- Paperback: 265 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing; 1 edition (June 8, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596380373
- ISBN-13: 978-1596380370
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,998,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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B. B. Warfield: Essays on His Life and Thought Paperback – June 8, 2007
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"For Warfield, the heart of both theology and active religion was the glory of God, who rescued sinful humans from self-imposed destruction and who enabled them to share his work of the kingdom in every sphere of life, including the natural world. . . . It is that theology, and the man who held it, that are opened up in an unusually helpful way by the[se] chapters. . . ." --Mark A . Noll, from the introduction
"B. B. Warfield is one of the most important figures in American church history. He is also one of the most neglected. This volume will do much to enhance our understanding of this great theologian and the context in which he labored." --Kim Riddlebarger
"The authors provide biographical background, intellectual context, and theological survey. They also skillfully chart Warfield's influence on later evangelicals. This book will assist us in recapturing a theologian whom we need to know again." --Sean Michael Lucas
About the Author
Mark A. Noll is McManis Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, Illinois, and the author and editor of many bestselling books and articles, including "Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," and "A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada," His most recent book is "Protestants in America," In 1998 he inaugurated the McDonald Family Visiting Chair in Evangelical Theological Studies at the Harvard Divinity School.
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Bradley Gundlach’s essay first provides readers with some family background information of Warfield and also focuses on Warfield’s introduction to Princeton, which was not a first for the Breckenridge family. On a personal note this was one of my favorite essays in the book - very fascinating.
The second essay, by Paul Kjoss Helseth discusses some of the epistemological issues surrounding Princeton and the ensuing approach to theology, apologetics and epistemology.
Moises Silva’s essay, “Old Princeton, Westminster and Inerrancy” is almost self-explanatory, discussing the unique role that inerrancy played at Princeton, with a deeper emphasis on Warfield’s view of inerrancy.
“Warfield and the Doctrine of Scripture” by Raymond D. Cannata also emphasizes Warfield’s views on inerrancy, particularly in light of critics complaints of this aspect of his theology and analyzes whether these complaints are justified.
Raul Kjoss Helseth’s essay can best be described in his own words. He writes, “The purpose of this chapter . . . [is to] place B. B. Warfield’s response to the modern era’s relocation of the divine-human nexus in its proper historical context, and thereby to set Warfield up as an example of an evangelical scholar who responded to the problem of the relationship between Christianity and culture in the correct fashion” (111).
An essay on racial “justice” follows Helseth’s work. Written by Bradley J. Gundlach, he discusses Warfield’s written works on the issues of race and justice in society and what it means for these ideas to be worked out biblically within society.
Stephen J. Nichols’ essay treats Princeton’s crisis with liberalism (and its early seeds) as it came to be seen by Warfiend and J. Gresham Machen.
Gary Johnson similarly discusses at a deeper level what Nichols touches on - Warfield and the Briggs controversy, a three decade long debate over issues of biblical authority and the Westminster Confession.
Barry Waugh further picks up on the Briggs controversy and includes a bibliography for anyone interested in researching this ongoing debate.
All in all, this a nice work for the casual Warfield reader, perhaps someone who might want a refresher or just to learn a little more about him.
The book starts out by introducing the family of Warfield, especially the maternal side and on his grandfather, Robert Jefferson Breckinridge. This is an interesting read and frankly unexpected. But this sets the book into context, Warfield’s heroic defence against the attacks from the liberals was not something that just came up. His rich history has made him into who he was. Furthermore, one might not have expected that for someone who’s now called the “Lion of Princeton” to have joined Princeton against his parents and relative’s decision.
Following which, the apologetics of Warfield was considered. This was to answer some critiques that was made against Warfield, to be an rationalist apologist. Paul Helseth shows well that Warfield use of reason is never above his fundamental belief in the scripture.
The next 2 chapters, are rather alike, which is a mystery. Both chapters highlights just about the same points as each other, and both explains that Warfield’s doctrine of Scripture, specifically Inspiration and Inerrancy is not what many might have assumed. Both chapters seek to show readers just that, by using a close reading of Warfield, allowing us to have a clearer and more accurate picture of what Warfied himself believed and defended against.
The next chapter talked about Warfield’s effort against slavery. Warfield’s upbringing had taught him to be familiar with the treatment that the slaves has had. His own grandfather had once mis-treated a slave, and who was in turn severely punished by his mother. Warfield had tried rather unsuccessfully, to abolish the rule that forbids the black to occupy key position in church. More importantly, it was clearly shown that these were not driven solely due to his family history, but more fundamental based on Warfield’s understanding of God’s Word. This remains to be a important point that would be repeated several times within the book.
Lastly, the last 2 chapters showed the differences and similarities between Warfield and his protege, Machen; and also the controversy Warfield had with Charles Briggs.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. This book is loaded with footnotes and will require focus to slowly read through the various essays on warfield. What I found was that it seemed to be rather lopsided in it’s presentation. Warfield’s doctrine of Scripture is often alluded, however if I do not remember wrongly, Christology was the topic Warfield wrote on the most. It is striking that not much is spoken about in this book.
Given the content of this book, I would have to recommend others to newer books like “Warfield on the Christian Life” for a easier introduction on Warfield. But, for those who intent to do a serious study on Warfield, this alongside with “The Theology of B. B. Warfield” would be a good resource for the motivated scholar.