Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was a professor of Theology at Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921. He is rightly considered one of the greatest if not the greatest American born theologians America ever produced. B.B. Warfield’s ministry continues to influence evangelicals today through the work he did across a variety of theological topics, but in particular his well-known work on the doctrine of Scripture and the person and work of Christ. B.B. Warfield is considered the last of the great Princeton theologians and the Lion of Princeton Seminary.
In the past two years Dr. Zaspel has written The Theology of B.B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary and now Warfield on the Christian Life: Living in Light of the Gospel (Theologians on the Christian Life). Warfield on the Christian Life takes some of the material from Dr. Zaspel’s previous work and places it within this book, but what’s different about Warfield on the Christian Life is that its sole focus is on the Gospel while The Theology of B.B. Warfield seeks to examine the totality of Warfield’s theology.
One of the greatest needs for Christians today to understand is how their faith is not new but tied to other Christians who lived in real history. Modern Christians often only read contemporary authors which means they don’t understand how Christians from the past have thought about the Christian life and doctrine from a time different than their own. While today’s Christian has access to dozens of resources what they lack is an understanding of church history. Understanding church history is very important for contemporary Christians because the same theological and doctrinal battles continue to repeat themselves throughout the history of the Church. Contemporary Christians must understanding church history in order to contend, defend and proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christianity. Understanding church history is especially important for discipleship as it helps Christians to understand their place within the redemptive history of God’s people.
In this new series of books titled Theologians on the Christian Life series editors Stephen J. Nichols and Justin Taylor seek to fill a need for contemporary Christians by helping them to “Explore the many rooms in the mansion of church history” (11). This series promises to “Explore many different places, times, models, approaches and emphasizes” (11). This series, “Aims to help us in the present to listen to the past in order to live the Christian life” (11).
In this first volume of this series, Dr. Zaspel in Warfield on the Christian Life examines the background and thought of B.B. Warfield, then turns to examine his beliefs about Scripture, redemption, conversion, the Holy Spirit, sanctification, and living in response to the Gospel.
In the past five years or more there has been scores of books written on what the Gospel is, and how Christians are to live out the Christian life but what is missing in the current Gospel-centered movement is an understanding of what the Church has taught on the Gospel in the last two thousand years. Dr. Zaspel’s newest book examining the thinking of B.B. Warfield will help those involved in the current Gospel-centered movement to understand what one of the best theologians in Church history thought about the Gospel. While some may disagree with B.B. Warfield on various points, I believe all evangelicals will find as I have that B.B. Warfield is a trusted theologian for a reason as his mind and heart were thoroughly saturated in the Word of God and enflamed by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I whole-heartedly recommend you get a copy of Warfield on the Christian Life and look for other books in this series as they are published by Crossway in order to understand the places and times different from our own along with the different models, approaches and emphases taken by well-known Christians throughout the history of the Church.
Author: Fred G. Zaspel
Publisher: Crossway (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”