Secular? Private? It All Depends on what You Mean

Peter Leithart mentions me in this post, and I can say that I agree with the bulk of it all.  I do still think, however, that there are some terminological problems.

It is true that “secular” is time and not a space, in a way, because the term itself refers to the “temporal kingdom.”  Thus even the visible church exists in the secular.  But for many of these conversations we seem to let the metaphors get away from us.  Secular isn’t physical space, but it does have a sort of “space” of jurisdiction.  Continue reading

Machen on Transformationalism

A solid building cannot be constructed when all the materials are faulty; a blessed society cannot be formed out of men who are still under the curse of sin.  Human institutions are really to be molded, not by Christian principles accepted by the unsaved, but by Christian men; the true transformation of society will come by the influence of those who have themselves been redeemed.

Thus Christianity differs from liberalism in the way in which the transformation of society is conceived.  But according to Christian belief, as well as according to liberalism, there is really to be a transformation of society; it is not true that the Christian evangelist is interested in the salvation of individuals without being interested in the salvation of the race.  And even before the salvation of all society has been achieved, there is already a society of those who have been saved.  That society is the Church.  The Church is the highest Christian answer to the social needs of man.

Christianity and Liberalism pgs. 158-159 (Eerdmans printing of the 1923 edition)