Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

28 July 1881 A.D. Birth of Prof. J.Gresham Machen—“Old School” Princetonian and Founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

28 July 1881 A.D.  Birth of Prof. J.Gresham Machen—“Old School” Princetonian and Founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

Hart, D.G. “Machen and the OPC.”  The Orthodox Presbyterian Church. N.d.  Accessed 14 May 2014.

Machen and the OPC

D. G. Hart

J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) was the principal figure in the founding of the OPC if for no other reason than that the Presbyterian controversy in which he played a crucial role provided the backdrop for the denomination begun in 1936. A distinguished New Testament scholar at Princeton Seminary from 1906 to 1929, Machen defended the historical reliability of the Bible in such works as The Origin of Paul's Religion (1921) and The Virgin Birth of Christ (1930). He emerged as the chief spokesman for Presbyterian conservatives by issuing a devastating critique of Protestant modernism in the popular books Christianity and Liberalism (1923) and What is Faith? (1925). When the northern Presbyterian church (PCUSA) rejected his arguments during the mid-1920s and decided to reorganize Princeton Seminary to create a moderate school, Machen took the lead in founding Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia (1929) where he taught New Testament until his death. His continued opposition during the 1930s to liberalism in his denomination's foreign missions agencies led to the creation of a new organization, The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (1933). The trial, conviction and suspension from the ministry of Independent Board members, including Machen, in 1935 and 1936 provided the rationale for the formation in 1936 of the OPC. Only six months after the new denomination's beginning, Machen died in Bismarck, North Dakota while trying to rally support for the OPC. He was arguably the most important conservative Protestant thinker of the first half of the twentieth century and the guiding light for the first generation of Orthodox Presbyterians.

Resources on Machen

  1. J. Gresham Machen, "Constraining Love"
  2. J. Gresham Machen, "Mountains and Why We Love Them"
  3. J. Gresham Machen, "What Is Orthodoxy?"
  4. John P. Galbraith, "J. Gresham Machen, Man of God"
  5. D. G. Hart and John R. Meuther, "J. Gresham Machen and the Regulative Principle"
  6. D. G. Hart and John R. Muether, "Why Machen Hired Van Til"
  7. D. G. Hart and John R. Muether, "Turning Points in American Presbyterian History" (series of articles in New Horizons)
  8. William M. Hobbs, "The Church and Economic Recovery" (analysis of Machen's Nov. 11, 1932 speech before the American Academy of Political and Social Science)
  9. McKendree R. Langley, "Machen Challenges Experience Theology"
  10. Stephen J. Nichols, J. Gresham Machen: A Guided Tour of His Life and Work (reviewed by John R. Muether)
  11. G. I. Williamson, review of D. G. Hart, Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America

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