I picked this classic up this summer in participation with Tim Challies’s Reading Classics Together. In it, J. Gresham Machen lays out several key distinctions between the genuine Christian faith and that of liberal theologians in his day (this book was originally published in 1923).
Liberalism is not a legitimate form of historic Christianity but rather a different religion entirely.
The question is: Is this book relevant for us today?
The answer is yes. Absolutely.
I was sharing my fascination regarding this book with my home pastor, and he stated it rather simply: “The devil is the least creative being in the world.” That certainly stuck in my mind as I consider the teachings found within the text and I found it to be entirely truthful.
As I read Christianity and Liberalism, the thought continued to strike me, “This could have been written 3 weeks ago. It’s that well thought-out. It’s that complete. And the errors that it refutes are that common.
In spite of what modern-liberal theologians want to sell us, their perspectives aren’t new. Their discoveries are not recent. And while some seek to capitalize on their supposed “fresh” revelation, others want to claim that the historicity of their beliefs give them credence. But their erroneous teachings were condemned in those days as well. This book stands as evidence against the validity of the liberalism that was propagated during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One simply cannot read this text and at the same time support the liberalism that it refutes.
Christianity and Liberalism provides a wonderful resource to those who desire to weigh the truth and seek to understand the power and validity of the historic Christian faith, and the severity of difference between that faith and the liberalism that ran rampant during Machen’s day and has found renewal in our own.