Today in Church History

July 28

J. Gresham Machen

On July 28, 1881, J. Gresham Machen was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

The second of three sons born to Arthur Webster Machen and Mary Gresham Machen, Gresham was raised in an affluent Southern Presbyterian home, and his family attended Franklin Street Presbyterian Church, an influential Old School congregation. His upbringing nurtured him less in the “sentimental variety associated with Victorian Protestantism” than in “older forms of Protestant piety " the Bible, the Westminster Catechism, and Pilgrim's Progress,” according to biographer D.G. Hart. Machen's resistance to moralism would prompt his initial reluctance to enter the ministry after his education at Johns Hopkins University and Princeton Seminary. Eventually, his theological and cultural viewpoints would lead him to reject both theological modernism that he would condemn in Christianity and Liberalism and the “sickly interdenominationalism” of Protestant fundamentalism.

- John Muether

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