I would like to draw people’s attention to this Festschrift for W. Robert Godfrey. The article that interested me the most of these many fine articles was that of D. G. Hart on the warrior children of Machen. In the time of Machen, and even afterward, Reformed folk generally approved of Machen’s fight against liberalism, although even there they were hesitant to adopt the same level of combativeness that Machen had. It didn’t take long, however, for the fight to go out of the OPC, Hart opines (p. 39). When people critique Machen today, it is usually because Machen tended to fight dispensational premillenialists (such as Carl McIntire). with a vim and vigor that approached his fight with liberalism, and most people cannot stomach that. However, the Bible itself tells us to contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, and there are some among the Reformed denominations who realize the need to fight. Are we right to be militant against the Federal Vision, against the liberals in the PCA, against the general evangelicalism that threatens to turn the PCA into yet another non-Reformed denomination? I believe we are required to do this. As Hart mentions, to be militant about the gospel is “not merely to be one of Machen’s warrior children. It is to belong to the church militant” (p. 55). If you believe some today in the church, there is absolutely nothing left about which we should fight. Unity and peace are the idolatries of today. No doubt some (maybe even many) of the other parties would claim that we idolize theology and correct doctrine. I believe it only seems so to people who do not really care about doctrinal precision. To them, any kind of doctrinal precision seems like doctrinal idolization. From our perspective, we believe the gospel is at stake in many of these controversies. Further, the purity and peace of the church is at stake in all the others.
The Resurrection of Machen’s Warrior Children