[M]encken highly praised Machen as more clear, cogent, and consistent than his adversaries. The closing words of the epitaph simply read: “He failed — but he was undoubtedly right.”
…What was Machen’s success? With clarity and consistency he drew a line in the sand. He sharpened the creedal edge that had long been blunted by compromise. You either stand on the side of biblical Christianity or you don’t. Even though only a few stood on the right side, it was a division with a tremendous effect. For nearly five generations now, it has given some the confidence to stand on the claims of God’s Word. For others, it has exposed the mirage of a substanceless Christianity and the hypocrisy of those who are more interested in modern sensibilities than holding fast the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. In this, we hear the echo of the Apostle’s words: “I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized” (1 Corinthians 11:18-20).