“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” – Acts 20: 28-31
Paul knew false teachers would arise from within the very church that he started in Ephesus and distort the truth. He shed tears over this. And I believe that if Paul were alive and living in America today, he would shed tears over the extent liberal theology has found its way into whole denominations and divinity schools.
J. Gresham Machen’s “Christianity & Liberalism” defends orthodox Christianity in order to counter the liberalism that arose in the early 1900s. Machen, like Paul, was deeply concerned about the danger that liberalism posed.
In his book, he reveals how liberalism and Christianity are diametrically opposed in key theological areas: doctrine, God and man, the Bible, Christ, salvation, and the church. In so doing, he raises a number of red flags that we will examine in the coming weeks to help us discern false teaching.
In Carl R. Trueman’s foreword to Machen’s book, he writes: “It is no wonder, then, that liberalism is totally different from Christianity, for the foundation is different. Christianity is founded upon the Bible. It bases upon the Bible both its thinking and its life. Liberalism on the other hand is founded upon shifting emotions of sinful men.”
So, be on your guard!