Saturday, April 16, 2011

Relevant Words From 1925

"The absence of doctrinal teaching and preaching is certainly one of the causes for the present lamentable ingnorance in the church. But a still more influential cause is found in the failure of the most important of all Christian education institutions. The most important Christian education institution is not the pulpit or the school, important as these institutions are; but it is the Christian family. And that institution has to a very large extent ceased to do its work. Where did those of us who have reached middle life really get our knowledge of the Bible? I suppose my experience is the same as that of a good many of us. I did not get my knowledge of the Bible from Sunday School or from any other school, but I got it on Sunday afternoons with my mother at home. And I will venture to say that although my mental ability was certainly of no extraordinary kind I had a better knowledge of the Bible at fourteen years of age than is possessed by many students in the theological seminaries of the present day.

"Theological students come for the most part from Christian homes; indeed in very considerable proportion they are children of the manse (i.e., their fathers are pastors). Yet when they have finished college and enter the theological seminary many of them are quite ignorant of the simple contents of the English Bible." ~ J. Gresham Machen, quoted in Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch, p.80

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