Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of New Georgia Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Notes from Chapter 7 of Machen's "Christianity & Liberalism"


Tim Challies is currently leading an on-line reading group, which is discussing J. Gresham Machen's Christianity & Liberalism. Below are some notes that I've taken from the seventh chapter.

I. Whereas both Christianity and liberalism are concerned with social institutions, Christianity is primarily concerned with the "brotherhood of the Christian church," which is a very different conception than the liberal doctrine of the "brotherhood of man."

A. Christians do believe that all men everywhere are brothers in the sense that, "All men have the same Creator and the same nature."

B. However, "The true brotherhood, according to Christian teaching, is the brotherhood of the redeemed."

II. Objection: this teaching is narrow

A. Answer 1: "There is nothing narrow about this teaching; for the Christian brotherhood is open without distinction to all; and the Christian man seeks to bring all men in."

B. Answer 2: This teaching is not narrow, because "all me, whether Christians or not, are our neighbors if they be in need" and we will seek to serve those in need by all kinds of acts of service, YET we will "make the main business of our lives... to bring them to the Saviour of their souls."

III. "It is upon this brotherhood of twice born sinners, this brotherhood of the redeemed, that the Christian founds the hope of society... [thus] [t]he Church is the highest Christian answer to the social needs of man."

IV. The problem of the Church today is that many have been admitted to the membership of churches, and even welcomed into the teaching institutions utilized by churches, who have not made an adequate profession of faith, and who are characterized by anti-Christian beliefs and practices.

V. Liberalism and Christianity are essentially antithetical belief-systems, and for both liberalism and Christianity to exist in the same organization is highly undesirable.

VI. For honesty sake, liberal ministers should not seek teaching positions in churches that hold to creeds or confessions with which they do not agree; these "ministers" should either join themselves with a professedly liberal body (such as the Unitarian Church) or they should found a new body.

A. Involuntary organizations must be tolerant, lest they be unjustly oppressive, but voluntary organizations must be tolerant, lest they cease to exist.

B. If a Democratic club were formed, and a group of Republicans, instead of forming their own club, professed allegiance to Democratic principles, joined the Democratic club, then used the resources of the Democratic club to spread an anti-Democratic message, these Republicans would rightly be seen as dishonest. But a similar situation is happening now, in which liberals profess belief in certain doctrines when they become ministers of a particular denomination, only to use the resources of that denomination to teach against the doctrines they professed to believe. The Church must be more, not less, honest than any political club.

VII. What is the duty of Christian officers in the Church?

A. They should encourage those engaged in the spiritual and intellectual struggle of defending the faith.

B. They should take great care in performing their duty when evaluating candidates for the ministry.

C. They should carefully evaluate preaching to see that it is full of the gospel of Christ.

D. They should strive to renew Christian education.


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