Maniacal Renderings (1)

“The second of the general conditions favourable to any spiritual advance is honesty — just plain old-fashioned honesty of speech. That condition in certain religious circles is largely absent today. Traditional terminology is constantly being used in a double sense. Plain people in the church are being told, for example, that this preacher or that believes that Jesus is God. They go away much impressed; the preacher, they say, believes in the deity of Christ; what more could be desired? What is not being told them is that the word ‘God’ is being used in a pantheising or Ritschlian sense, so that the assertion, ‘Jesus is God,’ is not the most Christian, but the least Christian thing that the modernist preacher says. The modernist preacher affirms the deity of Jesus not because he thinks high of Jesus but because he thinks desperately low of God” (J. Gresham Machen, God Transcendent, pp. 44-45).

Similar empty and meaningless mutterings are also found in Christianity & Liberalism:

“The greatest menace to the Christian Church today comes not from the enemies outside, but from the enemies within; it comes from the presence within the Church of a type of faith and practice that is anti-Christian to the core.

We are not dealing here with delicate personal questions; we are not presuming to say whether such and such an individual man is a Christian or not. God only can decide such questions; no man can say with assurance whether the attitude of certain individual ‘liberals’ toward Christ is saving faith or not. But one thing is perfectly plain — whether or no liberals are Christians, it is at any rate perfectly clear that liberalism is not Christianity. And that being the case, it is highly undesirable that liberalism and Christianity should continue to be propagated within the bounds of the same organization. A separation between the two parties in the Church is the crying need of the hour” (J. Gresham Machen, Christianity & Liberalism, pp. 159-160).

Jesus Christ said by their fruits we would know the heretics, the false teachers, the wolves. Machen would vainly attempt to cloak his indelicate personal attack on Christ’s veracity with the robe of false humility. These maniacal mutterings of Machen wickedly admonish us toward a “genuine Christian piety” that would refrain from “heartless insensitivity” toward ravenous wolves while demonstrating palpable impudence toward the Son of God.

Come now, let us walk (careful now) further down this dark and damp Calvinist corridor to see if we can decipher Machen’s incessant mutterings from within his padded cell. Shhh. Listen:

“If, then, we are to obtain a Jesus who kept His own Person out of His gospel, and offered to men merely the way of approach to God which He had followed for Himself, we cannot do so by an acceptance of the New Testament account of Jesus’ words as it stands, but can do so, if at all, only by a critical process within that account. The true words of Jesus must be separated from words falsely attributed to Him before we can obtain the modern gospel which omits redemption and the Cross” (J. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith?, pp. 108-109).

Mr. Machen? Sir? Is belief in “redemption and the Cross” necessary to every man if he is to be considered a truly regenerate believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?

“The question is wrongly put when it is put in that way. Who can tell exactly how much knowledge of the facts about Christ is necessary if a man is to have saving faith? None but God can tell. Some knowledge is certainly required, but exactly how much is required we cannot say… What right have we to say that full knowledge and full conviction are necessary before a man can put his trust in the crucified and risen Lord? … One thing at least is clear: even [if belief in redemption and the Cross] is not necessary to every Christian, it is certainly necessary to Christianity. And it is necessary to the corporate witness of the Church…Let it never be forgotten that [redemption and the Cross] is an integral part of the New Testament witness about Christ, and that that witness is strongest when it is taken as it stands” (cf. J. Gresham Machen, The Virgin Birth of Christ, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1930), pp. 395-396).

Machen and Scripture don’t see things quite the same.
Gospel-denying picture comes from his darkened brain.
A cross-less gospel for at least some is his twisted vision.
Maintaining that only “Christianity” requires that precision.

Gresham Machen’s escape from Scriptural reason and cold reality.
Would he chalk up my righteous judgment to a winsome personality?
With essential gospel doctrine questions, him I am pestering.
Maniacal mutterings from within his cell, Machen is rendering.

Advertisements