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Christianity and Liberalism Published - Timeline Event

Founder

John Gresham Machen

Time Period

1923

Description

As modernist interpretations of the Bible became more prominent in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), traditionalists, like John Gresham Machen, began to challenge this intradenominational cultural shift. His renowned work entitled Christianity and Liberalism (1923) argued that the current debate within the church is not between conservative and liberal interpretations of the Bible, but between Christianity and another religion he called "liberalism." Liberal interpretations of the Bible undermined the core beliefs of Christianity, he argued, and he questioned whether modernists should even be allowed to retain their church membership.

Although the work did little to change the adoption of modernism in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), it led conservatives to begin to separate from the main religious body. Machen and his followers left Princeton to found Westminster Theological Seminary (1929) and later they organized a new Presbyterian denomination in 1932: the Presbyterian Church of America (later called the Orthodox Presbyterian Church).

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Religious Groups

Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Religious Family Tree

Biographies

Machen, John Gresham

Movements

Christian Fundamentalism
Christian Modernism

Related Dictionary Terms

Belief, Religious, Christians, Church, Denomination, Seminary

Photographs

The Descent of the Modernists- Wikimedia Commons
The Descent of the Modernists- Wikimedia Commons

J Gresham Machen portrait- Hathi Trust- from J Gresham Machen, A Biographical Memoir by Ned B. Stonehouse
J Gresham Machen portrait- Hathi Trust- from J Gresham Machen, A Biographical Memoir by Ned B. Stonehouse

Book/Journal Source(s)

Lippy, Charles, and Peter Williams, 2010. Encyclopedia of Religion in America Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History New York: Facts on File.

Web Page Contributor

Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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