrow, reactionary, separatist, nationalistic, literalist, ignorant, and the like.Read more ›
"Presenting an issue sharply is indeed by no means a popular business at the present time....Clear-cut definition of terms in religious matters, bold facing of the logical implications of religious views, is by many persons regarded as an impious proceeding...But with such persons we cannot possibly bring ourselves to agree. Light may seem at times to be an impertinent intruder, but it is always beneficial in the end. The type of religion which rejoices in the pious sound of traditional phrases, regardless of their meanings, or shrinks from "controversial" matters, will never stand amid the shocks of life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent apology for conservative Christianity. Entirely relevant critique of today's progressive and emergent views even though written in 1923 against liberalism.Published 5 hours ago by Richard
Incredibly relevant 90 years later. I was handed a book by one of the leaders of the recent Emergent movement and Machen's arguments gave a defense against just about everything... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Wes Amason
This was a great read - "liberalism" is a term so misunderstood anyways. Machen explains the situation of the encroachment of liberalism so very well. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Erik A.
A must-read for anyone who considers themselves a Christian. Machen exposes much false teaching.Published 6 months ago by doug lloyd
Masters Program School Study Book so not read yet, but presents itself very wellPublished 6 months ago by Charlene
Every Christian needs to read this books. Vary well thought out book. The makes you look at the church and its teachings in a different light.Published 7 months ago by Jessie
My major concern here is not with Machen's learning or his understanding of the issues. He seems fairly solid in these areas when it comes to comparing his faith with... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Divad Allesnik