In the current IR RR Reno has a review entitled “The End of Criticism” of My Life Among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority” by Philip Rieff which caused me to put it on the list.
All posts for the month February, 2007
Posted by unknowing on February 28, 2007
So eventually Macdonald gets down to the question of how we go forward. He calls TS Eliot’s idea that class lines have to be preserved the conservative view and thinks it is doomed. How realistic is it, in an age of machinery and democracy, to speak of encouraging class distinctions? (71) The whole idea is repugnant to most in our day.
You read Austen or Trollope and you see how fine it could be. You read Wodehouse and glimpse the last of the highly stratified British class-system in all of its wobbly peril. You read Waugh and watch the whole thing smashed by WWII. After that you only get vestiges and holdovers, the last elegances of the 50′s and 60′s. Then the decade of nightmares (old Neuhaus in FT keeps talking about that book and I’m really eager to read The Decade of Nightmares).
Macdonald makes some interesting observations about high culture in the twentieth century. He talks of the academists who tried to manufacture high culture, a sublimated popular culture, early in the twentieth century: Elgar, Maugham and a bunch of names I do not recognize, which proves Macdonald’s point. As a reaction to that you have the Avantgarde, which is modern art: Picasso, Stravinsky, Joyce. The avantgarde could not last, Macdonald says in 1953. It tried to carve out space but it was–and here I suppose–disconnected from the nourishment of a folk culture. We know it deteriorated into insanity; what followed was increasingly tainted with popular culture; the avantgarde was a studied ignoring of popular culture, but could not be maintained and was mixed, contaminated, watered down into bland middlebrow in Macdonald’s day and is now all blown away in egalitarian mists and vapors (63).
You still have sound-effects groups like Kronos Quartet, houses of optical tricks like the Walker in MN or the Wexner in OH, and all the ugly buildings. But these things have lost their hold; they are curiosities even to the people who attend them. They are holding onto the avantgarde idea, it seems to me, because we still have not found alternatives, their gods are the modernists. The exception are rejectors of the modern such as the Inklings or now the holy minimalists, perhaps. Here is where I think Barzun’s Dawn to Decadence would be really helpful. I know Classic, Romantic, Modern was really helpful in explaining the connections in the deterioration of art, explaining why they did what they did in each subsequent era, why they wanted what they wanted and how modern art came about.
Then Macdonald considers the possibility of redeeming, as it were, popular culture, but not very long. To consider its possibilities is to consider its decline into something even worse. How can something that “voids both the deep realities and the simple pleasures” be used in the aid of restoring deep realities and legitimate simple pleasures? Mass culture, popular culture, is not an art, it is a commodity and “tends downward, toward cheapness” (72). The only time, he says, popular culture was good was at the beginning; that was 200 years ago. O Tempora! O Mores!
Has he neglected a category? What about folk culture?
You have to remember that folk culture is what popular culture overcomes first for popular culture exploits the taste folk culture satisfies, so it lurks in those haunts naturally. “Whatever virtues the Folk artist has, and they are many, staying power is not one of them. And staying power is the essential virtue of one who would hold his own against the spreading ooze of Mass Culture” (73).
Macdonald calls the outlook dark. I tend to think it looks pretty hosed.
Posted by unknowing on February 28, 2007
Part of the way Macdonald distinguishes folk culture and popular culture is by saying that folk culture satisfies a taste that popular culture exploits. This is an amazing insight, if he is right, because it suggests that a very close relationship exists between folk and popular culture (very useful for my thesis). This would make popular culture a corruption, not of culture in general, but of folk culture in particular. Macdonald elaborates on this and says popular culture is folk culture broken out of the constraints of folk culture and aspiring to high culture by means of counterfeit. He says it results in a kind of debased high culture, high culture gone to seed; it is folk culture citified. One might say, if I understand Macdonald correctly, that popular culture is the elitism of the people and the populism of the elite.
Were I to continue exploring Macdonald’s idea, endeavoring to define better the taste folk culture satisfies and popular culture exploits, I think I would go in the direction of Weaver’s observation about the classes which prefer tragedy over comedy and the converse. I believe he remarks that an aristocracy (the elites who cultivate high in their centers) prefers tragedy while the lower orders (the milling throngs of happy farmers) would more desire the comedy. I would continue in the way of Lynch who explains tragedy and comedy in terms of the space the character occupies. Tragedy shows us our smallness in the face of infinity; comedy shows us finiteness breaking down all our grandness. If I understand Lynch correctly, tragedy takes a wider scope and looks upon more things, taking a grand view and showing us the great things we love about man with that backdrop; but comedy views the small object closely and shows the clumsiness, ridiculousness, and all the small things we love about man, in a close setting, as it were. If you can guess where I’m going, you can see the corruption of exploiting the folk taste for fondness with sentimentality and the familiar with stereotype. . . . perhaps.
It would take some work, but it is an interesting avenue of thought to pursue. Ah, it does make me think I ought to read the great Richard Weaver again.
Posted by unknowing on February 27, 2007
Well, I’ve arrived at the meat of what I’m after. The sixth chapter of the book contains three stories and some very extended commentary on the stories by the authors themselves. I am eager for it.
But I want to make an observation about the fifth chapter of this excellent work.
Well, let me make an observation, first, about the book in general. I have been reading fiction for a long time. I have always scored very well in any test measuring reading comprehension. I love fiction for the sake of fiction. Reading Brooks & Warren on Understanding Fiction has made sense of my experience and my love for fiction. It has also served to discipline my reading to that I am learning to enjoy what I enjoy on a deeper level, more critical, more aware. And I do not need to say what what I learn about reading, counts as learning about writing.
For anybody interested in mastering the means of understanding fiction, start here. If you are such an one as knows we cannot ignore the humanities without great loss, and you understand that the imagination is something without which life is not worth living, then you ought to seriously consider putting yourself through the discipline of working through this textbook. I imagine this is the sort of book that What to Listen for in Music is (I intend to do some reading on music; it is remiss of me to put off Copland; Copland is next).
Now to the fifth chapter of Brooks & Warren. All through the book you have little statements scattered in the discussion that shine like jewels. Especially, it seems to me, these sorts of valuable statements about what a story is or is not appear with great clarity when our boys are discussing a story they do not find entirely satisfactory (you cannot simply pick or skip around; you have to read all the stories as they come in order to appreciate the discussions which are so excellent; do not be discouraged if it seems a poor story, ready on.). In their discussion of the New Fiction (what people are doing nowadays) they bring many things to light about what the New Fiction is doing that might not be otherwise apparent. Still, you can tell where their sympathies lie.
The very last question to the very last story is particularly delightful for showing their hand while still retaining the seriousness with which they handle those things that are done seriously and crafted well. Everything that is to be honored is honored, all the skill is noticed; there are few discussion longer than the discussion of the last story in chapter five. Still, they cut to the heart of the issue not getting so lost in their admiration of means that they forget the ends. They end with four questions for further discussion and thought. Here is the fourth:
Can it be argued that there is no end to the number, and case, of such stories as this–stories that proclaim meaninglessness through an ingenuity of seeming to proclaim meaningfulness? [pause here, you are supposed to think about it, so insert the pause, and then . . . ] If so, how many such stories do you yearn to read?
That bit was done with consummate skill.
Posted by unknowing on February 26, 2007
Park Plaza Chapel……………………………………..February 25, 2007
347 Jesus Priceless Treasure
Scripture Reading: John 12.35-36
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not wither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
591 Jesus I Live to Thee
Sermon: John 13.36-14.9
613 Jerusalem the Golden
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Amen.
Posted by unknowing on February 24, 2007
We went out into the wind. The streets of our country did not have much snow. In the next country, Brooklyn Center, there was more snow on the streets, on the sidewalks and driveways, on the leftover ice, but not much on the grass.
Near the back door I saw a stick with a string tied to it. As we waited I picked up the stick and held it as a staff.
“Mr. Zartman! That is Sophia’s horse.”
“Put it down gently. Gently! Put it down!”
I dropped the stick gently. I stood around while Katrina went in. I like the smell of the air when there is snow coming and we are close to freezing. I put on my gloves. Then there was a little face in the glass of the door again.
“I liked your story, Mr. Zartman.”
That is how it was. The next story has to have skiing.
Posted by unknowing on February 24, 2007
I am pleased to announce that the peak has passed from the graph of my statistics, and we have passed below fifty hits a day. We are back to ourselves, and it is done in under a month. Good thing I had a thesis handy.
Posted by unknowing on February 22, 2007
In Democracy in America, Alexis de talks about the cultivation of the arts in America. His first observation is that in contrast with a aristocratic society, where adornment of life is the object of the arts, in a democratic society use the arts to render life easy. So use is more important than beauty and beauty must be useful.
Here is another interesting remark (there are many):
Which makes one say to oneself: get thee to a rocket ship, young man.
He talks about the literature of a democratic society, and all of it is true and very interesting. I only have this little section out of Toqueville’s book, but I’m going to have to get around to him in earnest. Lukacs is not stinting in his praise for old Alexis de and has had me eager for him for a while. Considering Hatch’s point about the Democratization of American Chrstianity, it should be interesting to read about Democracy in America.
Posted by unknowing on February 22, 2007
At the age of fifty-three, William Faulkner has written nineteen books which for range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity are without equal in our time and country. Let us grant, even so, that there are grave defect in Faulkner’s work. Sometimes the tragic intensity becomes mere sensationalism, the technical virtuosity mere complication, the philosophical weight mere confusion of mind. Let us grant that much, for Faulkner is a very uneven writer. The unevenness is, in a way, an index to his vitality, his willingness to take risks, to try for new effects, to make new exploration of material and method. And it is, sometimes at least, an index to a very important fact about Faulkner’s work. That fact is that he writes of two Souths: he reports one South and he creates another. On one hand he is a perfectly straight realistic writer, and on the other he is a symbolist.
–Robert Penn Warren, 1946.
Posted by unknowing on February 21, 2007
I do not think Bernard Rosenberg is wrong when he suggests that mass culture (which I take to be popular culture) is organized distraction. When he goes on to suggest that it is organized to exploit a fundamental need I wonder. He explains how modern man is alienated from meaning, work, community and even himself: his life has been trivialized and at the same time he has been handed a great deal of free time. If you think about it, that last makes sense. Who is it does not watch TV or movies nowadays? Those who say they do not have time.
He suggests, after rejecting three other contenders for the honor of being responsible for mass culture, that modern technology is its only necessary condition.
Posted by unknowing on February 20, 2007
J. Heinrichs, in an article called “Fundamentalism and Why We Have It,” explained some of the rationale behind the adoption of the term ‘fundamentalism,’ revisiting and quoting from the famous article by Curtis Lee Laws. Heinrichs’ explanation offers an interesting parallel with the attempts of definition that would arise later.
Should the growing coalition of fundamentalists call themselves the ‘conservatives’? They found this word connoted too much reaction for them. Heinrichs quoted Curtis Lee Laws who made it sound as if there were too many varieties of conservatives with reputations he did not wish to share. ‘Conservatives’ must not have been a term sufficiently allied to a theological position: the next name is taken from theology.
Heinrichs and Laws did not want to call themselves the Premillennialists either. This is significant in that it shows how varied the theological position of the fundamentalists could be. It was not varied in the sense of including heterodoxy, but it could not be reduced to a single characteristic doctrine. Even if fundamentalists were premillennialists in the main, they recognized this single doctrine was not what held them together.
“Landmarkers” was the last term discarded. Laws found it restricted to a group too radical to characterize the fundamentalists, and Heinrichs does not even discuss it. Excluding this last term, however, one can see in these two paragraphs from 1927 the main outlines of the literature written in search for an understanding of fundamentalism since then. Cole and Furniss would look for an explanation that understood fundamentalists as conservatives, making them a reaction to modern ways of life; Sandeen would focus on the premillennial doctrine, bringing doctrine back into consideration as a serious element, but constricting the definition more than should be allowed; and last would come Marsden, giving a definition similar to Heinrichs who said, “Fundamentalism then is an organized endeavor to counteract the alarming spread of modernism in our churches, schools and colleges.”
My thesis is not a revision of the understanding of fundamentalism; It is an attempt to explore something that has been present all along but not sufficiently developed in the literature. Fundamentalism consists of an allegiance to protestant theological orthodoxy, but it is an allegiance that sought a rallying place against the hostilities of theological modernism in popular culture. Popular culture provided a shelter from the encroachment of modernism coming by way of the high culture. Even though they might not have put it in those terms, fundamentalists sensed that the threat of modernism was emanating and being spread by the high culture. Men like Machen wanted to resist it at that level; Men like Bryan and Sunday wanted to resist it from a position more antithetical, pitting orthodoxy against heresy by pitting popular culture against high culture.
Fundamentalists have viewed the notion of a confrontation of cultures with suspicion, partly because the argument was put to them not in terms of theology, but in terms of culture. Modernists like Cole wanted to make the issue an issue of learning and cultivation, an issue of progress, an issue of the advance of civilization. This was a maneuver calculated to privilege the Modernist argument. Fundamentalists believed they stood for orthodox theology and that Modernists, who had a sub-orthodox theology, wanted to obscure or avoid the real issue by arguing about culture and progress.
Both Sides Were Partly Wrong
The Modernists believed the dispositive power of modern culture greater than the determinative power of ancient theology; they went to culture to get their theology; they believed in the rightness of the assumptions of the spirit of the age. They had learned the learning of their times and they believed it to be right, so they wanted to reinterpret Christianity in light of secular culture. They also believed they could see the end of a long and arduous process which with a little effort could be culminated. If only the petty and antiquated concern for mere doctrinal precision could be overcome, the task of filling the world with the Christian spirit of universal brotherhood and global peace would come at last.
Fundamentalists believed the determinative power of theology to be greater than the dispositive power of culture. Theology, for them, was primary and all other concerns secondary. Because of this, theological orthodoxy was the great rudder-setter. Right belief led to right practice so that secondary considerations (questions of practice, questions of culture) could remain mostly unattended. It was enough to look at the deleterious effects a preoccupation with modern culture had on historic Christianity to know that theology was more important than culture.
Both Sides Were Partly Right
The Modernist knew the power of culture to shape hearts and minds. Theology, for them, could not avoid being shaped by culture, it had to be part of the deliberate cultivation that sought to integrate every branch of learning. Culture gave a disposition toward the world, an attitude from which all other considerations were ordered. Orthodoxy alone could not move the Modernists; theology needed the resonance of meaning that culture provides. The crucial refinements of learning could not be neglected without paying a price; and the vitality of culture depended on its attachment to the modern way of life.
The fundamentalist saw a departure from orthodoxy as a betrayal of Christianity. They accused the Modernists of a sort of mysticism, an undisciplined following of mere feeling at the expense of thorough thinking. They knew that right religion must have a shaping and molding influence on culture, instead of being shaped and molded to modern culture. They resisted the impulse to shape religion in the mold of the spirit of the age, to change the charge of the great commission for the goals of alien, secular ideas.
Neither Side Was Right Enough
Because the Modernist urged exclusive attention to the climate of culture, the fundamentalist urged exclusive attention to right theology; both made a mistake with regard to culture. By seizing on modern high culture, the Modernists departed from orthodox religion. In a way, they neglected religion and ended up with a sub-orthodox one. By neglecting matters of culture, the fundamentalists indiscriminately seized a modern, popular culture. To neglect culture means only to have something inferior, to live by indiscriminate choices. Both cultures were dispositive, both proved hostile to orthodoxy, and both resulted in a casual attitude toward doctrine. The Modernists boldly advanced heresy from the centers of culture. The fundamentalists sought shelter for a diminished orthodoxy in the popular culture.
I have shown how William Jennings Bryan betrayed the fundamentalist cause by taking it to the Scopes trial. He cast about fundamentalism the mantle of popularity and battled for theological orthodoxy in a populist way. He could do this because he had the sympathy of the populace and because he commanded the attention of the press. The Scopes trial offered him a venue for a great showdown, which is what Bryan got. His impatience with legal procedure and his desire to triumph with a flourish, as it were, proved the undoing of his cause. His methods were the methods of popular culture.
I have shown how Billy Sunday packed the old-time religion in the packaging of popular culture, bringing revivalism into the twentieth century. He embodied the ideal of the popular imagination, he was on the cutting edge for mass evangelism, and he left a mark that outlived him. If anybody represents orthodoxy clad in the vestment of popular culture, Billy Sunday does. His fundamentalist credentials were unimpeachable–even though his theology may have not have been. Sunday, in fact, preached conversion as a way of improving society, a subtle and not entirely unintentional form of the social gospel.
I have shown J. Gresham Machen’s distaste for the popular culture of fundamentalism. Machen was not unwilling to align himself with theological orthodoxy, but he knew fundamentalism to be more than merely theological orthodoxy; he only counted himself on the side of fundamentalism with reservations. What sets Machen apart, really, is that his thinking with regard to culture is more careful than that the main stream of fundamentalism. He did not want to be casual in matters of culture; he thought Christians should embrace the arts and sciences or risk losing the work of centuries.
Conclusion: Fundamentalism is Hosed
Fundamentalists wanted to defend orthodoxy against modernism. Because they were not careful in thinking how they went about this, because they were reacting to the high culture perceived to be part of the implications of Modernism, the fundamentalists sought to shelter theological orthodoxy in popular culture. Popular culture was like a vestment, like the packaging for their message; it was the means fundamentalists inadvertently seized on to deliver their message, like a soldier sheltering behind any cover at hand to fire in the heat of the battle. Bryan identified with fundamentalism because he was against modernism; Sunday identified with fundamentalism because he was against modernism; and in contrast to these was Machen, who sought for a third way against Modernism.
Posted by unknowing on February 19, 2007
One feels like telling them one likes their idea of worship.
But why would they care about that?
Which is as it should be. So one does not say.
Posted by unknowing on February 18, 2007
Eternity is a mysterious absence of times and ages: an endless length of ages always present, and for ever perfect. For as there is an immovable space wherein all finite spaces are enclosed, and all motions carried on and performed; so is there an immovable duration, that contains and measures all moving durations. Without which first the last could not be; no more than finite places, and bodies moving without infinite space. All ages being but successions correspondent to those parts of the Eternity wherein they abide, and filling no more of it, than ages can do. Whether they are commensurate with it or no, is difficult to determine. But the infinite immovable duration is Eternity, the place and duration of all things, even of infinite space itself: the cause and end, the author and beautifier, the life and perfection of all.
Eternity magnifies our joys exceedingly, for whereas things in themselves began, and quickly end; before they came, were never in being; do service but for few moments; and after they are gone pass away and leave us for ever, Eternity retains the moments of their beginning and ending within itself: and from everlasting to everlasting those things were in their times and places before God, and in all their circumstances eternally will be, serving Him in those moments wherein they existed, to those intents and purposes for which they were created.
Thomas Traherne, Fifth Century, 7 & 8
Posted by unknowing on February 18, 2007
In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula, which from the ground resembles a person’s head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the nebula that displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments.
. . . light-year long . . .
Posted by unknowing on February 17, 2007
The sense that secular culture threatened Christianity was real. The reason Machen did not want to join himself to the fundamentalists was clear to him already in 1912. He thought it important to engage the debate, to understand the ideas that were changing culture, and to grapple with these ideas rather than ignore them. He loved and cherished Christian doctrine and realized that its defense required careful and long thinking, deep study, broad reading even in the writing of the enemy, and a culture that fostered the sort of investment this kind of learning required. For Machen culture, the labor of culture, was crucial.
This is why Machen wanted seminaries, not Bible schools. His career was a long battle, to keep, to establish, to foster and further the invaluable learning acquired in a seminary. The sort of minimal training and loose denominational association generally part of the Bible school was not sufficient for him. The Bible school was the catalyst for joining the fundamentalist coalition to face the Modernists, which is significant. What the Bible school represented was the sort of thing Machen denounced in his speech in 1912; the Bible school represented an abdication of the greater task of influencing the prevailing climate of opinion at the level of ideas; the Bible school represented the minimum preparation necessary for the most basic level of Christian ministry. The Bible school was deemed sufficient to produce the preachers for fundamentalism. Machen declared that the church was waiting for men of another sort.
If one looks at general tendencies, it is hard to miss the contrast that existed between fundamentalism, as a whole, and what Machen advocated and that for which he worked. . . . ["what Machen advocated and worked for" would be more trenchant, but minds are small] . . . Machen found the name and the movement generally distasteful. His continual objection to the term ‘fundamentalist’ suggests he disliked more than the term. Machen left the distinct impression that he objected to fundamentalism itself in the mind of someone so close to him as Stonehouse. If he was willing to align himself doctrinally with the fundamentalist cause, why did he usually make a point to distinguish himself from it? It was because the point of distinction was more than a nicety in his mind; it was because Machen did not believe Christianity should leave the arts and sciences to the Modernists. He knew the wages of abdicating on the labor of culture would be fatal; he thought fundamentalists were making a serious mistake.
Machen knew that fundamentalism would pay for its inattention to culture. As a result of this inattention, this carelessness where Machen advocated care, fundamentalism ended up borrowing from popular culture, fleeing from the high culture of secularism, seeking shelter for their orthodoxy. Machen wanted none of that shelter, none of that safety, none of the ignoring of the question of the enemy or of the arts and sciences which the enemy had claimed. He wanted to fight, to show that Christianity was equal to the challenge, to consecrate a Christian culture.
Posted by unknowing on February 16, 2007
Posted by unknowing on February 16, 2007
Machen believed this withdrawing was based on a belief that all human activity is somehow tainted. Fundamentalists had despaired, as it were, in the face of the advancing secularism and had retreated away from it to the only thing they could trust, religion. The only result of this retreat, however, was that they had ceased to think carefully about these crucial human activities; they had stressed the one activity, saving men out of the world, but not saving the world from men also.
For Machen the task was wider: the intellectual atmosphere into which men are born also made a difference and could not be ignored. Both the case for Christianity and the Christian case against secular culture had to be made in order to create a better reception for the gospel. Only darkness could come of a secular culture to dominate the arts and sciences–a darkness that was hostile to Christianity and advantageous for Modernism. “The Christian religion flourishes not in the darkness but in the light. Intellectual slothfulness is but a quack remedy for unbelief; the true remedy is consecration of intellectual powers to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Here is the antithesis: on the one hand was the retreating from the careful labor of the mind, on the other was Machen’s call for the church to “battle for her life” in a realm that had been left in neglect far too long already in 1912. He wanted his address to rally the troops, to inspire them to enter the conflict through the rigors of study and arduous thinking. He advocated careful thinking, not hesitation but enthusiasm toward the arts and learning. He advocated answers found in timeless principles, hard won though cultivation and painstaking labor in thought, not easy and profane tricks used to inveigle people into the church.
Posted by unknowing on February 16, 2007
Posted by unknowing on February 16, 2007
For Machen the relation between Christianity and culture is bound up with the relationship between piety and knowledge. This shows his understanding of the relationship between cultivation and a capacity to learn. Machen believed that the arts and sciences should be engaged in with relish, that culture should be encouraged “with the enthusiasm of the veriest humanist” and consecrated to the service of God. Because Christians want to see every human activity consecrated they must not be content to leave any of it untouched by Christianity; they want to see every legitimate human activity made a Christian activity; but more, they realize that these things are essential to human life. Machen understood that men do not exist without a culture, and culture neglected by Christianity can only result in culture being an enemy of the gospel.
Machen believed that the erosion the church was suffering was due directly to modern culture. Secular culture taught men that the intellectual credentials of Christianity were insubstantial: men did not consider Christianity because its dismissal was a foregone conclusion. Although Machen believed that regeneration was a supernatural work, he wanted to stress was that God uses means and places responsibility on believers individually and on the church as a whole. He believed the situation was desperate because of neglected responsibilities. He believed that the Church must labor in more than just evangelism. If the church ignored the intellectual labor, the labor of culture, “the great current of modern culture will sooner or later engulf her puny eddy. God will save her somehow—out of the depths. But the labor of centuries will have been swept away.”
Some withdrew and dedicated themselves to a smaller and more practical task; this was not the way that Machen chose. The academic battles, the years of careful training, the understanding of philosophy and history that Machen championed are what he has in mind when he says, “So as Christians we should try to mold the thought of the world in such a way as to make the acceptance of Christianity something more than a logical absurdity. . . . The church has no right to be so absorbed in helping the individual that she forgets the world.”
Posted by unknowing on February 15, 2007