The Intolerance of the Gospel

I just finished reading D. G. Hart’s essay entitled, “Make War No More? The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of J. Gresham Machen’s Warrior Children,” in the Festschrift honoring W. Robert Godfrey, Always Reformed. Machen was always a spiritual hero of mine so this essay was of particular interest (I opened the book and read that essay first), and I came across this quote of Machen that explains well why the Gospel as a whole is rejected by the world:

To pray for tolerance without careful definition of that of which you are to be tolerant, is just to pray for the breakdown of the Christian religion; for the Christian religion is intolerant to the core. There lies the whole offense of the Cross—and also the whole power of it. Always the gospel would have been received with favor by the world if it had been presented merely as one way of salvation; the offense came because it was presented as the only way, and because it made relentless war upon all other ways.” (Always Reformed, page 42)

This present world will tolerate the vilest of thoughts, words, and deeds among its philosophers. The only thing that it will not tolerate is…the intolerance of the Gospel:

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,  6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)


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