Machen on the Double Use of Language

One of the issues that we face today in the church is the redefinition of familiar words and phrases. This is not a new phenomenon. J. Gresham Machen wrote on the subject in 1923 in his book, Christianity and Liberalism. Here is an excerpt from that work:

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 Savior, or shall we reject Him with the liberal Church?

At this point an objection may be raised. The liberal preacher, it maybe said, is often ready to speak of the “deity” of Christ; he is often ready to say that “Jesus is God.” The plain man is much impressed. The preacher, he says, believes in the deity of our Lord; obviously then his unorthodoxy must concern only details; and those who object to his presence in the Church are narrow and uncharitable heresy-hunters. Continue reading