Christianity & the Tolerance of Liberalism

Christianity and the Tolerance of Liberalism: J.Gresham Machen and the Presbyterian Controversy of 1922-1937
By Lee Gatiss

At the beginning of the last century a more liberal way of interpreting Christianity began to grow in popularity. Traditional believers in many denominations are currently reaping the fruit of a failure to heed the stark warnings about liberalism given at that time by American theologian J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937). Much of what happened in the Presbyterian Church of which he was a part will sound eerily familiar to Anglicans today.

This book examines key battlegrounds in the conflict between conservative, liberal, and so-called ‘moderate’ Christians in the early 20th Century – training for ministry, the denomination’s attitude towards money, and competing notions of mission.

Machen’s principles eventually led him to leave both his seminary and his denomination to create new institutions. But did Machen get it right about how to combat liberalism? Even while we acknowledge his theological insight, should we also be wary of repeating his mistakes?

First Published 2008: 84 pages. Click Here to order it from Latimer Trust (also available on

ISBN: 978 0 946307 63 0

Price: £3.50

Two talks based on this book can also be found in mp3 format here and an extract from a chapter here.

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