In which Princeton is referred to as conservative.

3) The Media Just Don’t Get Religion

It’s hard to pick a favorite example from various other temper tantrum throwers but I’m going to go with Charles Pierce of Esquire. Take it away, Charles (emphasis mine):
As for the winner, Brat seems a very bad combination of serious religious quester and devout Randian economist, a combination that would have had Ms. Rand herself reaching for the opium pipe. He got his undergraduate degree at Hope College in Michigan, which is run by the Reformed Church in the United States, a conservative evangelical wing of the United Church Of Christ. He then got a Masters in Divinity at Princeton, which is a very conservative seminary and now, according to his website,Dave attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church with his wife Laura and their two children: Jonathan, 15 and Sophia, 11. So either he’s a Douthatian convert, god help us, or his faith is all over the lot, which may account for his rather startling announcement last night that he won because God was speaking through the voters of the Seventh Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
2) They’re not conservative.
3) They’re not the evangelical wing of the United Church of Christ. I mean, what does that even mean, in terms of church polity? They are in fellowship with various mainline church bodies such as the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ.
4) You couldn’t call Princeton Theological Seminary, which is associated with the aforementioned PCUSA, conservative and you really couldn’t call it very conservative. You couldn’t even call it these things before the 1920s or 1930s, during the Modernist controversy that led to J. Gresham Machen’s departure. Are you insane?
But really, Charles, I’m sure the rest of the article is totally worth paying attention to.

They have done absolutely nothing.

Postscript: As an example of how modernism continued to haunt some confessional Protestants, here’s a quotation from E. J. Young’s December 6, 1955 letter to Carl Henry in which he declined serving on the editorial board of Christianity Today:
As you well know, Carl, there was in the Presbyterian Church a great controversy over modernism. That controversy was carried on by Dr. Machen in part. There were many who supported Dr. Machen in his opposition to unbelief. On the other hand there were many who did not support him. When matters came to a showdown and Dr. Machen was put from the church there were those who decided it would be better to remain within and to fight from within.   
. . . Since that time I have watched eagerly to see what would be done by those who remained in the church. They have done absolutely nothing. Not one voice has been raised so far as I know to get the church to acknowledge its error in 1936 and to invite back into its fold those who felt constrained to leave, or those who were put out of the church. . . . What has greatly troubled me has been the complete silence of the ministers in the church. They simply have not lived up to their ordination vows.

— Dr. Hart, No Ecclesiology, No Identity. 

What Don Miller gets wrong

Author Donald Miller admits that he doesn’t worship God by singing and that he connects with God elsewhere. At best, this is an uphelpful go-ahead for substance starved millennials to disregard gathered-worship.  At worst, it its unbiblical and dangerous.  It is my feeling it leans towards the latter.

Denny Burk has written everything I’d hope to say on this, complete with many of the same verses (and many more) than I’d planned to cite.  Please take the time to read what he has to say.  Denny calls Miller’s method a “recipe for spiritual suicide,” and I agree.

Miller’s words reveal what happens when the subjective experience of the individual is made the climax of Christianity.  Paul wrote the epistles in order to rebuke and exhort believers not to forsake the Christian faith and makes it clear that the center of Christian worship is the gathering of believers in a local church, the physical bride of Christ.  Where the Gospel is preached, the sacraments tasted and poured, and hymns and Psalms sung — there we find the Christ who follows us into our vocation and lives outside of corporate worship. Christ died for this church, that she would be redeemed and made beautiful.

There is no mention of small group Bible studies or “quasi-intentional spiritual communities” in the New Testament.  When a gathering is mentioned, it is the Church.

My good friend Scott put it better than I ever could:

I would be remiss if I did not quote Machen in Christianity & Liberalism, whose words could not ring more true:

“Christian experience is rightly used when it helps to convince us that the events narrated in the New Testament actually did occur; but it can never enable us to be Christians whether the events occurred or not. It is a fair flower, and should be prized as a gift of God. But cut it from its root in the blessed Book, and it soon withers away and dies.”  

 I’m happy to clarify and answer any questions in the comments. I reserve the right to delete and moderate as I see fit.

Oh, God, give us another!

 There is an exact parallel between Dr. Martin Luther and Dr. Machen. Dr. Machen was the Luther of the twentieth century. Some have criticized his method; his method was logical because it was Biblical.  

Too long have evangelicals paid the bills of baptized infidels! What care they how much evangelicals speak of the Blood, the Book, the Blessed Hope, as long as they get their fat salaries as professors, secretaries, bishops, or what not? But just begin to pull the purse strings shut on them, and see what happens!  

Dr. Machen and his associates were following the Bible method. 2 Cor. 6:17 “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.”  

2 John 11 tells us that fellowship or paying money to such agencies or men who do not preach God’s Christ is to partake of their evil deeds.  

The man who starts out to reform any of the great apostate denominations today is just deceived. Five years ago we challenged a man, who has since compromised with Belial to gain position in Methodism, to give us one example of a denomination or faction gone over to apostasy that ever came back to orthodoxy. That challenge has never been successfully met, not because of that man’s lack of ability but because there is no evidence.  

[*TDPH: Disputing with this author, there are at least two or three examples at hand. In recent times, the Southern Baptist denomination and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. And in the 19th-century, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.]  

Clearly, Dr. Machen was right. Witness wherever you are. Then if wicked men rise up and usurp God’s place in the church, there is nothing left but separation—like Luther, like Machen! Oh, God, give us another!

A Methodist Tribute to JGM – This Day In Presbyterian History