“The growth of ignorance in the Church is the logical and inevitable result of the false notion that Christianity is a life and not also a doctrine; if Christianity is not a doctrine then of course teaching is not necessary to Christianity.  But whatever be the causes for the growth of ignorance in the Church, the evil must be remedied.  It must be remedied primarily by the renewal of Christian education in the family, but also by the use of whatever other educational agencies the Church can find.  Christian education is the chief business of the hour for every earnest Christian man. Christianity cannot subsist unless men know what Christianity is; and the fair and logical thing is to learn what Christianity is, not from its opponents, but from those who themselves are Christians.”


(J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, “The Church,” Chpt. VII, p 149, 1923, new ed. 2009)

The Growing Ignorance of Christianity by Christians


2 thoughts on “The Growing Ignorance of Christianity by Christians

  1. gjoelfranco says:

    While this quote from Mr. Machen is a bit dramatic, of course Christianity is a doctrine, all religions are. A part of any religion is a way of life if you will, part is doctrine. The world is not against Christinity though, and like all religions interpreting the text changes, with, sadly, few exceptions.

    I feel (and I am sorry I know it is off topic from this quote) that too many people forget that questioning things is part of most religions themselves, but for some reason (as it is in another aspects of life) if you disagree about something, or question something, you are considered a non-believer or evil, or people don’t want to speak to you anymore.

    Disagreement is what makes it great as no religion has the answer to everything. I wish more people would believe in spirituality and faith rather minutia. I apologize for the off topic comment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mjabate says:

      In one sense, your comment may be off topic; however, in another sense, it relates to the subject matter that the late Mr. Machen addresses in his book as a whole. I think he hits a home run with respect to observing in his day (the 1920s) the sheer ignorance of professing Christians regarding the Bible, its truth claims, and how those things translate into living in society and culture.

      I feel that Machen’s observations still apply to professing Christians in our day. Part of me wants to trust that an honest, down-to-earth, Christian lives what he believes without flying off the handle toward questions or critiques in what he believes and the manner in which he lives his beliefs. It seems to me that this last point reveals some very real short-comings. If a person professes to be a Christian, then spiritual growth and maturity should be expected and seen in his/her life. The absence of those may suggest hypocrisy.


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