Soli Deo Gloria: For the Glory of God Alone
Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 4:10 pm
The Messenger, May 20, 2010
B. B. Warfield –
Trusting a Loving Father
By JOHN K. JONES
Special to The Messenger
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921), introduced in last week’s article, taught at Princeton Theological Seminary. Some modern conservative Christians consider him to be the last of the great Princeton Theologians. He preached often and many times told stories in his sermons to illustrate his points.
In one story, a little Dutch boy had disobeyed his father and was playing too close to a windmill. He ignored the danger posed by the moving blades and gears. The boy found himself pulled from his feet as blows began to rain down on him. He closed his eyes and feared for his life when his feet left the ground. He had surely been caught by the windmill!
The boy opened his eyes to find that he was not caught by the blade of the windmill, but by the hands of his father. He was receiving the discipline his father had threatened for venturing too close to the mill. The little boy learned the difference between falling into the wheel of a machine that had no care for him and falling into the hands of a father who loved him and did not want to see him seriously injured. What a difference indeed!
Few people who heard the story knew just how well-qualified Warfield was to make these comments. Warfield’s trials were not the fault of his disobedience, as in the case of the young boy in the story, but Warfield endured trials nonetheless.
Warfield married Annie Pierce Kinkead when he was 25. On their honeymoon in Germany, Annie was struck by lightning. The accident left her paralyzed for the rest of her life. Warfield cared for his disabled wife 39 years, until her death in 1915.
Warfield always stayed close to Annie’s side. He scheduled the classes he taught so he could return home to care for her when needed. The many books and articles he authored were penned in his home as he listened for his wife’s call.
Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” What was Warfield’s comment on this verse after all of his trials?
“The fundamental thought is the universal government of God. All that comes to you is under His controlling hand. The secondary thought is the favor of God to those that love Him … He will so govern all things that we shall reap only good from all that befalls us.”
Warfield trusted himself to the strong hand of a loving Heavenly Father. And so should we.
Sources: The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace, John Piper. Sisters, Oregon: Multinoma Books, 1995, p. 176.
http://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/ B. B. Warfield
“Warfield: The Person Behind the Theology,” Hugh Thomason Kerr, Annie Kinkead Warfield Lecture of 1982, Princeton Theological Seminary, ed. William O. Harris, 1995, 21.
Editor’s note: John K. Jones attends Grace Community Church in Union City (www.graceunioncity.com) with his family.