Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Machen on Argumentation: Both Insufficient and Necessary

J. Gresham Machen, as usual, got it right:

"It is perfectly true, of course, that argument alone is quite insufficient to make a man a Christian. You may argue with him from now until the end of the world; you may bring forth the most magnificent arguments—but all will be in vain unless there is one other thing: the mysterious, creative power of the Holy Spirit in the new birth. But because argument is insufficient, it does not follow that it is unnecessary. Sometimes it is used directly by the Holy Spirit to bring a man to Christ. But more frequently it is used indirectly."

J. Gresham Machen, “Christian Scholarship and the Defense of the Faith,” in J. Gresham Machen: Selected Shorter Writings, ed. D. G. Hart (Phillipsburg, N.J.: P&R, 2004), 144-145. (Also available here online.)