12 August 2009

Machen on Controversy

Machen responds to those who bemoan 'unseemly controversy' regarding the church's doctrine.

In very many cases, people who decry controversy have already lost, or are in the process of losing, their own hold upon the great verities of the faith. They may not be conscious of relinquishing a single doctrine or a single fact that the Bible records. But the trouble is that what is not consciously given up in their minds has been removed from their hearts; they live only on the periphery of the Christian religion, and the really great things are lost from view. By such persons, whether in the pulpit or in the pew, the gospel in not indeed denied. But what is almost a worse thing than that is done--the gospel is not denied, but is simply ignored.

That last sentence is worth rereading.

--J. Gresham Machen, 'What is the Gospel?' in in J. Gresham Machen: Selected Short Writings (ed. D. G. Hart; P&R 2004), 125

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