The defense of the faith should be of a scholarly kind. Mere denunciation does not constitute an argument; and before a man can refute successfully an argument of an opponent he must understand the argument that he is endeavoring to refute. Personalities, in such debate, should be kept in the background; and analysis of the motives of one’s opponents has little place.
— J. Gresham Machen, quoted in The New Mormon Challenge, Francis Beckwith
False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervour of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.
— J. Gresham Machen, quoted in Lover Your God With All Your Mind by J. P. Moreland, kindle location 683
If religion be made independent of history, there is no such thing as a gospel. For ‘gospel’ means ‘good news,’ tidings, information about something that happened. A gospel independent of history is a contradiction in terms.
— J. Gresham Machen, quoted in How Now Shall We Live? by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, p. 276
Rational argumentation will not, of course, save people, but it serves to provide an intellectual, cultural context in which the gospel cannot be dismissed simply as a logical absurdity and is therefore given an honest chance to be heard.
— J. Gresham Machen