"The free gift of God is an absolutely unaccountable event in the life of every man who accepts it. It is not the natural working out of a principle, but it is a thing that happens. But that happening in the soul is the result of a happening in the sphere of external history. The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. There we have the central characteristic of our religion; the central characteristic of Christianity is that it is not founded merely upon what always was true but primarily upon something that happened -- something that took place near Jerusalem at a definite time in the world's history. In other words, it is founded not merely upon permanent truths of religion but upon a 'gospel,' a piece of news."
J. Gresham Machen, God Transcendent, page 39.