J. Gresham Machen on the Department of Education

I came across this on the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics website. (Reformed.org) It is a really good read regarding the federal department of education, which Dr. Machen opposed. He gives his reasons for opposing it, along with addressing questions from some of the politicians who were in favor of it. Had the government listened to Dr. Machen I think public schools, and this country as a whole, would be in much better shape today.

If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read my short post from yesterday and download a free copy of Dr. Machen’s book “Christianity and Liberalism.”

Testimony before the House & Senate Committees on the Proposed Department of Education (1926)

J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)


Dr. J. Gresham Machen
Dr. J. Gresham Machen

The following is a transcript of the proceedings of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor, and the House Committee on Education, February 25, 1926, Congress of the United States, Washington D.C. Continue reading J. Gresham Machen on the Department of Education

Christianity and Liberalism

Dr. J. Gresham Machen
Dr. J. Gresham Machen

Liberalism, in the sense of the liberal movement in the Christian church in the 1800s, which still continues today as can be seen herehere, and in the emergent movement, is a poison in the visible Christian church. I say the visible church, as there comes a point where liberals deny Christ, deny the Trinity, the resurrection, the virgin birth of Christ, the deity of Christ, deny penal substitutionary atonement, or deny something else that invalidates the Gospel in the minds of those who believe it, and as such can no longer be considered to be Christian at all.

It is a sickness, a cancer, that spreads, among some that would lead them to turn away from the truth about God’s word, denying its inerrancy, and eventually denying its power and truth. It is unfortunately, also fueled somewhat by the public school system.

In the early 1900s, John Gresham Machen, combated what was then modern liberalism, with his book “Christianity and Liberalism.” One of his points in that amazing book, which I will link to a free copy of at the bottom of this post, was that Liberal Christianity is not Christianity at all. Instead, it is a new religion that seeks to corrupt the Christian church.

While Machen didn’t put an end to it, he dealt a significant blow to it for quite some time. I think the two world wars, and the bloodiest century of all time, may have played a role in curbing it as well. It seems that liberalism isn’t compatible with the real world, or how broken and fallen the real world is. Unfortunately, in our time of mostly peace in the United States, at least as far as the average citizen observes, the cancer began to grow back, and we have the post modern emergents. It is nothing new, different faces for the same old heresies. Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and Greg Boyd being among the leaders of the new post-modern liberals emergents.

What they all have in common starts with a denial of the truth of Scripture. It starts with denying things that “no one can really know for sure,” and “things that don’t really matter all that much,” and moves on to denying the deity of Christ, the reality of hell, and Jesus being the only way to God.

Like all heresies, they are defeated by generations that came before us, but they grow back with slight mutations and must be defeated again by another generation of Christians.

Thankfully, history, and God’s providence are on our side.

That book, Christianity and Liberalism, is as powerful and relevant today as it was in 1923 when it was first published. The book is no longer under copyright as the copyright has expired. So, please feel free to download a free copy today, and to distribute it as much as you are able to. Please, for your own benefit, and the benefit of the Christian church as a whole, read it. (epub | pdf)

To read the book, I suggest Aldiko, MoonReader, or Nook for Android. Calibre works for Windows. I know there are apps for iOS, but sadly, I don’t know which to recommend, maybe Nook app for it as well?


I originally posted this on my Xanga last year. Initially I wrote this as a response to the two posts linked to at the beginning. Today I was considering removing the links, but as they serve as an example of modern liberalism, I have decided to leave them in. I haven’t had dialog with the two men since that time and I don’t know where they stand today. If you feel lead, prayer for them is appreciated.

It is well with my soul

Horatio SpaffordHoratio Spafford was a well known and well to do lawyer, real estate investor, and church elder in 1860s Chicago, he was also good friends with famed preacher D.L. Moody. In 1870 him and his wife lost their only son to scarlet fever, he was four at the time. One year later in 1871 every one of his properties he had invested in along Lake Michigan in Chicago were destroyed by the “Great Chicago Fire”

After all of the stress of losing a son, and then losing all of his investments he decided to take his wife and four daughters to Europe to join his good friend D.L. Moody in sharing the Gospel. Not having planes back then they had to take a boat. They traveled from Chicago to New York to board a boat, the “Ville de Havre.” 

The family was ready to go, but, at the last minute a real estate deal that Horatio was involved in had to be handled. This forced him to return to Chicago. So, to avoid ruining the family vacation, he sent on his wife and four daughters ahead saying he would catch up with them soon.Nine days later, in Chicago, Horatio received a telegram from his wife who was now in Wales. The telegram read, “saved alone.”

spafford - telegram 1

On November 2nd, 1873 the “Ville de Havre” had collided with the “Lochearn”, an English boat. It took the boat only 12 minutes to sink, killing 226 of it’s passengers including Horatio and Anna’s four daughters. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up.

Ville de HavreWhen the survivors of the wreck had been rescued, Mrs. Spafford’s first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her, “You were spared for a purpose.” And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, “It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Upon hearing the news Horatio immediately boarded a boat out of New York to meet his wife in Europe. Upon reaching the place where the “Ville de Havre” had sunk the captain called him to the deck. A careful reckoning has been made”, he said, “and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.”

Upon visiting the place where his daughter’s had met their watery death Horatio wrote a poem. A poem that we now know as the classic hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” He based the poem loosely off of a passage in 2nd Kings chapter 4. A story of a woman who had lost her only son.

In the midst of great sorrow, terrible agony, and the loss of all of his children and riches Horatio wrote this beautiful and classic hymn:

<Audio from Together for the Gospel men singing this hymn. (YouTube)>

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,It is well
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Horatio’s hope wasn’t with the present, he looked past the pain and anguish he must have felt and instead trusted that the God He trusted in, the God who’s grace He was originally going to Europe to preach, would hold him and give him peace.

After this tragedy the Spaffords had three more children, one boy, Horatio Goertner, Bertha Herges, and Grace. Again, Horatio would lose his only son to illness. Horatio Goertner died of pneumonia at the age of 4. After the loss of his son Horatio and family moved to Jerusalem where they would live doing philanthropic work until Horatio died of Malaria in 1888.