Machen’s Warrior Children
We were required to read John Frame’s “Machen’s Warrior Children” in seminary. It was intended to be a warning against denominational quarrelsomeness, but had the effect of puffing us up: We’re charitable, winsome Presbyterians, not like these other petty “Truly” Reformed types who make everything a battle. Rereading the article, it is pretty clear that the most common denominator and antagonist in these debates is not Machen’s Warrior Children, but John Frame. Doctor, heal thyself.
I just read this old article when it was recently re-posted on some website. I believe that you are correct. I deduce this because he seems to have conveniently mischaracterized a few of these controversies, and has also clearly “cherry-picked” his facts (assertions?) in such a way as to try and delegitimize anyone who takes issue with doctrinal error— or it’s harbingers, doctrinal fuzziness or latitudinarianism.
By the way, I have been a gentle “warrior child” in the church of Jesus Christ for almost thirty years, and have been one since long before I had ever heard of J. Gresham Machen. Nonetheless, few men have helped make me to be a better Christian warrior than Mr. Machen. His passionate love of doctrinal clarity (i.e rejoicing on his deathbed in the “active obedience of Christ,” or imputed righteousness) was instrumental forming my “battlefield ability” to proclaim the Gospel effectually to two of my dying parents, who had long been able to resist or dodge my less clear efforts.
So I will gladly take the label as one of “Machen’s Warrior Children” as a badge of honor, even though it is clearly meant to belittle.
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