Since I discovered some interesting discussions at Baylyblog.com, I thought I would mention one that has particular relevance to Machen. In “A Primer on Two-Kingdom, Spirituality of the Church, Redemptive-Historical Evasions…,” from Feb. 2010, the Baylys discuss D. G. Hart’s two books Defending the Faith (a biography of J. G. Machen) and Fighting the Good Fight (a history of the OPC). A couple of excerpts:
Dr. Hart does a superb job documenting Machen’s opposition to the binding together of the Church and the feminine anti-alcohol and tobacco crusade that, by way of Fundamentalism, sought to extend its reach into conservative presbyterianism. He said “no,” and our R2K brothers think of themselves as the true keepers of Machen’s flame. Sadly, though, what started out as opposition to teetotalers, prohibitionists, and other moralistic crusaders has morphed into what appears to be a lack of compassion and love for our neighbors and opposition to the Moral Law itself in our work of obedience to the Great Commission…
Where is the Law as tutor or crossing-guard to Christ in the reformed preaching of the Gospel, today? Where do we teach men to obey everything Jesus commanded?
Each generation erects its own Pharisaical boundaries that serve nicely to displace the boundaries of God: true faith in the Blood and Righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ marked by the Sacraments and the fruit of holiness by which all men are enabled to see with their eyes who is in and who is out of God’s Covenant People. And as I see it, for many today, those Pharisaical boundaries allowing the reformed to escape the shame of the Gospel and the painful pursuit of holiness now are taking the shape of talk about R2K, 2K, the spirituality of the Church, or hiding behind a commitment to redemptive-historical preaching.
The Baylys go on to discuss the PCA/MNA’s apparent willingness to sacrifice unpopular Scriptural truths through silence or even “vocal unfaithfulness,” in favor of a trendy, pared-down Gospel.