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Three Critiques of the Liberal View of the Gospels

When presented in a class, the secular/liberal perspective on Christianity is always presented as “the way” that “all educated peoples believe.” However, there are at least three major problems with it.

(note: The author/book which I cannot remember on the spot is Albert Schweitzer, “The Quest of the Historical Jesus.” Although an older book, the quality of the scholarship has made this work a classic which is still cited and interacted with in contemporary scholarship).

Please note that my purpose is not to DISPROVE their theory: only to prove the point that it is a THEORY, which is based upon beliefs. It is far from bullet-proof, and ultimately it is based upon “prior beliefs,” or “presuppositions,” just like Christianity is.

An excellent book, for more on this topic (from a highly reputable source) is Craig A. Evans’ “Fabricating Jesus” (book review to come shortly).


Eusebius of Caesarea. Church History. c. 330. Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890). Available for free on (click on “fathers,” or see here)

Evans, Craig A. Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels . Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008) (See review my here)

Machen, J. Gresham. Christianity and Liberalism. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1923, reprint 2009. (buy here, or access for free electronically here)

Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. 1906. Edited by W. Montgomery. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2005.

Sheehan, Thomas. The Historical Jesus: How did Jesus of Nazareth, who never claimed to be Christ or divine, become the Son of God? Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 2006. (You may download Syllabus, and/or take class on iTunes U for free)


How Machen Helps Me Sort Out Wacky Jesus Scholarship

What is Liberalism?

What is the Gospel? A Response to Liberalism and the Emergent Church

Modernity and the Roots of Classical Liberalism

The Man Who Wrote “Liberalism and Christianity”

Deconstructing the Modern Man Part 2: Immanuel Kant

Deconstructing the Modern Man, Part 1: The Enlightenment

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