Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Words to Remember

It would be a great mistake to suppose that all men are equally well prepared to receive the gospel. It is true that the decisive thing is the regenerative power of God. That can overcome all lack of preparation, and the absence of that makes even the best preparation useless. But as a matter of fact God usually exerts that power in connection with certain prior conditions of the human mind, and it should be ours to create, so far as we can, with the help of God, those favorable conditions for the reception of the gospel. False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion. Under such circumstances, what God desires us to do is to destroy the obstacle at its root.—J. Gretchen Machen, “The Scientific Preparation of the Minister,” The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 11, 1913.

2 comments:

Dave said...

Yes, I'm extremely thankful for J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig's Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. This is an excellent resource for "destroying speculations that set themselves up against the knowledge of God".

Jeffrey said...

Great quote. I have been trying put that thought into words and now I don't need to. It explains why the "Culture War" matters and why its abandonment by younger evangelicals is troubling.