I want to quote a sentence to you from a man who was about as far removed from being an Evangelical Christian as anyone could be, but he was a great thinker and an acute observer – the late Dean Inge. He has produced a little book on Protestantism; it was one of a series. I will never forget the first sentence in that book, it was so true. He put it all in one phrase; he said: ‘Every institution tends to produce its opposite’. Now that is a very profound remark. It is a very perfect summary of the very thing I am trying to say here. He was writing on Protestantism, and what he was able to show so cleverly, and which I want to repeat is this: that by today Protestantism has become almost the exact opposite of what it was at its beginning in the sixteenth century.
Why does such a thing happen? It occurs as a result of the struggle between the spirit and the form. I do not think there is a greater struggle than this. The spirit must always have a form and that is why you have such a thing as the Christian church. An idea must always take form if it is to be of any value. But there is always a tension between these two. Certain dangers arise, and the biggest danger of all is that the form tends to cripple the spirit. I do not think you can begin to understand church history, you cannot understand the Bible, unless you have got clear in your mind this struggle and tension between form and spirit. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 11, p. 150