This is a paper I wrote my Junior year, spring semester of 2011, at Maranatha Baptist Bible College for a class entitled “Fundamentalism.” This is a narrowly focused biography of one of my heroes, J. Gresham Machen, specifically on how his actions made him a leader in the separatist movements during his day.
Machen was definitely a leader in Fundamentalism’s separatist withdrawal from liberal and modernistic ecclesiastical institutions in the 1930’s. His militancy against liberalism and those who made friends with liberals characterized the latter half of his life. He split from the Presbyterian Church to establish a pure Presbyterian denomination. He faced the difficulties of beginning a new mission board after condemning the Presbyterian board of its liberalism. He made an exodus from the moderate infested Princeton to found Westminster Theological Seminary. And lastly, his writing of Christianity and Liberalism set the doctrinal foundation for his separation. He chose the difficult path of honest devotion to the purity of orthodox doctrine by rejecting the popular path of what appeared to be unity but was truly dishonest partnership. He was certainly a man whom many found themselves able to follow in Fundamentalism’s fight of separation, and is an exemplary role model for separatists today.
* Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.