On page 10, he makes reference to Mr. He begins with definitions of both liberalism and naturalism. Liberalism and modernism are also partners. Liberalism is an attack on the Christian faith while using traditional terminology. It is also characterized by the promotion of modern scientific methods which are then regarded as separate from religion.
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Jul 28, David Westerfield rated it it was amazing Written in , Machen addresses a system of theology encroaching upon the church that would bring about the sure eclipse of the very Gospel itself within the 20th century. It is important to note from the outset that this liberalism is not at all the same as modern political liberalism though there are likely some fundamental philosophical similarities , but is rather theological liberalism. In fact, Machen was strongly opposed to entering World War I and fought vigorously at the Written in , Machen addresses a system of theology encroaching upon the church that would bring about the sure eclipse of the very Gospel itself within the 20th century.
In fact, Machen was strongly opposed to entering World War I and fought vigorously at the Congressional level to keep us out, if that peaks your interest at all. In his day, J. Gresham Machen, at great cost to himself, fought against the theological and doctrinal accommodation of the scientific culture within the church, who were denying miracles and the supernatural based upon empirical scientific evidence and methodologies. Despite many of his "brethren" in the day, he held out that we must adhere to the divine, supernatural nature of all that Christianity entails or else forfeit the Gospel itself: the divine inerrancy of the Scriptures, the nature and qualities of both God and man, that salvation is a supernatural work of God, that real people with real sins were atoned for by the blood of Christ, the human and divine natures of Christ, amongst many things that set Historic Christianity apart from all other religions devised by man out in the world.
God creates in people something that was not there through the cross of Christ. Theological Liberalism essentially renders Christianity just another choice of moralistic religions, that we are all basically good, and can morally reform ourselves outside of God, amongst a host of other religions saying the same thing.
I believe it is deeply and vastly important for modern believers in the Gospel to read this book, because there is a movement underway in our culture that is doing the same things as liberals of the early 20th century: it goes by the name of the Emerging Church. The liberalism of the 20th century addressed the Modern era, and now the Emerging church new liberalism addresses the postmodern era.
With modernism there was scientific certainty; with postmodernism, there is total uncertainty and skepticism, and this has translated into the realm of spirituality i.
Make Christianity attractive by bringing in the thinking of the world around us. Sounds good right? I mean, at least on a surface level, the intention may be good, which is win people for Christ!
But is it effective in the long run? As John Piper properly notes in an introduction to a sermon he preached, "If you adjust your doctrine to fit the world in order to attract the world, sooner or later the world realizes that they already have what the church offers. That was the story of much of mainline Protestantism in Europe and America in the 20th century. Adjust your doctrine — or just minimize doctrine — to attract the world, and in the very process of attracting them, lose the radical truth [the Gospel itself] that alone can set them free.
However, as history shows, this does not work. This movement will ultimately wind up blocking people from seeing, believing in, and enjoying the true Christ of the Scriptures as opposed to the Jesus made in their own image and likeness , for which they will be held accountable before His White Throne judgment may God have mercy on us all on that day. And in addition to this, they have in many cases totally redefined the Christian message altogether, where it is no longer distinguishable from that of other religions with their pseudo-pietistic, works-based approach to God.
As with the liberalism in the 20th century that Machen addressed in this book, the Emerging Church will surely bring about the very eclipse of Christ and the Gospel the good news of redemption!
The Emerging Church is just version 2. May we learn from history and glorify Jesus by adhering to His infallible Word, even if people hate us!
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Christianity and Liberalism