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J. Gresham Machen on the Individual

Here is Machen on the individual vs. modern collectivism:

“It is true that historic Christianity is in conflict at many points with the collectivism of the present day; it does emphasize, against the claims of society, the worth of the individual soul. It provides for the individual a refuge from all the fluctuating currents of human opinion, a secret place of meditation where a man can come alone into the presence of God. It does give a man courage to stand, if need be, against the world; it resolutely refuses to make of the individual a mere means to an end, a mere element in the composition of society. It rejects altogether any means of salvation which deals with men in a mass; it brings the individual face to face with his God.”


Published in C.Jay Engel

  • RA Jameson

    I love Machen and this quote is spot on. I just finished Mill’s “On Liberty” and though he wasn’t a Christian (at least not in an evangelical sense), he expressed similar sentiment. Democracy has done much to absorb the individual into the collective–yet one more reason to hate democracy.