Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Machen does not hold to the modern Ressourcement view on the "Great Tradition" of the church

If we could imagine all the creeds of Christendom as having been suddenly wiped out of men’s memories, so that we should have to start all over again in our understanding of the Bible and in our summary setting forth of what the Bible teaches, I believe in tie the necessary creeds of the church would again be built up. It might take another nineteen centuries – if it be God’s will that the present age shall remain that long; it might take twice that time. But sooner or later it would be done. The Bible is the really essential thing; it is the foundation. The creeds of the church are the superstructure. Take away the foundation, and all is lost. But take away the superstructure, and the superstructure can be built up again if the foundation remains. (J. Gresham Machen, Things Unseen, 332)

If we were to remove all creeds and confessions of the Church, the Church would face a setback in understanding God's truth, but it would not be lost. The "Great Tradition," even if one can agree on it that it is true and beneficial, according to Machen is not essential for the Church.

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