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January 1, 2019 marked the lapse of copyright restrictions for many books published in the United States in the year 1923. It also marked the 82nd anniversary of the passing of J.G. Machen into glory (which occurred on Jan. 1, 1937). It so happens that one of his most famous books — Christianity and Liberalism — was published in 1923 and is now in the public domain. A faithful friend and reader of our site, Pastor Phil Pockras, was kind enough to alert us to the availability of this particular book, which is now accessible at Machen’s author page.
To whet your appetite for this classic work, here are a few notable quotes that have stood out to this reader:
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” - pp. 1-2
A public-school system, if it means the providing of free education for those who desire it, is a noteworthy and beneficent achievement of modern times; but when once it becomes monopolistic it is the most perfect instrument for tyranny which has yet been devised. Freedom of thought in the middle ages was combated by the Inquisition, but the modern method is far more effective.’ – p. 14
“Christ died" -- that is history; "Christ died for our sins" -- that is doctrine. Without these two elements, joined in an absolutely indissoluble union, there is no Christianity. – p. 27
The narration of the facts is history; the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine. "Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried" -- that is history. "He loved me and gave Himself for me" -- that is doctrine. Such was the Christianity of the primitive Church. – p. 29
Paganism is that view of life which finds the highest goal of human existence in the healthy and harmonious and joyous development of existing human faculties. Very different is the Christian ideal. Paganism is optimistic with regard to unaided human nature, whereas Christianity is the religion of the broken heart. – p. 65
If you have read this book already, what are some gems that you can share with our readers? If you have not read this book, please consider downloading it for your reading pleasure. And if you have other suggestions for books that we should add to the site, please contact us directly to let us know. Thanks Phil, and thanks to all our readers, for your support and encouragement!