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)

This entry was posted in ecclesiology, two kingdoms by Steven Wedgeworth. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.

8 thoughts on “Machen on Transformationalism

  1. Pingback: Machen’s Vision of Transforming the World | Resurrectio et Vita

  2. Steven, why do you suppose men like Dr Hart want to portray Machen as a solid R2K man? Hart has even said, he leaned his R2K from Machen. From the quotes I’ve read, Machen would be very postmillennial, and certainly not pessimistic amillennial.

  3. Obviously there’s power in having big names on your side, and I do believe that Hart truly loves Machen and seeks to imitate him. I just think he’s revised Machen a bit over the years. Also, Machen was not exactly a fundamentalist of the current stripe. He was fairly aristocratic. Also, modern transformationalists have tended to reject natural law and downplay reason. Machen did neither, and thus in the current landscape, he doesn’t easily fit with the transformationalists. Thus, it is easy, albeit hasty, to plop him in the other camp.

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