• Holding the Line Article by D.G. Hart

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2006

    American Protestantism split in two during the 1920s and has not been the same since. In denominational controversies, especially among Presbyterians and Baptists, and in courtroom debates over teaching evolution in public schools, the once unified front of mainline Protestantism, a constituency that included Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, Disciples, with some Lutherans on the fringes, divided into evangelical and liberal halves. Not until the 1940s, with the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals, would the more conservative side achieve the institutional coherence that characterized the mainline through the Federal Council of Churches (which in 1951 became the National … View Resource

  • The Cult of Personality Article by D.G. Hart

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2005

    Religious liberty is one aspect of American life that almost every citizen of the United States cherishes. Common is the pastoral prayer in any Protestant congregation that includes gratitude for the liberties that Christians enjoy, which permits them to worship free from government oversight or regulation. Even more typical is the Thanksgiving Day service in which ministers and church members openly acknowledge the benefits of a system of government that guarantees individuals the right to worship God according to the freedom of conscience. Yet, the downside of religious liberty is not always noticed. This is not to say that Christians … View Resource

  • The Reformation of Worship Article by D.G. Hart

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2005

    At the time of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, the worship of the Reformed churches was easily distinguished from that of its nemesis Rome, and it was distinguished from its Protestant alternatives, Lutheranism and Anglicanism. The twentieth-century Anglican author Evelyn Underhill may not have liked the worship that characterized Calvinism, but she had little trouble recognizing its uniqueness. According to Underhill in her 1937 book Worship, for John Calvin, the abiding reality of worship was “God’s unspeakable Majesty and Otherness, and the nothingness and simplicity of man.” This truth dramatically affected Reformed worship. Underhill continued: “No ceremonial … View Resource

  • J. Gresham Machen: The Politically Incorrect Fundamentalist Article by D.G. Hart

    FROM TABLETALK | March 1992

    One of the lesser-known aspects of J. Gresham Machen’s (1881–1937) brilliant and stormy career was his nomination in 1926 to be Princeton Seminary’s professor of apologetics. Since 1906, Machen had taught New Testament at Princeton and distinguished himself as the foremost conservative biblical scholar of his generation through books on the apostle Paul and the virgin birth of Christ. Yet, the field of apologetics was not foreign to Machen, as evidenced by his popular book Christianity and Liberalism (1923), a work that forcefully defended traditional Christianity. Nevertheless, what made Machen’s nomination to the chair of apologetics unusual was not his … View Resource