J. Gresham Machen is considered the last in the lineage of the Great Princeton Theologians, following in the steps of Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge, and B. B. Warfield. Machen taught at Princeton Seminary for almost 15 years and established himself as a well respected New Testament scholar. After a dispute that divided faculty members over an emerging modernist theology, Machen left Princeton and became one of the principal founders of Westminster Theological Seminary, where he taught until his death.
The Origin of Paul’s Religion consists of eight lectures on the history of Christianity that J. Gresham Machen delivered as part of the James Sprunt Lecture series at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. Machen examines and refutes the modernist theories which denied Paul’s claim of the supernatural origin of his religion, and shows both by the witness of the opposers themselves, and by the Scriptures, that Paul’s own explanation is the only satisfactory one. “Explain the origin of the religion of Paul,” writes Machen in the Introduction, “and you have solved the problem of the origin of Christianity.”
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No device or dodge of the rationalist is suffered to go unchallenged. The whole battlefield of modern radicalism, so far as it concern’s Paul’s witness to Christ, is spread forth in this book, and the victory of faith is assured. Every minister should have this book, to read it, and then to read it again.
—The Union Seminary Review
Professor Machen has written a notable volume. Whether measured by literary standards or by standards of scholarship, it is a book to be reckoned with. With sound scholarship, broad sympathy, and clear insight, he has made more reasonable than ever the sense of certainty which the church has always cherished a respects the Apostle Paul.
—The Biblical Review
Professor Machen makes a notable contribution to a debate of the deepest interest in the field of New Testament study.
—The Homiletic Review
The Princeton professor shows clearly that the terminology of St. Paul’s writings, supported by St. Luke’s testimony in the Acts, admits of no sustained distinction between the redemptive conception of Christianity and the general teaching of the Apostle of the Gentiles.
—The Ecclesiastical Review
This book at once takes its place among the most important theological works of the day. It meets and overcomes the subjectivity and unhistorical position of modern works, and provides a perfectly reasonable and eminently satisfactory account of the great apostle and his presentation of the gospel of Christ.
In an age when the nature and content of Paul’s message are once again under scrutiny, evangelical and Reformed readers will benefit immensely from a close reading of Machen’s masterwork. This book is an outstanding example of careful, patient scholarship that received high praise when it was first published and continues today to demand attention.
—R. Scott Clark, professor of church history and historical theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, CA
J. Gresham Machen not only believed, practiced, and proclaimed Paul’s gospel, he was also able to defend its authenticity at the highest scholarly level. Because The Origin of Paul’s Religion penetrates to the heart of the matter it continues to speak to contemporary controversies over the nature of the gospel and the Christian faith.
—Sinclair Ferguson, professor of systematic theology, Westminster Seminary, Dallas, TX