Fri, 10 March 2023
This is the 100th anniversary of the publication of J. Gresham Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism. Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey speak with Lane Tipton about the third chapter of Machen’s classic, which addresses the relationship between God and man.
In this chapter Machen responds to the theological views of Schleiermacher and Von Harnack, and how he invokes the category of “revealed rational theism” to unite a doctrine of God and man based on general and special revelation as the great “presupposition” of historic Christian orthodoxy. Machen argues that the doctrine of God and man revealed in Scripture is the basis for the gospel and forms the presuppositional substructure of Christianity, which modern liberalism is diametrically opposed to. He affirms a natural knowledge of God in conscience and history, but centers special revelation for doctrines of God and man. Jesus’ use of the words of prophets and psalmists reveals the character of God and gives significance to the Old Testament heritage and Jesus’ own teaching. Machen envisions this revealed theology as the “root of Christianity,” not a natural religion, and one that rests on the teaching of the Old Testament as interpreted by Jesus Christ and his apostles.