Sermons and essays from the works of b. b. warfield

Therefore, it is with great interest and enthusiasm that we welcome this fine collection of essays, edited by Gary L. I am helped by this book, both in terms of tightening my understanding and appreciation of Warfield, in particular, as well as, its exemplary historiography, in general.

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It is fitting that the always warm and winsome Dr. David Calhoun, that great and gracious historian of Old Princeton, gives the foreword. His brief eloquence, along with Mark Noll's introduction, will remind you why you picked up the book to start with, becoming a major source of encouragement in reading the whole book.


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Warfield, as Calhoun and Noll make clear, centered his theological and exegetical program on his commitment to defining and defending the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. This is inseparable, Noll comments, from his confessional orientation "Even Warfield's defense of biblical inerrancy, which often seems to be undertaken on behalf of a bare notion of biblical veracity, was also a product of his overarching Calvinism. The point of defending traditional views of the Bible was not so much the Bible itself as what the Bible taught" p.

This sets the trajectory for the rest of the volume, which is a series of historical analyses of the polemical contexts in which Warfield's epistemology, apologetics, and doctrine of Scripture appear. This is important, as Johnson notes, "Polemics are essential to the gospel" p. Interestingly, the opening chapter erects a crucial backdrop for understanding Warfield's eventual place at Princeton. In this slice of nineteenth century American Presbyterian history, Bradley J.

Gundlach details the pre and post conversion bellicosity of Robert Breckinridge, Warfield's maternal grandfather. This same brashness and "unsubtle" character, created a years-long rift between Breckinridge and the Princetonians over the tactics of defending Old School principles, which resulted in a number of ecclesiastical pains between the two parties. Gundlach lays this groundwork and takes us to the student days of B. Warfield at Princeton Seminary. Despite strained relations between his grandfather and the elder Hodge, Warfield came to revere his theology professor.

As successor of the Hodgean legacy, Warfield, " Defining a Warfieldian epistemology that will serve the trajectory of the rest of the volume, Paul Kjoss Helseth seeks to wrest Warfield from the charge of bald rationalism associated with Scottish Realism. This well-written chapter does not contain all the could be said, for instance, regarding the differences between the apologetics methodologies of Old Princeton and Westminster Seminary apologist, Cornelius Van Til. With that said, Helseth does a fine job of showing Warfield's commitment to the testimonium internum Spiritus Sancti in the "relationship between the objective and subjective components of Warfield's religious epistemology" p.

Warfield held to the same Edwardsian refusal to equate a merely speculative knowledge of divine things and a true spiritual understanding possessed only of the regenerate individual. Helseth insists that Warfield's epistemology, "[clearly standing] within the mainstream of Reformed orthodoxy" p.

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While I am interested in how Helseth would develop Warfield on the relationship between Scripture and the use of "right reason" in the apologetic endeavor, I nonetheless greatly appreciate his balanced and insightful wresting of Warfield from the criticism of "bald rationalism. Much of this book deals with Warfield on Scripture. Silva argues that it is precisely this balance that helped make Warfield, and those who have followed in his steps, staunch defenders of biblical inerrancy, while simultaneously displaying hermeneutical humility.

The Warfieldian tradition does not move from the conviction of inerrancy to a particular interpretation of a passage, but rather because of that conviction of inerrancy, through a dogged commitment to the original languages and exegesis of the text, to hermeneutical interpretation consistent with the conviction of inerrancy. Raymond D. Cannata builds upon the work of Silva's themes in his chapter, entitled, "Warfield and the Doctrine of Scripture. Warfield taught the inspiration of the original autographs, yet did not use this as a "free pass" to avoid difficult questions.

He held that the mode of inspiration took forms consistent with the humanness and personalities of biblical writers rather than mechanical dictation. The argument in a nutshell is simply this: God established His Church in the days of Abraham and put children into it.

They must remain there until He puts them out. He has nowhere put them out. They are still then members of His Church and as such entitled to its ordinance. Among these ordinances is baptism, which standing in similar place in the New Dispensation to circumcision in the Old, is like it to be given to children. Hodge and B.


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  7. In this article the concept of grace is defined simply and concisely. Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving.


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    8. It is the motive of redemption in the mind of God. While the word grace applies equally to the objective change in relations and the subjective change of character, it is used in this connection to designate the energy of the Holy Ghost whereby the moral nature of the human soul is renewed, and the soul, thus renewed, is enabled to act in compliance with the will of God. The word grace has been at the heart of many theological controversies, but here the concept is laid before us clearly, and, thus simply defined, is worthy of our thankful meditation.

      Reversing the Gospel: Warfield on Race and Racism | Themelios from The Gospel Coalition

      Some words of wisdom from two Princeton men on how a right understanding of and faith in the Providence of God is a great comfort to us amidst the troubles and trials of our daily pilgrimage in this earth. It is almost equally true that a clear and full apprehension of the universal providence of God is the solution of most theological problems. Warfield , Vol. In opposition to this error of the Epicureans and Stoics, we are to be reminded that God never abandons his work, but is as much with it the last day as the first. This governing presence of God with all his creatures and all their actions, is called Providence, from a Latin word which means to see beforehand….

      The very essence of God is, therefore, everlastingly present with every atom and every spirit. This is exactly accordant to those places in Scripture where God is spoken of as the universal cause, and is said to do those things which are done, secondarily, by creatures. And to this is referred the supporting of life in the most insignificant birds. Enough has been said in regard to this primary acting of divine Providence, in preserving all things.

      How God does this it would be madness for us to inquire. The simplicity of the divine acts causes them to elude our faculties. He wills it, and that is enough; just as at the beginning he willed creation. What we chiefly need is to bear this in mind, with daily faith, awe, and thankfulness. I appeal to aged and observant Christians, whether the happiest persons they ever knew, have not been those who were most ready to eye God in all the events of life: in health and sickness, in business, and in family occurrences.

      Let us hope in Providence. Let us hope mightily. O remember, every cloud is governed by the God of truth and the God of power. The house in which you dwell is not without a master. Warfield addresses a fundamental question about whether God has given rules for how His church is to governed and how He is to be approached in worship in an address titled "The Mystery of Godliness" in Faith and Life , pp.

      Taking I Tim. It is of the more importance that we should note this, that there is a disposition abroad to treat all matters of the ordering of public worship and even of the organization of the Church as of little importance. We even hear it said about us with wearisome iteration that the New Testament has no rules to give, no specific laws to lay down, in such matters. Matters of church government and modes of worship, we are told, are merely external things, of no sort of significance; and the Church has been left free to find its own best modes of organization and worship, varying, doubtless, in the passage of time and in the Church's own pas sage from people to people of diverse characters and predilections.

      No countenance is lent to such sentiments by the passage before us; or, indeed, by these Pastoral Epistles, the very place of which in the Canon is a standing rebuke to them; or, in fine, by anything in the New Testament.

      On the contrary, you will observe, Paul's point of view is precisely the opposite one. He takes his start from the inestimable importance of the Gospel. Thence he argues to the importance of the Church which has been established in the world, so to speak, as the organ of the Gospel — the pillar and buttress on which its purity and its completeness rest.

      Thence again he argues to the proper organization and ordering of the Church that it may properly perform its high functions. And, accordingly, he gives minute prescriptions for the proper organization and ordering of the Church — prescribing the offices that it should have and the proper men for these offices, and descending even into the details of the public services. His position, compressed into a nutshell, is simply this: the function of the Church as guardian of the truth, that glorious truth which is the Gospel, is so high and important that it cannot be left to accident or to human caprice how this Church should be organized and its work ordered.

      Accordingly, he, the inspired Apostle — "an Apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Saviour and Christ, our Hope" — has prescribed in great detail, touching both organization and order, how it is necessary that men should conduct themselves in the household of God — which is nothing other than the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.