Memories of Machen Fifty Years Later

In 1985, the Presbyterian Journal (formerly The Southern Presbyterian Journal) published these “Reminiscences of Machen”. They were uncovered by friends of Ulster Worldly, and I digitized them.

Personal Reminiscences of J. Gresham Machen

Dr. J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) was the leader in the formation of a doctrinally sound Presbyterian denomination in 1936 out of the Northern Presbyterian Church’s departure from the truth of Scripture and the Reformed faith.

In 1986 the Orthodox Presbyterian Church will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. At the same time it will be approaching a vote on joining the Presbyterian Church in America, a denomination formed in 1973 out of similar concerns within the Southern Presbyterian Church.

Although Machen had family roots in the South, he is not so well-known there as in the North. And a new generation needs to know the man as well as his writings. Following are memories from some of those who knew him personally.

Paul Wooley

Professor of church history at Westminster Seminary, from its beginnings in 1929 until a few years before his death in 1984.

This is the first chapter of his book “The Significance of J. Gresham Machen Today ” (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1977), used by permission of the publisher.

The ivy on Marquand Chapel [at Princeton University] was rattling in the wind. The colors in the leaves sank into the luscious strawberry preserve hue of the sandstone walls. It was a satisfying building except for the beer-bottle turret on the northwest angle. Otherwise there was nothing distinctive about it, but it looked in place and matched the tone of Murray-Dodge on the right, of Dickinson on the left, of the Pyne Library across the road. The Christian Student, as he was called, still stood on his granite pedestal between Pyne and Murray-Dodge with that Victorian combination of an athletic sweater, an academic gown, and an armful of books. Victorian allegory was very simplistic.

On the second floor in Murray-Dodge, where the Christian Student could almost look into the window, sat Samuel Shoemaker, the secretary of the Philadelphian Society. He was a young man, and he told the freshman who came in to ask him what the Philadelphian Society stood for that it was an up-to-date society and had no use for “those old mossbacks over at the Theological Seminary” on the western edge of town.

This morning the notice at the foot of the right-hand column on the front page of The Daily Princetonian said that some unknown from the Seminary, perhaps one of the mossbacks, would speak in the chapel service that day. His name was J. Gresham Machen, according to the notice.

Marquand Chapel was brighter inside than out, for the lights were reflected from all the decorative brass and the highly varnished wood. But the audience in mid-morning was sparse as usual.

The freshman was soon alert. What this “unknown” was saying was more refreshing than anything he had ever heard before in Marquand Chapel. It seemed to be a forthright and unhackneyed statement of what the Bible had to say. It was clear, vigorous, interesting and directive.

The freshman always went to chapel after that whenever the Princetonian announced that Machen would be the speaker.

Henry W. Coray

Orthodox Presbyterian minister, Goleta, Calif.

In 1934 at a Westminster Seminary alumni dinner, the late Dr. Gordon A. MacLennan, a minister in the (then) United Presbyterian Church, asked the question: “What is it in Dr. Machen that stands out above everything else? To me the answer does not lie in his scholarship, or in his teaching ability, or inhis literary skill, great as these are. In my opinion the one feature about him that overshadows everything else is his passionate longing to see the Lordship of Christ exercised in his church.”

Unless one realizes this, he will never understand the moods and moves of J. Gresham Machen. He will be an enigma. But for that almost obsessive drive, the man would have been content to limit himself quietly to his classroom instruction and disregard the battle that raged around him. In his day a frontal attack against historic Christianity was fragmenting the Protestant church. What Walter Lippmann called “the acids of modernity” were corroding the minds and souls of “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision.” Dr. Machen had been nurtured in a domestic atmosphere that combined true godliness with fine culture. He had honed the scalpel of his mind at Johns Hopkins University and Princeton Theological Seminary (in his day a bastion of Reformed theology) and later took graduate work in Germany. Returning to this country, he taught at Princeton Seminary until Westminster Seminary was founded in 1929.

His writings projected him to international renown. Books such as Christianity and Liberalism, What Is Faith?, The Origin of Paul’s Religion, and The Virgin Birth of Christ brought forth lavish praise from conservatives everywhere, and caused liberal theologians to know that a scholar of quality had come forward to define and defend the gospel, and to challenge their presuppositions.

Interesting is the fact that a freethinker like H. L. Mencken enthused: “I think that, given his faith, his position is completely impregnable. There is absolutely no flaw in the argument with which he supports it. If he is wrong, then the science of logic is hollow vanity, signifying nothing.” I consider it a rare privilege to have studied under Dr. Machen for three years. It was an honor to have had him deliver the sermon at my ordination service, and to have had him assist at my wedding. It was sheer delight to have roomed across the hall from him at Alexander Hall in old Princeton.

Little incidents are often significant. One morning I happened to be in his quarters and noticed him pulling the covers from his Beautyrest after it had been made. He tried not to look like the child caught with his fingers grasping the apple tarts.

I said, “Sir, why don’t you show the maid how you want it fixed? I’m sure she’d be glad to oblige.”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that,” he said. “I’m afraid she’d lose face.”

Some day people may understand why he was greatly loved by servants and by children.

Donald C. Graham

Pastor, Mcllwain Memorial Presbyterian Church (PCA), Pensacola, Fla.

Like his Savior, J. Gresham Machen was a divider of men, possibly as much so as any Christian leader of this century. Opinions differ sharply on whether he was right or wrong and, more basically, whether his character was true or flawed. He was sensitive to people but, fortunately, he was insensitive to opinions which he felt betrayed the truth of God and that sought accommodation and compromise.

To live close to him as his student was to feel you were living in the shadow of an Alpine peak, and one stands in awe rather that feeling chummy with such a mountain. To fall in step with him on the way to class was to let him lead in conversation, and it was not easy to suggest light or jocular chatter. Yet, Machen’s sense of humor could overwhelm him, as on the student night when he could be doubled up with laughter, then always conclude the evening with the best performance, his comedy readings. Such was his humanness.

He loved his students, and this was basic to his being acknowledged one of the great teachers of his age. While lecturing, there were all manner of idiosyncratic bodily movements—climbing a chair and table or writing backwards on the blackboard an entire conjugation of a Greek verb while his lecture continued unabated—all such would keep your attention riveted not on his body movements but, finally, on his great thought processes, ever stating and defending the Word of God. The Bible and the gospel of Christ were a profound passion to him, and this persuasion captured those who listened.

His devotion to his students was magnificently illustrated to me in my first year of seminary. I took “Baby Greek” under the distinguished scholar, Ned B. Stonehouse. One day “Stoney” was unable to meet his class, and the rumor passed through the corridors that Machen would take his place. To us comparatively new students, it was an overwhelming prospect that the author of the textbook, the great “Das” (“Das” being the article with the German word Made hen, meaning “maiden”) would confront us on our Greek lesson that day. The result was that Machen faced only three students and heard report that the other dozen men of the class were afraid to face him. He was reportedly grieved. “Stoney” was back in his classes the next day, but not for Beginners’ Greek. Machen held on so to face the entire class. But, again, the word was out he would teach, and only two more men were added. I returned the third day! Machen held on to the fourth day, when all the class was back. Such was the measure of where he wanted to live with his “boys.”

And be very sure, Das was a teacher to inspire the best. None ever moved me to such labor—and better grades— simply because it was unthinkable that one would not do his best for Machen. Would all could follow his example in inspiring others to do their best. A better world indeed! And a better church!

In 1935, I sat through all of Machen’s trials before New Brunswick Presbytery at First Presbyterian Church, Trenton, N.J. As every possible parliamentary maneuver was used to silence Machen’s witness against liberalism in the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., even his brother, Arthur—distinguished Baltimore lawyer—hamstrung, one felt the issues were being drawn with terrible finality as to where the church was heading—engulfed by Modernism. Here was a Luther “standing against the world,” because he could do no other.

As the end of the 1936 Christmas break came, Westminster Seminary students returned to Philadelphia to face the dire news that Machen had died rather suddenly in Bismarck, N.D. I shall never forget the somber faces and heavy hearts of the men as we sat in the lobby soberly reflecting on what-ever-in-the-worid life could possibly be like without “Das” Machen. Maybe the answer was best found in the strong action of a man like R. B. Kuiper, formerly pastor of some of the largest churches in Michigan and once a college president, a minister of the Christian Reformed Church. With nothing apparently to gain and much he could lose, Kuiper as the new chairman of Westminster’s faculty cast his lot in that dark hour with the baby Orthodox Presbyterian Church and stayed with it a score of years.

The Machen funeral brought together a great crowd, including such ecclesiastical opponents as President Mackay of Princeton Seminary, as well as former companions-in-labor who betrayed his cause.

In the years of controversy, leaders of the big Presbyterian denomination would comment that Machen might even be Moderator of their General Assembly if only he would live more amicably with them, but now he was a stranger to the big Presbyterian churches of Philadelphia, any of whose pulpits he had occupied, and his funeral had to be conducted in a large Baptist church. There was no eulogy— nor would he have wanted it. There was not even a sermon. There was the solemn reading of the Word of God which had so dominantly overspread his entire life—and there was prayer because, fittingly, he had acknowledged his was a life of utter dependence upon a sovereign God—to whom must be all the glory forever.

Allan A. Macrae

Chancellor, Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, Pa.

My first knowledge of J. Gresham Machen came when I read on the front page of a Los Angeles newspaper that Dr. Henry Van Dyke had walked out of a service at First Presbyterian Church in Princeton where Dr. Machen had preached, declaring his preaching was “a bilious travesty of the gospel.”

About that time Dr. Machen’s book, Christianity and Liberalism, appeared, and I found that I could not lay it down until I had completed reading it. He showed very clearly that liberalism is not only a different religion from Christianity but an entirely different type of religion. He had been shocked at the willingness of some of his colleagues to make common cause with those who denied the authority of Scripture and the deity of Christ. His clear style and convincing logic made me long to know him personally.

The next fall I entered Princeton Seminary and was privileged to become a friend of Dr. Machen—a friendship that continued during three years as a seminary student, two years spent studying abroad, and seven-and-a-half years as a fellow-teacher.

During my second year at Princeton Seminary members of the seminary’s Board of Directors who admired Dr. Machen’s clear stand for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ desired that his major activity be no longer restricted to the teaching of New Testament subjects but extended to defense of the central doctrines of Christianity and therefore voted toelect him to the vacant position of Professor of Apologetics. Although he would have preferred to continue devoting most of his time to New Testament study, these directors prevailed upon him to agree to accept the position.

At that time the official title of the seminary was “The Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.” and appointment to its faculty required approval by the General Assembly. The president of the seminary, whom a more recent president has called “the unsung hero,” strongly urged the Assembly not to confirm Dr. Machen’s appointment and after heated debate a motion to postpone final action for one year was passed.

I visited Dr. Machen-several times during the days immediately following the Assembly and it was pitiful to see his gratitude for my sympathy. Although the liberals considered him a fighter, he was really very tenderhearted and easily hurt. He was particularly distressed by the rumors that had been circulated through the Assembly, though not openly expressed on the floor, that his assets were derived from the profits of manufacturers of liquor. He said to me: “I would hate to think that any of my money came from such a source.”

This leads to mention of a remark he made a few years later when he and I were walking together in the Canadian Rockies. As we hiked on a trail along the side of a narrow valley, with a rushing mountain stream below us on our right, I became thirsty and ran down to the stream for a drink of water. Then I refilled my cup, climbed back up to the trail and offered the water to Dr. Machen. He said, “Thank you, but no, I cannot take it. Glacier water always upsets me. I dare not drink it.” Then he added, “During my visits to the Swiss Alps there have been times where I felt so miserable I almost thought I would die, when I have been staying for a few days at one of those mountain shelters that provide climbers of the high mountains with food and lodging. The only water available was glacier water—which I did not dare to drink. Often I was tempted to buy some of the very weak wine they have for sale, but for the sake of the weaker brother I never did.”

How I admired his loyalty to his principles! There he was, high in the mountains, surrounded by Germans and Austrians who had no idea who he was. This wine had such a small alcoholic content that it could not possibly have had any effect other than to quench his thirst. Yet in spite of the misery he had to endure because he could not drink the glacier water, he would not touch it.

J. Gresham Machen was indeed a fine Christian gentleman—a man of principle who suffered much for his convictions. Knowing him was one of the great privileges of my life.

R. Laird Harris

professor-emeritus, Covenant Seminary, and PCA minister, Wilmington, Del.

I could join others in giving reminiscences about “Dassie” Machen’s antics in the classroom—how you could be taking notes and hear a gentle bumping, only to look up and see him bumping his forehead against the wall while continuing his talking without interruption. I have since wondered if he did such things for his own fun or to give the class some diversion. In any case, I testify that his class in Gospel History was one of the best I ever had. He lectured without notes and began the lecture by pulling his Greek Testament out of his side pocket. One day, before he came in, Max Lathrop left an open English Bible on the desk. Dassie came in, picked it up, looked it over carefully and with a grin said, “Why, I believe it’s a Bible!”

Though he spoke without notes, he wanted students in the exam to give back just the data he had given. Once while we were examining the “Liberal Jesus” concept, I read Bruce Barton’s The Man Nobody Knows, a popular presentation of the subject. I used it in my exam answers, thinking I would get points for collateral reading. He wasn’t impressed. He gave me a B+ with the remark that it sounded more like Bruce Barton than the presentation he had given in class.

On a more serious note, Dr. Machen talked to me in the fall of 1936 when I had graduated and was working as assistant to the Registrar and as student librarian. He said that he was aware of increasing questions about pre- and amillennialism and he was anxious that we would not let the subject polarize the seminary. He, himself, did not make an issue of it in his classes.

But during the Christmas vacation Machen, burdened with the work of starting the new Presbyterian Church of America (later OPC), accepted an engagement in North Dakota. The weather was bitter and Dassie was unprepared, run-down, and unprotected. He caught pneumonia in a time before penicillin, and died, we would say prematurely, at the age of 55. The movement greatly suffered from his absence, for he had been the acknowledged leader in the struggle against liberalism which has, through many vicissitudes, grown to considerable proportions today. His book Christianity and Liberalism is still a powerful argument for the importance of purity of doctrine in the church of Jesus Christ.

Louise R. Graham

Christ’s College, Taipei, Taiwan.

It was The Presbyterian Guardian that brought me in touch with Dr. Machen. I was on the original staff of that publication, serving as office secretary and editor of the Young People’s Page. In the office I worked first under Dr. H. McAllister Griffiths, then under Dr. Ned Stonehouse, but it was Dr. Machen who had planned and financed the publication of the magazine and he was the power behind the throne! Though he did not come into the office as often as we would have liked, he talked to us on the telephone daily. He edited the opening pages of the Guardian: “The Unchanging Word in a Changing World.”

I learned that in a way there was an advantage for me in phone communications. Dr. Machen seemed not quite at home in the presence of ladies, but on the phone he was totally at ease.

I remember one very special occasion, however, when he befriended me in public. I was sent as a delegate to a conference of the Presbyterian Constitutional Covenant Union in Philadelphia—strangely enough, since I was in my mid-twenties at the time, and the conference was definitely not a young people’s conference! Dr. Machen was also a delegate, and he went out of hisway to greet me as though I were one of the many dignitaries present on that occasion. After.that, I felt quite at ease. What more could one ask for than a warm greeting from Dr. Machen?

My last day in the Guardian office was also Dr. Machen’s last day in Philadelphia. He was due to leave before that December day was over on his trip to North Dakota never to return, though his body would be brought back for the funeral service in that city. When he phoned to talk to me that morning the voice that I heard was not his normal voice. Already he had the beginnings of a heavy cold, and I marveled that he should make the effort to phone me under such circumstances and with the long trip ahead of him! “It’s a sad day for us that you should be leaving our office. …” That phone call was never to be forgotten, my last opportunity to experience personally his warmth and kindliness.

How many were the lessons that as a young Christian I learned from Dr. Machen! Faithfulness to our Lord and to his Word at any cost, a recognition of our total dependence upon him, the importance of our oneness with God’s people and our acknowledgment of the gifts and godliness of others—these and many other lessons learned from God’s great servant have stayed with me through the years. “He being dead yet speaketh.”

Edward L. Kellogg

OPC minister, Leesburg, Va.

Dr. Machen, the Teacher.

Dr. Machen inspired students with an intense desire to do well. I vividly recall a time when he called on me in a class studying II Corinthians. As I stumbled around endeavoring to explain the relation and meaning of Greek words in a particular verse, he leaned over a table in front of me and opened his mouth. The more confused I became, the wider he opened his mouth. Finally, as he was almost lying on the table, his mouth wide open and his fist partially in it, I gave the correct answer. He was delighted. He jumped up and with a happy smile on his face said, “Good boy! good boy! good boy!” A student never wanted to come to Machen’s class unprepared.

Dr. Machen on Trial. The trial of Dr. Machen was in progress before a judicatory of the Presbytery of New Brunswick. Dr. Machen and his counsel for the defense, H. McAllister Griffiths, Edwin H. Rian, and Charles J. Woodbridge, together with the members of the trial judicatory and the prosecuting lawyers, sat on the platform, leaving the auditorium for spectators. Surprisingly few people were in attendance. I sat near the front on the right, and across the room sat Robert Atwell, also a student at Westminster.

Machen was charged with violating an order of the General Assembly by organizing and continuing to be active in the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. He thus was alleged to be guilty of disturbing the peace of the church. Dr. Machen and his counsel desired to prove that such a course was necessary because the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church was violating the Word of God in its procedures. Each effort made by Machen’s counsel resulted in a motion to recess. The court adjourned to another room, then in a few moments returned to declare Machen’s arguments out of order. Dr. Machen sat in a very calm and respectful manner, not raising his voice. The procedure was most exasperating and unfair. I glanced across the room. Bob Atwell was bent forward, clutching the pew in front of him as if at any moment he might leap over the pews and simply wipe out the entire court.

Considering the obvious hypocrisy and unfairness of the procedure, Dr. Machen showed remarkable self-control, humility, and respect. He followed the constitution carefully though it was being abused, distorted, and ignored by the court which ought to have followed it most precisely. Machen held to a high view of the doctrine of the church.

Dr. Machen’s Influence. It was a cold wintry night. We had just driven through Pittsburgh on our return from Illinois to the seminary after Christmas holidays. Suddenly the motor began to knock badly. Remarkably we found a garage that was open in Turtle Creek. A mechanic went to work and we called some relatives living in that town. Their first words after our greeting were, “Did you know that Dr. Machen died yesterday?” We were stunned. Just before vacation we had been studying II Corinthians 5: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” I was naturally shy and hesitant about speaking to others of spiritual matters, but the effect of the news of Machen’s death gave me both a sense of urgency and a boldness to speak, and as the mechanic dealt with a serious motor problem, I urged upon him our need of a radical spiritual renewal. My response to the news of Dr. Machen’s death I believe was characteristic of the response of many, for Machen had himself set such an example of faithfulness. A few days later I was honored with several others by being appointed a pallbearer. We rode the train to Baltimore and there carried the body to its resting place.

John M. L. Young

PCA missionary, Tokyo, Japan.

Never will I forget my first class with Dr. Machen 50 years ago. A year earlier at Acadia University I had picked off the table a book of my father’s and began to read Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism. That night at the supper table I learned about Machen and Westminster Seminary for the first time. The lucid differentiation of the two themes of the book and the cogent presentation of Biblical Christianity led me to a positive conviction that his seminary was the one I wanted to attend. Now, after a ship and train ride from Nova Scotia, there I was sitting in the great man’s class expecting a scholarly dissertation on some aspect of New Testament Introduction, the name of the course.

What we heard in that first hour, however, was spectacularly different— one witty joke or funny story after another until we were literally rolling in our seats, slapping our thighs and laughing our heads off. Machen had loose heavy jowls and on occasion would energetically wag his head from side to side making his somber jowls swish back and forth in a ludicrously comic fashion. It was the most hilarious hour I ever spent in a classroom. The ice was broken for all of us that afternoon as the great scholar in this way shared his humanness and love of life with his overawed students. At the end of the class there was a brief announcement that reminded us of the more serious things to come. On the final exam, we were told, one of the requirements would be the demand to specify one event or teaching in each chapter of the New Testament book the professor would name!

An event looked forward to with high anticipation was the annual invitation to new students to come to Dr. Machen’s apartment for a social evening. He lived in the high-rise Drake building, far up over downtown Philadelphia. As we entered his apartment, he urged us to help ourselves to the refreshments which, we discovered, were in crates of fruit and boxes of cookies we were to break open and enjoy as we wished. My recollection is that there was no hesitation on anybody’s part!

The top entertainment was sitting around on the couch or straddling chairs backwards listening to Machen talk of the struggle with liberalism in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., which he had described in What Is Faith? as “the retrograde anti-intellectual movement called Modernism.” He expressed deep concern over the impending judicial trials as various presbyteries sought to defrock the ministers who refused to abandon the new Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. Before such good company and delicious food, however, the real significance of these things, for some of us at least that night, seemed far away.

The last class with Dr. Machen came far sooner than any of us had ever anticipated. It was Gospel History, on a cold December morning in 1936, the last one before the Christmas holidays. He came into class that morning with a heavy cold and told us he would be going to the station, for the long train trip to North Dakota for meetings, directly from the classroom. He said he really didn’t want to go, but friends there involved in the Presbyterian Church conflict felt he was much needed, so he was going. He went to meet the need; the cold developed into pneumonia; he died on New Year’s Day, 1937.

None of us knew, of course, it would be the last time we would see him alive. At his funeral I remember noticing his small, black, Nestle’s Greek New Testament was placed in his hand on his breast. It was identical with mine, bought at his recommendation, that still lies on my desk with the purchase date written, September 1935. The memories of Dr. J. Gresham Machen are not ones that will be forgotten.

Harold S. Laird

PCA minister, Quarryville, Pa.

It was my great privilege to study as a student in the greatest theological seminary of that time, Princeton Seminary, in 1915, 1916, and 1917.

I sat at the feet of Benjamin B. Warfield and other professors of outstanding scholarship, such as Caspar Wistar Hodge, John Davis, and Robert Dick Wilson. Yet perhaps the most gifted teacher was the young J. Gresham Machen. I shall never cease to thank God for his emphasis on the doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I do not recall the period of time that he spent on this subject; I only recall that it was hour after hour for several lectures that he dealt with the subject in such a manner as to meet satisfactorily every objection to the doctine as is commonly pressed by its critics. Romans 10:9 says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” As I reflect on those lectures, I thank God for his providence that placed me under the teaching of one of the greatest scholars the Christian church has ever produced.

Lewis J. Grotenhuis

OPC minister, Phillipsburg, N.J.

It was my privilege to know Dr. Machen as a person—to marvel at his ability as a scholar; to become utterly mesmerized by his ability to teach the deep thingnms of the Scriptures with simplicity; and to appreciate his love, his zeal, his commitment to the holy Scriptures as the infallible Word of the living God, given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit of the triune God. His faith in the Word and in the Christ of the Word was that of a child; his handling of that Word was that of a giant.

Dr. Machen was a Christian gentleman. He was always available to his students. No question or problem was too small for his consideration. He was a person of wide interests, from voicing his thoughts on politics to climbing the Matterhorn. He enjoyed a baseball game, and frequently gave students tickets for the A’s games. He loved to fellowship with the students, and often invited us to an evening of relaxation with an invitation to eat of the good things he had gathered, and issuing a challenge to a game of chess, playing several opponents at the same time. Between moves he would say to the rest of us: “Don’t be tightwads; just help yourself.”

What amazed me more than his hospitality and food on the table was the room he used for a study. It was filled with tables, and on each table were spread books open for ready and constant reference. A scholar was at work. The Christian faith must receive the best. And one look at a new book in process by the man showed that he would indeed make it the best.

You never came late to a Machen class. He was a teacher who not only knew his subject, but one who could teach it well, and while teaching gave a juggling exhibition with a piece of chalk that never seemed to disturb your reception or his instruction. When you left the class, it was with the blessing of spiritual fulfillment, and with a heart that cried out, “O Lord, our God, how great thou art!”

All of his life and labors flowed forth from his deep conviction that the Bible was the very Word of God. He did not stumble over such words as “without contradiction,” “infallible,” “inerrant.” Like Amos, he said simply, “God has spoken; who can but prophesy?” His advice to all of us was, “Preach the Word, nothing but the Word.” He not only preached the Word, he also exemplified the Word.

If you would see how he exemplified the Word in his daily commitment, then take the time to read Romans 12. There, to me, the life of my friend and teacher is reflected. I still try to reflect that life. He, by God’s grace, lived it.


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