Machen, John Gresham


Machen, John Gresham

▪ American theologian
born July 28, 1881, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
died January 1, 1937, Bismarck, North Dakota

      American Presbyterian theologian and fundamentalist leader.

      Born to a prominent family in Baltimore, Machen later studied at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the universities at Marburg and Göttingen. In 1906 he joined the faculty of the Princeton Theological Seminary. He criticized liberal Protestantism as unbiblical and unhistorical in his Christianity and Liberalism (1923) and struggled to preserve the conservative character of the Princeton Theological Seminary. He left Princeton in 1929, after the school was reorganized and adopted a more accepting attitude toward liberal Protestantism, and he helped found Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1914, Machen was suspended from the ministry by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)), for his opposition to modern liberal revision of the 17th-century English Presbyterian creed, the Westminster Confession. Following his suspension from the ministry, he helped found the Presbyterian Church in America, which became the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1939. Machen was a major theological voice in support of conservative Christianity.

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Universalium. 2010.

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