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Christianity and Liberalism: God and Man

This is the 100th anniversary of the publication of J. Gresham Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism. Danny Olinger and Camden Bucey speak with Lane Tipton about the third chapter of Machen’s classic, which addresses the relationship between God and man.

In this chapter Machen responds to the theological views of Schleiermacher and Von Harnack, which focus on religious experience rather than God’s supernatural acts in history. Machen argues that the doctrine of God and man revealed in Scripture is the basis for the gospel. It forms the presuppositional substructure of Christianity, to which modern liberalism is diametrically opposed. He affirms a natural knowledge of God in conscience and history. Jesus’ use of the words of prophets and psalmists reveals the character of God and gives significance to the Old Testament heritage of Jesus’ teaching. Machen envisions this revealed theology as the “root of Christianity,” not a natural religion, and one that rests on the teaching of the Old Testament as interpreted by Jesus Christ and his apostles.



  • 00:00:07 Introduction
  • 00:07:34 Machen and the Shorter Catechism
  • 00:12:12 Schleiermacher and Von Harnack
  • 00:30:15 Liberalism, Barthianism, and Knowing God
  • 00:35:49 The Universal Fatherhood of God and the Universal Brotherhood of Man
  • 00:44:54 The Problem with Liberalism’s Doctrine of God
  • 00:53:00 Machen Considered Liberalism as Pantheistic
  • 01:02:08 Christian Experience with the Living God
  • 01:08:07 Conclusion

Participants: , ,

Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.


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