Thursday, January 18, 2007

Currently Reading Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield

I purchased a $1.50 sermon by the great Princeton Seminary professor B.B. Warfield from Christianbook.com.

It's called "The Religious Life of Theological Students" and I believe every pastor, professor and teacher of God's Word should read this sermon. I found an abridged version online. You can read it by clicking here.

Prepare to have your backside spanked!! (for those who haven't heard John Piper offered an apology for using the word a-- instead of the word "backside" at Passion '07.)

Here's a small, but good part of Warfield's thoughts:

"Say what you will, do what you will, the ministry is a 'learned profession'; and the man without learning, no matter with what other gifts he may be endowed, is unfit for its duties. But learning, though indispensable, is not the most indispensable thing for a minister. 'Apt to teach' -- yes, the minister must be 'apt to teach'; and observe that what I say -- or rather what Paul says -- is 'apt to teach.' Not apt merely to exhort, to beseech, to appeal, to entreat; not even merely, to testify, to bear witness; but to teach. And teaching implies knowledge: he who teaches must know. Paul, in other words, requires of you, as we are perhaps learning not very felicitously to phrase it, 'instructional,' not merely 'inspirational,' service.

But aptness to teach alone does not make a minister; nor is it his primary qualification. It is only one of a long list of requirements which Paul lays down as necessary to meet in him who aspires to this high office. And all the rest concern, not his intellectual, but his spiritual fitness. A minister must be learned, on pain of being utterly incompetent for his work. but before and above being learned a minister must be godly. Nothing could be more fatal, however, than to set these two things over against one another."

What can you say but: "Sovereign God, give us grace equal to the task!"

1 comment:

Noah Braymen said...

Warfield is one of my favorite writers. I bought the set of his works (10 volumes I think) about a year ago and it has been excellent!

If anyone is interested I have the pdf of this lecture that I could email to you.

In Christ
Noah