Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Our resident roving photographer (my wife Cindy) has returned with some sobering news: very few people seem to know what a church is. Is its purpose to "give you a lift with life's load"? What in the world is "The Tao of Parenting"? How does one "transcend" gender and go beyond infinity?

Modernism is "in its essentials, a unitary system of its own," writes J. Gresham Machen in the “The Church,” the final chapter of his justly renowned book, Christianity and Liberalism. Modernism “differs from Christianity in its view of God, of man, of the seat of authority and of the way of salvation. And it differs from Christianity not only in theology but in the whole of life. . . . The present situation must not be ignored but faced. Christianity is being attacked from within by a movement which is anti-Christian to the core." Machen challenges church officers and individual congregation members to demand qualified ministers who are committed to preaching the gospel, who are "on fire with the cross."

“Weary with the conflicts of the world, one goes into church to seek refreshment for the soul,” Machen reminds us. Regrettably, what one often finds is the “turmoil of the world.” He hears a preacher who offers erudite pontifications about social and political problems and dismisses the doctrine of sin as antiquated and irrelevant.

The Church must once again be the house of God where men can go to “forget for the moment all those things that divide nation from nation and race from race, to forget human pride, to forget the passions of war, to forget the puzzling problems of industrial strife, and to unite in the overflowing gratitude at the foot of the cross."


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