I posted the following quote on Justin Taylor's blog last month, but I wanted to share it here and use it to start my own little "Machen" category on my site. I've been reading a biography of Machen by D.G. Hart entitled Defending the Faith. It was from Hart that I learned that Machen played tennis. This only endeared him to me all the more. Finally, a theologian to whom I can relate!
I'm also reading and greatly benefiting from Machen's classic book Christianity & Liberalism If you've not yet read it, I hope the following quote whets your appetite. I love the way he defines doctrine here:
The primitive Church was concerned not merely with what Jesus had said, but also, and primarily, with what Jesus had done. The world was to be redeemed through the proclamation of an event. And with the event went the meaning of the event; and the setting forth of the event with the meaning of the event was doctrine. These two elements are always combined in the Christian message. The narration of the facts is history; the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine. "Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried"--that is history. "He loved me and gave Himself for me"--that is doctrine. Such was the Christianity of the primitive Church.To get acquainted with Machen, John Piper's biographical sermon from 1993 is the perfect place to start. I enjoyed reading it, and also listened to it on my iPod. And this site compiles a large selection of articles and information on Machen as well.
Update: Justin Taylor just emailed me and informed me that Machen was 5'8. He liked tennis and he was short! He's officially my patron saint.