Thoughts on “Doctrine” from Christianity & Liberalism

June 13, 2011

Two main thoughts remain with me after reading this chapter. I will tie them to a couple of quotes.

“Such is the way in which expression is often given to the modern hostility to ‘doctrine.’ But is it really doctrine as such that is objected to, and not rather one particular doctrine in the interests of another? Undoubtedly, in many forms of liberalism it is the latter alternative which fits the case. There are doctrines of modern liberalism, just as tenaciously and intolerantly upheld as any doctrines that find a place in the historic creeds.”

To shun doctrine altogether is not an option. Everyone lives their life on the basis of some system of thought. The crucial question is whether or not that worldview has any legitimacy or factual basis. The question is not, “Doctrine or no doctrine?” It must be, “Good doctrine or bad doctrine.”

Good doctrine will have a basis in fact, and Machen spends much of the chapter demonstrating how the religion of early Christianity (and even of Christ!) was clearly tied to fact and history.

“But if any one fact is clear, on the basis of this evidence, it is that the Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work, but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.”

These words and thoughts are just as true today as when Machen wrote them!

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One Response to “Thoughts on “Doctrine” from Christianity & Liberalism”

  1. piroteck said

    Great book! Really emphasis the authority of Scripture and the historicity of Christianity. Jesus really did die on the cross and really did raise from the dead those 2k years ago. I’ll pray it affects you and your understanding (and consequently love) for the Gospel as much as it did me.

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