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Biography

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was born on November 5, 1851 at Grasmere, Kentucky (near Lexington) and died in Princeton, New Jersey on February 16, 1921 at the age of 69. Read more about Warfield in the following articles:

Warfield’s Devotion to His Wife

Benjamin B. Warfield was a world-renowned theologian who taught at Princeton Seminary for almost 34 years until his death on February 16, 1921. Many people are aware of his famous books, like The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible. But what most people don’t know is that in 1876, at the age of twenty-five, he married Annie Pierce Kinkead and took a honeymoon to Germany. During a fierce storm Annie was struck by lightning and permanently paralyzed. After caring for her for thirty-nine years Warfield laid her to rest in 1915. Because of her extraordinary needs, Warfield seldom left his home for more than two hours at a time during all those years of marriage.1

Now here was a shattered dream. I recall saying to my wife the week before we married, “If we have a car accident on our honeymoon, and you are disfigured or paralyzed, I will keep my vows, ‘for better or for worse.’” But for Warfield it actually happened. She was never healed. There was no kingship in Egypt at the end of the story—only the spectacular, patience and faithfulness of one man to one woman through thirty-eight years of what was never planned—at least, not planned by man. But when Warfield came to write his thoughts on Romans 8:28, he said, “The fundamental thought is the universal government of God. All that comes to you is under His controlling hand. The secondary thought is the favour of God to those that love Him. If He governs all, then nothing but good can befall those to whom He would do good . . . . Though we are too weak to help ourselves and too blind to ask for what we need, and can only groan in unformed longings, He is the author in us of these very longings . . . and He will so govern all things that we shall reap only good from all that befalls us.”2

John Piper, Future Grace (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1995), 176.

  1. See Roger Nicole, “B. B. Warfield and the Calvinist Revival,” in John D. Woodbridge, ed., Great Leaders of the Christian Church (Chicago: Moody Press, 1988), p. 344. []
  2. B. B. Warfield, Faith and Life (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, orig. 1914), p. 204. []
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Certain Fundamentalists of the Brethren type have made Warfield into this scary figure: a hyper-Calvinist who was stained by the Higher Criticism of Germany. I have studied many of his writings, and can say that these are lies. The warmth in his writings must have something to do with his home life and the wonderful woman that he loved and stayed faithful to. I am writing a rather large book report on Warfield’s ‘Studies in Theology’ because I want to promote that work and Warfield’s writings in general. His writings ought to be read because they are full of eloquent explanation of doctrines that matter the most. If you like, I might be willing to post that book report here as well as on my own blog. You let me know if you want to take a look at it to see if it suits your purpose.

    December 10, 2012
  2. Charles E. Miller, BA, MAR #

    I like Warfield and his scholarship. I am an amillennialist and do not consider Dr. Warfield a theological monster. He was a very intelligent man and a true Christian. I am sure we shall meet him one day in heaven. If you ever publish your research on Dr. Warfield, Mark, I would like to read it. May God bless you.

    Charles
    Chesapeake, Virginia

    March 2, 2014

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