Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"The central characteristic of our religion...."

“The free gift of God is an absolutely unaccountable event in the life of every man who accepts it.  It is not the natural working out of a principle, but it is a thing that happens.  But that happening in the soul is the result of a happening in the sphere of external history.  The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  There we have the central characteristic of our religion; the central characteristic of Christianity is that it is not founded merely upon what always was true but primarily upon something that happened — something that took place near Jerusalem at a definite time in the world’s history.  In other words, it is founded not merely upon permanent truths of religion but upon a ‘gospel,’ a piece of news.”

-- J. Gresham Machen, God Transcendent (Edinburgh, 1982), page 39.  Italics his.

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