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B. B. Warfield: Essays on His Life and Thought [Paperback]

By Johnson Gary L (A01)
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Item Number 83941  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   265
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.88" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   0.81 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 8, 2007
Publisher   P & R PUBLISHING #97
ISBN  1596380373  
EAN  9781596380370  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
These essays provide an inviting and illuminating look at Warfield's life, doctrine of Scripture, appeal to reason, relationship to Machen and the fundamentalists, views on slavery, and opposition to Briggs.

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More About Johnson Gary L

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Gary L. W. Johnson is adjunct professor at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Arizona and have four children.

Ronald N. Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California, holds a PhD in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Distinguished Senior Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as academic dean of its Charlotte campus, Wells has also been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and is involved in ministry in Africa. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including a series that was initiated by a Pew grant exploring the nature of Christian faith in the contemporary, modernized world.

John Bolt (PhD, University of St. Michael's College) is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of several books and the editor of the four-volume English edition of Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics.

Paul Helm is a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, where he was previously the J. I. Packer Professor of Philosophical Theology. Before going to Regent he was professor of history and philosophy of religion at King's College in London. His books include Eternal God; The Providence of God; Faith with Reason; John Calvin's Ideas; and John Calvin: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Paul Kjoss Helseth is Associate Professor of Christian Thought at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota and the author of numerous scholarly articles.

Guy P. Waters is assistant professor of biblical studies at Belhaven College. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Mississippi and have two children.

Greg Gilbert (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author of What Is the Gospel?, James: A 12-Week Study, and Who Is Jesus?, and is the co-author (with Kevin DeYoung) of What Is the Mission of the Church?.

Gary L. W. Johnson was born in 1950.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The American Theologian  Jan 19, 2008
A great biographical read.

BB Warfield (d 1921), of Princeton Seminary, was a towering figure in the defense of the doctrine of Scripture and the re-affirmation of Reformation principles, in a time of turmoil and contest in North America. His work is irreplaceable to those pursuant in Calvinism.

'The soul is therefore in unbroken communion with God, and in the body of intelligible truths reflected into it from God, sees God.' pg 58 BBW So how does God change a life? John 8:31,32 The orthodox view is that God presents us with biblical truth that we either conform to, or reject.

Warfield's arguments for the cessation of the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, articulation of biblical inspiration and authority, his work on the 'Glory of Christ' and his extended refutation of perfectionism have been accepted into the annals of the great theologians.

Paul Kjoss Helseth Chapter 2:
It appears that in the aftermath of the Enlightenment, the need for a reasoned apologetic found its ablest expression in the consistently Reformed theology of BBW. Combatting the Enlightenment rationale made Warfield's distinctive apologetic indispensable.

'Warfield's intellectualism was moral rather than merely rational.' pg 74

Helseth asks 'But how does this state of fallenness prevent the descendants of Adam from ever delighting in the knowledge of God?' pg 65 'Why, in other words, is the witness of the Spirit effectual?' pg 67 Helseth insists we ask 'What are we to make of BBW's apologetical appeal to 'right reason'?' pg 71 And he cautions 'Is not Warfield's apologetical appeal to 'right reason' in fact evidence of accommodation to the assumptions of an essentially humanistic philosophy?' pg 57 These questions prime the inquiring mind.

BBW's soteriology conjoined Calvin's 'inner-witness of the Spirit' authentication with 'right reason'. The cognitive relationship between cause and effect that plays out in the believer's soul, requiring both his heart and mind to be informed by God's Word, and confirmed by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, effects salvation. The engagement with 'right reason' BBW held as preparatory to salvation, as God has revealed Himself, His ways, and His will most clearly and fully in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Says Helseth: ' was driven, on the other, by the prospect of upholding the foundational principle of Augustinian and Reformed piety, namely, that 'it is God and God alone who saves, and that in every element of the saving process'. We must conclude that Warfield was neither an overt nor covert rationalist who undermined the sovereignty of God in salvation by emptying saving faith of its subjective and experiential components.' pg 71 Thus reasoned the brilliant theologian, and defended, not dispensed with, the high view of Scripture.

Stephen J Nichols Chapter 7:
BBW and Gresham Machen were consolidated not only in their theological views, but also their rise to position in Princeton, and in that they were both from Southern gentility. So Nichols dashes to their defense and raises our hopes again in their valor and bravery, by refuting their full allegiance with fundamentalism. Indeed, both had serious doubts as to its origins, and identified fundamentalism as dispensational pre-millennialism. Says Nichols:

'...Warfield's animosity to all things Arminian, especially revivalism and 'holiness teaching'. Riddlebarger points to lengthy reviews by Warfield of John Smiley's Systematic Theology, Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, RA Torrey's What the Bible Teaches, and Lewis Sperry Chafer's He That Is Spiritual as proof of his contention.' pg 175 The lion of Princeton was eager and desirous to engage with the leading proponents of Arminianism and dispensationalism, as he found their writings theologically flawed and methodologically suspect.

Nichols continues on BBW and John Gresham Machen combined views toward fundamentalism, representative of Old Princeton theology:

'They held to a view of God and His providence that allowed them to accept, though not blindly or unreservedly, the advances of the scientific community.' pg 178 Thus BBW and Machen joined fully with the community and their social engagement was contra-fundamentalism.

Importantly, 'Warfield's and Machen's theological method, centered on the Bible, avoided a naive biblicism. Facile in the languages of the Bible, the Latin of the church fathers, medievalists, and Reformers, and the French and German of current European biblical scholarship, Warfield and Machen brought a depth and dimension to their work that were simply lacking among fundamentalists unable to work in any language other than English and dependent on the English Bible for exegesis.' pg 179

'Warfield's own thought and writing bear this out.' pg 181

Gary L W Johnson Chapter 8:

Church historian, Mark Noll places the controversy of the Bible's authority reaching American shores in the early 1880s, pg 5. James T Dennison traces the spurious rise of Charles Augustus Briggs 'as early as the 1870s', pg 199, which would seem to suggest that the apostle Paul's warning of savage wolves within our own midst was exceptionally true in this case. 'The two could no co-exist. On this, at least, Briggs and Warfield agreed.' pg 201

Johnson's investigation reaches a crescendo when he too cites Riddlebarger's comments on BBW's intense dislike for 'popular works by highly visible leaders with Arminian and revivalist leanings and who were associated with the emerging fundamentalist movement.' pg 209 Johnson goes on to mention the names of Charles Trumbull, John Smiley, RA Torrey, Andrew Murray from South Africa, Harry Ironside and a young Lewis Sperry Chafer, who would all play significant roles in founding major evangelical institutions, which would becomes centers for the teaching of the Victorious Christian life. Warfield's criticism of Andrew Murray came to the conclusion of 'a fully developed Schleiermacherite' and again, 'Enthusiastic minds like Mr Murray's need to exercise special care in adopting forms of statement from other writers.' pg 211

This was not libel, but polemical by design combined with shrewd calculation to caution the unwary. In like manner, Johnson sees it incumbent upon himself to proceed in the tradition of Warfield to cast light on contemporary similarities, in the person of Peter Enns, dismissed professor of Old Testament theology at Westminster. NT Wright of the New Perspective on Paul again receives unfailing attention as an ardent modern proponent of theistic humanism. Sympathizing with Johnson, one wonders when the theological world will become disenchanted with this popular novelist and his futile eccentricities.

These essays reveal the great intellect, the astute theologian and biblical expositor who was revered by some of the greats to be the greatest of their generation. John de Witt, a historian, claimed that Warfield 'knew more than Charles Hodge, WGT Shedd, Henry B Smith put together.' Caspar Wistar Hodge Jr, his successor at Princeton, claimed that his true piety and sound learning far outshone that of Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge and Archibald Alexander Hodge as 'excelling them in all erudition'. Professor Hugh T Kerr of Princeton, in a lecture delivered in 1982, described Warfield in these terms: '...we are talking about a theological authorship on the order of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin.' A student could say of him: 'This man stands out as the most Christ-like man I have ever known.'

BB Warfield inspired a generation of leaders that became famous for the articulation and defense of orthodoxy. No more noble testimony than that can be summoned.

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