Item description for Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America by Darryl G. Hart & D. G. Hart...
Overview A study of Machen's thought and career that says much about the issues that unsettled mainstream Protestantism's hold on American intellectual and cultural life.
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Studio: P & R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 6.12" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.74 lbs.
Release Date Mar 21, 2003
Publisher P & R Publishing
ISBN 0875525636 ISBN13 9780875525631
Availability 0 units.
More About Darryl G. Hart & D. G. Hart
Darryl Hart, a historian of American religion, is director of academic projects and faculty development at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware. He studied at Temple, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins universities, and at Westminster Theological Seminary, and has also written Defending the Faith, The University Gets Religion, That Old-Time Religion in Modern America, and The Lost Soul of American Protestantism. He lives in Philadelphia.
Reviews - What do customers think about Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America?
A concise summary Mar 12, 2007
Hart does a fine job of giving us a good overview of the person and times of J Gresham Machen. We are given sufficient detail to properly understand the circumstances surrounding him and the changes he was facing. This is an invaluable lesson for anyone who finds himself going against the trends of society.
Well done, though more technical than expected Oct 3, 2006
Never having read much about J. Gresham Machen, I came to this book slightly unprepared for the technical discussions Hart sometimes gets into about the intellectual and even cultural context in which Machen lived and worked. However, this really is one of the book's strengths because Hart does a great job showing how the ideas and debates of Machen's time influenced his thought. He didn't work in a vacuum and Hart points out both how Machen responded to his times and how his critics in turn responded to him. The only caveat with the book is that it is much more a study of Machen's thought than it is a personal biography about what he was like (though there is some of that too). In the end I walked away with a deeper appreciation for Machen's intellectual honesty, scholarly rigor, and courage in defending the faith in his day. Now I need to read Ned B. Stonehouse's biographical
Amazing book about an extraordinary man Jun 12, 2006
If there is one individual in American history that punctuates the struggle in the church to prevent the separation from reason to religion, fact to faith, it is J. Gresham Machen (1881 - 1937). Hart does an incredible job of putting this larger-than-life character in his proper historical significance and the book is a must read for any person who wants to more fully understand why the church is so impotent in her ability to relate in a relevant manner to the real issues of the day.
Machen's struggle was primarily against the efforts within the Presbyterian church at the turn of the century to modernize and become more relevant to the cultural around them. Machen strongly believed that God's Word was timeless and the emphasis need to remain on educating and equipping the leaders of tomorrow with a strong foundation of theology and understanding of the truth and tenets of Scripture and the celebrated historical creeds of the faith. He became one of the most celebrated professors at Princeton Seminary, but was forced out of this position because of his unwillingness to compromise on the importance of solid biblical scholarship as well as his refusal to kowtow to the political structure within the church. After leaving Princeton, Machen and a few others founded Westminster Theological Seminary, which has gained a reputation for its Calvinistic theology as well as a reputation for solid scholarship, especially in the fields of biblical studies and theology.
Machen's primary battle was with the church's move toward anti-intellectualism, the embrace of the emotional and sensational evangelicalism of the day that "won soles" but didn't change lives. Machen was an incredible figure that clearly demonstrated the power and influence of the church's slide away from her historical roots and moorings into the cultural drift we can so easily see in a vast percentage of our churches today - especially in Machen's beloved Presbyterian Church!
The historical significance of Machen is only matched by his amazing and colorful personality. He passed away at a relatively young age really at the peak of his significance to the movement attempting to reestablish the importance of intellectual pursuits in the Christian walk; but his legacy is felt today through the lives and works of those who picked up the torch and continued the battle including the works of Francis Schaeffer, Cornelius Van Till, B.B. Warfield, and even Nancy Pearcey.
A Superb Job Oct 18, 2005
We have long needed a superior biography of Protestantism's leading conservative theologian of the first half of the 20th century. Hart has written an excellent work, in the process showing that he is as much at home in general American intellectual history as in the more narrow field of church history. The observations are perceptive, the prose clear. After mastering Hart's work no will be able to talk about "fundamentalism" in the same way again. Justus D. Doenecke, Emeritus Professor of History, New College of Florida
Exceptional Jun 1, 2005
D.G. Hart has proven himself to be one of the finest contemporary historians who focuses on American evangelicalism. For fans of Machen or contemporary North American Presbyterians - this book is absolutely a must read.
What distinguishes this work from other biographies of Machen is Hart's tremendous ability to bring out the historical situation and cultural currents that swirled around the pivotal events in Machen's life. Hart provides us with a richly textured vision of the tensions within North American protestantism during the first half of the twentieth century.
The book is ably written in clear prose. Even though the issues and arguments surrounding Machen's work are often quite complicated, this book is as much of a "page turner" as any work of such meticulous scholarship can be.
Hart's theological astuteness is also indirectly evident throughout the book. This allows him to portray individuals on all sides of the various issues as full and interesting individuals rather than as cardboard characters. We can easily understand why many would find Machen's opponents to be attractive figures, even though one suspects that Hart would often have sided with Machen.