This is my first "The Swans Are Not Silent" book. I picked up this book because of my sincere interest into the life of my favorite theologian, John Owen.
I originally purchased this book back on June 2010 but didn't pick it up to read it until just now.
To my sheer delight and joy, when this book did come up in my queue, I was thrilled to see Athanasius' name next to John Owen. For you see, over Christmas, I just finished Athanasius' On The Incarnation of the Word which made Christmas all the more special (and reading that book during Christmas is a tradition I am sure to pick up). But I digress.
So if Piper sought to put Machen (some dude I never heard of) alongside Athanasius and Owen, I am sure to pay attention.
While this is a book about their lives and their works, it was less about those men and more about defending the truth and "contending for our all".
I love the theory that is being passed around that we, as humans, have so evolved in our behavior in thinking. Yet, when I read history, I am blown away that we are still doing the same exact things that we were doing 10,000 years ago or even 100 years ago. We have not changed. Sin is still sin. We are still born depraved. Praise God that he still saves.
It is no truer than defending Biblical doctrine or 'what the Bible teaches' and it is no more needed in current age of the children of the Enlightenment (post-modern, whatever you want to call it).
What I see commonly is two thoughts: Orthodox Christians who assume the truth (dangerous) and Liberal Christians who fail to see that there is nothing new under the sun and continuous push for new truths and revelations that are not there (far more dangerous still). Yet, for those who do know the truth will not reach out to the Liberals or to the flock in a gentle, loving, compassionate way, they lash out using truth as a double-edge sword and leaving a heap of bodies in their wake.
Shall we take the examples of these three men who did not see the people who opposed the truth of God as enemies but as prisoners of war. This book is a staunch reminder that while we are to "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:1-5) but to be constant reminded that "... we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12). Shall we follow in their footsteps in worshiping our sweet, loving God in Spirit and in truth? My hope in Christ alone and I pray that He will make all things right one day and he will do so despite our best efforts to separate ourselves from each other.