Book in Review: "Christianity and Liberalism"

Could a book be more relevant for today? Well, surely God's Word is--but Machen's book written nearly a hundred years ago seems pre-molded for modern America 2016. We live in the age of Creflo Dollar's gospel, Bart Ehrman's textual criticism, Joel Osteen's preaching, and Oprah Winfrey's theology. If the circumstances surrounding Dr. Machen's early 20th century world were bad--what has it come to today?!

There indeed is nothing new under the sun. The battles that were wrestled in the past are the same battles we are fighting today (though perhaps under different names). Machen iterates, "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." It is therefore that menace to the precious church of Jesus Christ that Machen fights against with all righteous tenacity of a shepherd whose flock is under siege by wolves.

Machen reveals that "Liberal Christianity" is not Christianity at all. He goes as far as to say that liberalism is no "mere hersey" as it proceeds from a "totally different root". Liberal Christianity, as Machen defines in the opening, is a false gospel. It has a different view of God, a far more positive view of man, a different view of Jesus Christ, and therefore a far different view of salvation. Jesus under the liberal teaching is no longer the "object of our faith" but a faithful example to us of ethics, morals, and love for all. Man needs only follow his example alone and all will be well! To that Machen says--FALSE RELIGION. If Jesus did not live, die, and rise from the dead in historical time and space we have nothing. A gospel without the supernatural, Machen concedes, may be easier to believe--but it would not be worth believing! We are in desperate need of deliverance from our sin, and only the blood of Jesus can satisfy that need.

Machen also includes a brief and incredibly strong defense of the authenticity of Paul's letters as well as the unity of the Scriptures as a whole. "Christianity and Liberalism" is an excellent defense for the Truth of the Gospel as expressed throughout Scripture and could not be more relevant for today. If you want a book to stretch yourself in 2016, make this the one.


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