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I hope that several have been able to find this podcast helpful. For the time being, the podcast is on hold. My studies, church, and family have kept me too busy to devote the necessary time to this endeavor. All the same, I am not ready to retire the series yet. Please stay tuned, but realize it ma be a while before you see another episode.

In this podcast, we complete John Leadley Dagg’s tract, The Origin and Authority of the Bible.

Thus far Dagg has argued that the divine origin of the Bible is proved first by the character of the revelation as seen in its revelation of the character of God, the life of Christ, and the method of salvation. The blessings the Bible confers to men also point to its divine origin.

In the remainder of this essay, Dagg says that the revealed miracles and prophecies also prove the divine origin of the Bible. Then he briefly discusses the Bible’s authority.

Thank you for listening. Questions, recommendations, or feedback should be sent to ryanjaredmartin@gmail.com. Magnatune and johann-sebastian-bach.org have graciously supplied the music for this podcast.


J. L. Dagg (1794-1884) was an 19th century American Baptist pastor and educator. Though not receiving a full formal education, he would become the president of Mercer University in Georgia. It is possible that his Manual of Theology was the first Baptist systematic theology in America. Though he went nearly blind, he was a great Baptist pastor and thinker. When the Southern Baptist Convention decided to draw up a catechism in 1879, they resolved to have J. L. Dagg do it. Tom Nettles says that when Dagg died in 1884, he was “one of the most respected men in Baptist life and remains one of the most profound thinkers produced by his denomination.”

The work that I will be reading in the next two Classic Christian Writers Podcast will be Dagg’s tract Origin and Authority of the Bible. You can find this within his discussion of the scriptures in the Manual of Theology, which is still in print. Dagg really is a delight to read.

If you listen to this podcast, will you do me a favor and tell me? Do you have something that you would like read? It doesn’t hurt to ask! I would love hearing from you with both positive and negative feedback at ryanjaredmartin@gmail.com.


Welcome to another Classic Christian Writer’s Podcast, finally back after a rather long hiatus.

We are still working our way through J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity & Liberalism, and this week I’m reading chapter three. In future podcasts, I may start interjecting other short works and sermons by other Christian writers between the Machen readings, but I have every intention of completing this little book.

As always, thank you to Magnatune and johann-sebastian-bach.org for allowing me to use their music for this podcast.

If you have questions or feedback, please send them to me, Ryan Martin, at ryanjaredmartin@gmail.com. More information about this podcast can be found at immoderate.wordpress.com or ryanjaredmartin.podomatic.com.


This podcast completes the second chapter of J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity & Liberalism.

You may be interested in finding out more about the life of the author of the work we are presently reading, and you can find a nice audio overview presented by Pastor Todd Mitchell at firstbaptist.podomatic.com entitled "The Life of J. Gresham Machen.” I commend that resource to you.

I hope you are enjoying C&L as much as I am. This book was wonderful the first time I read it, and it is so again as I record it this podcast. At the risk of sounding cheesy, even if no one listens to this podcast, I have been benefitted greatly in merely putting it together.

Drop me a line, if you would, at the usual address: ryanjaredmartin@gmail.com. Special thanks goes to Magnatune and johann-sebastian-bach.com for the use of their music in this podcast. If you enjoy this podcast, I invite you to stop by my blog, immoderate.wordpress.com. Past episodes can also be found at ryanjaredmartin.podomatic.com.


This week we are picking up again J. Gresham Machen’s important apologetic for orthodox Christianity, Christianity & Liberalism. We find ourselves beginning about a third into chapter 2, and will get through another third or so on this recording. If you are following along with the printed text, which I imagine very few of you are, this podcast begins on page 29 and ends on page 41 of the 1999 Eerdman’s reprint of the book, which I believe follows the pagination of the original 1923 edition.

Let me again express my gratitude to Magnatuneand johann-sebastian-bach.org for their allowing me to use their music in this podcast. At magnatune, you can try music before you buy it, and even choose from a range of prices that you pay for the music. I went through much of this on my last podcast, and you can listen to it for more information on magnatune. While we are on the subject of music, if you are looking for an internet radio station playing conservative sacred music, please swing by ReligousAffections.org, where you will find sacred music of good quality.

If you have feedback or just want to tell me you are listening, please send it to ryanjaredmartin@gmail.com. Other podcasts in this series are available at http://ryanjaredmartin.podomatic.com.


This week we continue with J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity & Liberalism. Last time we finished chapter 1, and this podcast begins chapter 2. Chapter 2 is pretty long, and will require more than one podcast to complete. I have received some encouraging feedback, and would welcome listeners to drop me a line giving me feedback.

You may notice that I have a new theme music to begin the podcast. Although I love Bach’s setting of the hymn tune Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten, an album over at Magnatune caught my ear. Founded in 2003, Magnatune ( www.magnatune.com) is an independent, online record label that hand selects its own artists, sells its catalog of music through online downloads and print-on-demand CDs and licenses music for commercial and non-commercial use. The company offers fair-trade music to consumers by equally sharing all revenue from the sale of albums with artists and allowing artists to retain full rights to their music. The nice thing is that you can try the music before you buy it, and can even choose how much you pay for the music ranging from $5 to 18 for a downloadable album or print-on-demand CDs. I encourage you to spend some time shifting through the surprisingly large catalog at Magnatune.com. The piece I am using to introduce the podcast is an excerpt from Lara St John’s recording of the first movement of Bach’s violin concerto BWV 1042. The second movement is hauntingly beautiful, and you’ll be hearing that in its entirety at the close of the program.

Thank you, Magnatune, for allowing me to use some of your music on this podcast. Thank you, also, johann-sebastian-bach.org, for your generosity as well.


This installment of the Classic Christian Writers Podcast features the first of several installments reading J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism.

J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), an American Presbyterian theologian and founder of both the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminister Theological Seminary, was one of the strongest and most articulate voices against theological liberalism in the modernist struggles in the early 20th century. His stand for conservatism led to his eventual trial by and expulsion from the PCUSA in mid-30's. His training by the hand of pious yet liberal German Protestants nearly cap-sized his beliefs, but in the end, he held fast to the confession, and his exposure to the influences that tempted him so heavily eventually ensured him a comprehensive understanding of modern liberalism that few have rivaled.

Christianity and Liberalism is Machen’s first extensive apologetic work against modernism, first published in 1923 by Macmillan, and is still in print today. The book is now in the public domain, and can be found in several places online ( appears to be a pretty good site). In it, Machen demonstrates a piercing understanding of theological liberalism, and argues that it represents a different religion from Christianity altogether. He wrote some time later, “In my little book, Christianity and Liberalism, 1923, I tried to show that the issue in the Church of the present day is not between two varieties of the same religion, but, at bottom, between two essentially different types of thought and life. There is much interlocking of the branches, but the two tendencies, Modernism and supernaturalism, or (otherwise designated) non-doctrinal religion and historic Christianity, spring from different roots. In particular, I tried to show that Christianity is not a "life," as distinguished from a doctrine, and not a life that has doctrine as its changing symbolic expression, but that—exactly the other way around—it is a life founded on a doctrine." (From "Christianity in Conflict," an autobiographical essay on Machen's life and works).


The Classic Christian Writers Podcast no. 6 will feature a reading of the first chapter of William Law’s classic, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.

William Law lived from 1686 to 1761 and has been called “one of the most eminent English writers on practical divinity in the eighteenth century” (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge [1882] 2:1288). His refusal to take the oath of allegiance on the accession of George I eliminated all his hopes for advancement in the Church. Instead he gave himself to seclusion and meditation and writing. In a very rationalistic age, he was a “genuine mystic.” One biographer said of Law,

“To come across such a man in the midst of his surroundings is like coming across an old Gothic cathedral, with its air of calm grandeur and mellowed beauty” (Overton).

The importance of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life should not be underestimated. Gibbon, Johnson, Doddridge, and Wesley all praised it. It is said to have had a great affect on the men influential in the First Great Awakening.

I am very pleased to announce that Wm Law’s Serious Call will be read by my good friend Pastor Todd Mitchell, who ministers at First Baptist Church in Granite Falls, Minnesota. For more information about Pastor Mitchell and his ministry, please visit his church's website.

The music which bookends Pastor Mitchell’s reading has been used by permission from http://maltedmedia.com/rucc/. The particular piece highlighted is "David's Lamentation," by William Billings, sung by the Roxbury Union Congregational Church Choir, directed by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz. Other music, as usual, comes from the gracious permission given by the folks at http://www.johann-sebastian-bach.org.


This episode of the Classic Christian Writings podcast concludes Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s sermon “Omniscience.” It was preached by Spurgeon on Sunday evening, June 15, 1856 in Exeter Hall, just 4 days before his 22nd birthday.

I again wish to express special thanks to Johann-sebastian-bach.org for granting me permission to use a few of their free mp3 bach organ tracks in this recording.


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