Biblical Miracles: The Difference Between Two Diverse Religions

I revisited a citation from Machen’s classic, Christianity and Liberalism.  You may be aware that J. Gresham Machen was a professor at Princeton during the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy. Though he was hesitant to identify himself with much of fundamentalism, he had a robust mind with a vigorous desire for truth. He writes in his book Christianity and Liberalism, originally published in 1923, that a Christianity that denies miracles is not authentic Christianity. Regarding the liberal dogma that miracles should be rejected, among them the Virgin birth of Christ and His resurrection, Machen responds,

The issue does not concern individual miracles, even so important a miracle as the Virgin birth. It really concerns all miracles. And the question concerning all miracles is simply the question of the acceptance or rejection of the Saviour that the New Testament presents. Reject the miracles and you have in Jesus the fairest flower of humanity who made such an impression upon His followers that after His death they could not believe that He had perished but experienced hallucinations in which they thought they saw Him risen from the dead; accept the miracles, and you have a Saviour who came voluntarily into this world for our salvation, suffered for our sins upon the Cross, rose again from the dead by the power of God, and ever lives to make intercession for us. The difference between those two views is the difference between two totally diverse religions. It is high time that this issue should be faced; it is high time that the misleading use of traditional phrases should be abandoned and men should speak their full mind. Shall we accept the Jesus of the New Testament as our Saviour, or shall we reject Him with the liberal church” (J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, 109, emphasis added).

Though his work is nearly 90 years old, it remains as true today as when he wrote it.


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