I feel like I should compose this post in Koine Greek in honor of the many hours I spent working through his New Testament Greek for Beginners. Generations of students were introduced to Greek with Machen’s grammar, and its revised edition is still used widely.
Machen’s career was marked by a lot of controversy, an understandable feature of the era in which he lived and worked. The naturalistic presuppositions of liberal theology had made significant inroads in biblical studies beginning in the 19th century and seemed to be triumphant. Machen was one of the few orthodox biblical scholars able to address the philosophical, historical, and textual evidence and provide a viable response. His Christianity and Liberalism laid out the issues clearly, if polemically, and remains as a testament to his efforts to uphold the traditional understanding of the message of the church. For all of his work, I’m grateful on his birthday.