When J. Gresham Machen had little choice but to leave the liberalizing Princeton Theological Seminary, he and some other professors started the Westminster Theological School in Philadelphia, with the first graduating class in 1929.

What he battled nearly a century ago, we’re seeing a social movement towards some of the same, even within some of our seminaries and definitely among many of our churches (that aren’t already there). Here’s what he said about it:

“The answer is plain. Our new institution is devoted to an unpopular cause; it is devoted to the service of One who is despised and rejected by the world and increasingly belittled by the visible church, the majestic Lord and Savior who is presented to us in the Word of God. From Him men are turning away one by one. His sayings are too hard, His deeds of power too strange, His atoning death too great an offense to human pride. But to Him, despite all, we hold. No Christ of our own imaginings can ever take His place for us, no mystic Christ whom we seek merely in the hidden depths of our own souls. From all such we turn away ever anew to the blessed written Word and say to the Christ there set forth, the Christ with whom then we have living communion: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

“Liberalism was (and is) attractive. It appeared friendly because it refused narrowness. It brought compelling breadth to combat ostensibly unfriendly and bigoted Christian theology. It brought desirable warmth to combat allegedly cold Christian dogma. It offered a plausible platform, complete with a universalist parachute to provide a soft spiritual landing for all men everywhere.” – Rev. David B. Garner

{Originally written on February 22,2020}

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