Machen on the Love of God

I wish all writers would write as clearly and beautifully as J. G. Machen.  One of the pressing duties of and needs in the Christian church today is clear and unembellished truth without all the equivocation and ambiguity.  Machen can teach all of us many things, one of them is this: be clear and concise.  I’ve never read anything by Machen and asked myself “What did he just say?”  Of course sermons should be the same, but that’s a different post.  There are quite a few examples I could use from Machen; I’ll display it with one of my favorite short passages of Machen on God’s love and another one on facts in Christianity.

“It is a strange thing that when men talk about the love of God, they show by every word they utter that they have no conception at all of the depths of God’s love.  If you want to find an instance of true gratitude for the infinite grace of God, do not go to those who think of God’s love as something that cost nothing, but go rather to those who in agony of soul have faced the awful fact of the guilt of sin, and then have come to know with a trembling wonder that the miracle of all miracles has been accomplished, and that the eternal Son has died in their stead.”

“The Christian religion is founded squarely upon a message that sets forth facts.  If that message is false, then the religion that is founded on it must of course be abandoned; but if it is true, then the Christian church must still deliver the message faithfully as it did on the morning of the first Easter Day.”

From J. Gresham Machen’s Selected Shorter Writings, edited by D. G. Hart (Phillipsburg: P&R, 2004), 32, 95.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

2 thoughts on “Machen on the Love of God”

  1. Posts on Wednesday to Whet the Appetite…

    The Reformed Reader provides a gem of a quotation from J. Gresham Machen on the Love of God from his selected shorter writings. The Love God has for His people really does lose all its majesty and awe when it is reduced to being cheap and easy to get.


  2. Reading this was a great way to start the day. Machen is one of those writers every one who loves Christ’s church should read a few times a year. Thanks for posting.


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