Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Meet J. Gresham Machen

Bob from Kids4Truth introduced me to J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) this week in his post, Life Founded Upon the Truth by J. Gresham Machen.

I am glad he did. This is a great article about the late Princeton theologian and defender of the Faith against the Modernism of his time. Here is a great quote that is still relevant even 71 years after his death.
Do not be deceived, my friends. This notion that it does not make much difference what a man believes, this notion that doctrine is unimportant and that life comes first, is one of the most devilish errors that are to be found in the whole of Satan’s arsenal. How many human lives it has wrecked, how many mothers’ hearts it has broken! ... Out of the Pandora box of highly respectable philosophy come murders, adulteries, lies and every evil thing.

... I have been talking about the snarl into which men have come, only in order that at the last I may lead you to the place where that snarl may be straightened out. What does the Bible say about the question that we have been discussing this afternoon? What does the Bible say about the question whether doctrine is merely the changing expression of life or whether — the other way around — life is founded upon doctrine?

You do not have to read very far in the Bible in order to get the answer. The answer is given to you in the first verse. Does the Bible begin with exhortation; does it begin with a program of life? No, it begins with a doctrine. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” That is the foundation doctrine upon which everything else that the Bible says is based.

The Bible does present a way of life; it tells men the way in which they ought to live. But always when it does so it grounds that way of life in truth.
The enemy in the war on truth is no longer modernism, but post-modernism. I'm reading John MacArthur's Truth War and it is an excellent exposition of the book of Jude, which calls us "to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (v3)." I hope to write more about this book when I finish, but I will at this point venture out on a limb and recommend Truth War!

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Here is my testimony: mike