A true Reformation would be characterized by just what is missing in the Modernism of the present day [ed., 1925]; it would be characterized above all by an heroic honesty which for the sake of principle would push all consideration of consequences aside.
Such a Reformation we on our part believe to be needed today; only, we believe that it would be brought about, not by a new religion which consists in imitation of the reduced Jesus of modern naturalism, but by the rediscovery of the gospel of Christ. This is not the first time in the history of the world when the gospel has been obscured. It was obscured in the Middle Ages, for example; and how long and how dark, in some respects, was that time! But the gospel burst forth with new power—the same gospel that Paul and Augustine had proclaimed. So it may be in our own day; the gospel may come forth again to bring light and liberty to mankind. But this new Reformation for which we long will not be brought about by human persuasions, or by consideration of consequences, or by those who seek to save souls through a skillful use of ecclesiastical influences, or by those who refrain from speaking the truth through a fear of “splitting the Church” or of making a poor showing in columns of Church statistics. How petty, in the great day when the Spirit of God again moves in the Church, all such considerations will seem! No, when the true Reformation comes, it will come through the instrumentality of those upon whom God has laid His hand, to whom the gospel has become a burning fire within them, who speak because they are compelled to speak, who, caring nothing for human influences and conciliation and external Church combinations and the praise or blame of men, speak the word that God has given them and trust for the results to Him alone. In other words, it will be brought about by men of faith. (Machen, J. Gresham. What is Faith?, 103-105)