Book Sale at WTS Books: 50% off of David Powlison’s Last Book

Book Sale at WTS Books: 50% off of David Powlison’s Last Book

Safe and Sound by best-selling author David Powlison guides readers to see the normality of their struggles with themselves, the world around them, and the powers of darkness.

Counselors tend to be interested in what they can easily describe: psychological dynamics, social influences, and physiological givens. But how does the uncanny power of darkness fit in with the more accessible factors in a person s life?

By carefully unpacking Ephesians 6 with vivid case studies and biblical wisdom, Powlison helps readers humanize those struggles and bear the relevance of the love of God in Christ for those struggles.

In this helpful guide, Powlison addresses many questions with gospel answers regarding the reality of spiritual warfare, including What is spiritual warfare? and How does Ephesians disciple us in spiritual warfare?

Safe and Sound presents Ephesians as a book about our conflict with darkness within ourselves, with other people, and with the spiritual forces of evil. Powlison demonstrates how the message of Christ s triumph over all that is evil, dark, and deadly rings true, and how spiritual warfare is our participation in the Lord s cosmic war with darkness.

About the Author:

David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and minibooks, including Speaking Truth in Love, Seeing with New Eyes, The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context, Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness, Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken, God’s Grace in Your Suffering, and Safe and Sound. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling.


“I worked with David for thirty-eight years, so I acknowledge I am biased toward everything he wrote, but this is David at his best: pastoral, connecting dots between Ephesians and Satan’s present strategies, opening his own life to us, and opening our eyes to the light of Jesus Christ. More than a book, this is a gift.”
Edward T. Welch, Faculty and counselor, CCEF; author of A Small Book about a Big Problem

“Honestly I’ve always had more questions than answers when it comes to spiritual warfare and demonic activity. So I am thankful for this short, Scripture-saturated book that not only provides clear teaching on what spiritual warfare really is, but also presents appropriate strategies for helping people in the midst of spiritual battles against evil—the same strategies we all need for life in this world—the Word and prayer.”
Nancy Guthrie, Author and Bible teacher

“This is the best thing I’ve ever read on spiritual warfare. David Powlison’s Safe and Sound equipped me to understand spiritual warfare in a way that nothing else has before. Read it and I guarantee you’ll grow in your faith.”
Deepak Reju, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry, Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC); author of On Guard and She’s Got the Wrong Guy

“I don’t think that there is a better book on spiritual warfare. It breaks through the confusion and fear that so often attends this topic with practical biblical insight, carefully given by a skilled surgeon of the soul. Every Christian should read this book so they are prepared for the inevitable battles they will face between the ‘already’ of their conversion and the ‘not yet’ of their home-going.”
Paul David Tripp, President of Paul Tripp Ministries, pastor, best-selling author of New Morning Mercies

“During his lifetime, David Powlison gave to the church gifts too numerous to mention. His parting gift of this book is no exception. Using Ephesians 6 as a foundation, David makes a compelling case for Christian life and ministry as everyday spiritual warfare empowered by the Divine Warrior himself, our triune God. This is warfare demystified—battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil waged prayerfully and dependently on your knees with Scripture in your hand and your heart.”
Michael R. Emlet, Counselor and Dean of Faculty, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet and Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications

Safe and Sound protects you from the worst kind of spiritual warfare where you let Satan ‘get in your head.’ We have the high ground. That’s one of David Powlison’s many rich insights in this thoughtful book on fighting the powers of darkness. Taking spiritual warfare seriously does not mean letting Satan shape the narratives around his power. He’s a defeated enemy, with a fatal wound from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!”
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

“David helps us regain the language, perspective, and practice of spiritual warfare from the Scriptures. To counsel is to engage in cosmic battles waged in the normal moments of everyday life. Powlison keeps us grounded by reminding us that we do not wage war according to modern philosophies of naturalism, but with the armor of God and the Sword of the Spirit. In the midst of his own battles with the ever-present shadows of death, Powlison is transparent and vulnerable as he shepherds us to rest in the peace found in God’s Word. Expositionally accurate, theologically practical, and winsomely relevant—you will do well to read, heed, and guard his timely biblical counsel.”
Dale Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; Director of Counseling Programs at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“What a gift David Powlison has given us in this, his final book. His familiar voice does what it has always done—it lovingly joins the dots of spiritual reality to the present reality of life. Hear him well: spiritual warfare is not an occasional oddity, it is the central dilemma of every person’s life. This book doesn’t just describe our constant battle—to believe, and repent, and love—it also shows us how to fight—right to the end. And no one who loved David, either in person or through his ministry, will read the final chapter without tears in their eyes.”
Steve Midgley, Executive Director, Biblical Counselling UK; Senior Minister, Christ Church Cambridge

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New Growth Press, 2019 | 160 pages

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A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

We were happy to see this brief but well-informed new book from our friend Stephen Davis – a man who has been deeply involved in cross-cultural ministry for decades. Cross-cultural ministry is challenging, and here Steve shares his experience and insights to prepare cross-cultural workers, to help churches identify and recruit candidates for cross-cultural ministry, and to help churches and mission agencies evaluate candidates more responsibly.

About the Author:

Stephen M. Davis is a bi-vocational elder at Grace Church (, a multilingual church in Philadelphia he planted with his brother John in 2010. Steve and his wife Kathy have been engaged in church planting in the United States, France, and Romania since 1982. He earned a DMin in Missiology from TEDS under Dr. David Hesselgrave and a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Columbia International University.

From the Preface: 

The changing face of world missions presents unique challenges, among which is the preparation of missionaries for effective cross-cultural witness and church planting. In an earlier ministry as missions director of a large church I was responsible for recommending missionary candidates to our church. It became obvious that mission boards and local churches often have different criteria for missionary candidates. In this book I draw widely from leading missiologists and practitioners. I also share many of my personal ministry experiences, successes, and failures. I want to try to formulate clearer thinking in preparing cross-cultural workers so that churches and mission agencies can better understand their role in world missions and their involvement in the lives of those sent. In doing so we must answer the following question: How can we communicate the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelievers in the midst of a changing world? This is one of the great missiological questions of our day. Gone are the days when the isolated West sent missionaries to unknown lands and people. Apart from isolated ethnic peoples in yet unreached regions, the world has taken on more of a global character. Contact between ethnic groups, whether resulting from immigration, warfare and displacement or tourism, is unprecedented. Times have changed. We have more opportunities, more resources and are the benefactors of more past experience and research than any previous generation.

When I think of competencies for cross-cultural ministry, I have in mind specifically those who are called to plant churches, whether as a lead church planter, part of a team planting churches, or working alongside nationals to provide training and plant churches with them. No two places of cross-cultural ministry will be the same. The application, however, is for anyone considering or already engaged in cross-cultural missions since mission without church can scarcely be called mission. Anything called missions that does not involve gospel proclamation and discipleship with the goal of planting churches should be called something else. What that looks like in different cultures and how that is accomplished may vary. My prayer is that this book will help churches, prospective candidates, and mission agencies to more effectively partner in ministry preparation and gospel proclamation in making Christ known to the nations. (pages x-xi)

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Wipf & Stock, 2019 | 112 pages

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Weekly Recap, September 14

Book Summary:

FAITH COMES BY HEARING: A RESPONSE TO INCLUSIVISM, by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson, eds.

A “Bonus” Book Summary from Books At a Glance By Benjamin J. Montoya   Chapter 1:  INTRODUCTION by Robert A. Peterson What is the eternal destiny of the person who, through no fault of their own, never hears the gospel…


A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance By Steve West   About the Author Nancy Pearcey is a Christian intellectual who has lectured widely and has published several influential books in the areas of Christian worldview and society.…

Book Review:


A Book Review from Books At a Glance Reviewed by Casey G. McCall     In Theology, Church, and Ministry: A Handbook for Theological Education, David S. Dockery brings together a gifted group of scholars from a diversity of theological…

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No, Warfield Did Not Endorse Theistic Evolution By Fred G. Zaspel   Note: This below is my chapter in Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique (J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann K. Gauger, and Wayne…

Book Notice: Introducing Hugh Martin

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance       About the Author: Hugh Martin (1822-85) combined a brilliant analytical and mathematical mind with a child-like heart which rested in Christ and his atoning work, as revealed…

Book Notice: SPURGEON’S OWN HYMNBOOK, by Charles H. Spurgeon

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance   Charles Haddon Spurgeon was passionate about congregational worship. Arising from devout affection, the frustration he found while using the compilations of hymns available in his day, spurred him to compile…

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Book Notice: SPURGEON’S OWN HYMNBOOK, by Charles H. Spurgeon

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was passionate about congregational worship. Arising from devout affection, the frustration he found while using the compilations of hymns available in his day, spurred him to compile this selection of hymns for use in his congregation. Over 1,000 psalms, hymns and spiritual songs include not only direct praise, but doctrine, experience and exhortation, enabling the saints to edify one another in their singing.

About the Author:

Charles H. Spurgeon, the great Victorian preacher, was one of the most influential people of the second half of the 19th Century. At the heart of his desire to preach was a fierce love of people, a desire that meant he did not neglect his pastoral ministry.


Persons frequently ask me how to get started reading poetry. Reading the rich texts found in this hymnal is a pretty good way to learn how to read and enjoy poetry, but it is an even better way to feed your soul with these beautiful Psalms and hymns.

Jim Scott Orrick
Professor of Literature and Culture,
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,
Louisville, Kentucky

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Christian Heritage, 2019 | 469 pages

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Book Sale at WTS Books: Up to 55% Off New and Noteworthy Titles

Book Sale at WTS Books: Up to 55% Off New and Noteworthy Titles

Old age often gets a bad press. Associated with grumpiness, aches and pains, loneliness, and isolation it’s not something we particularly look forward to or relish when we’re there.

Pastor and Bible teacher, Derek Prime, himself in his 80s, shows us that there is another way to view old age. He guides us through 26 Christian priorities that we should hold to in later life. With biblical wisdom and practical advice, he helps us to navigate the unique challenges and joys that old age can bring. This is a book to dip into, meditate on and read prayerfully as you let the truths it contains gently transform the way you live your old age.

About the Author:

After serving churches in the UK as a pastor for thirty years–first at Lansdowne Evangelical Free Church, West Norwood, in London, then at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh–Derek Prime has devoted himself since 1987 to an itinerant ministry and to writing. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife, Betty.


“Like vintage wine, A Good Old Age is the exquisite fruit of a lifetime of Christian ministry and leadership that aims to particularly help elderly Christians navigate the final years of the journey of faith. It charts the ‘A to Z’ of Christian discipleship in an immensely practical, warm, and honest way in short, insightful reflections on each letter of the Alphabet of Christian Living. It’s so good it shouldn t be kept to the ‘Oldies’ – it will be a great aid to discipleship to a Christian of any age. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” —Trevor Archer, FIEC London Director

“Here is practical and pastoral wisdom from a man who has soaked his life in the Scriptures. Younger pastors will be helped to understand the challenges that face our older brothers and sisters as well as getting some advanced preparation for what is ahead. In truth, the lessons here are good for every generation and I warmly commend this book.” —Paul Rees, Lead Pastor, Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh

Drawing on a lifetime immersed in God’s Word, Derek Prime gives us a roadmap for pursuing godliness in our later years. The value of this book lies in its specific application of the Scriptures to the challenges and opportunities of old age. Honest, insightful and full of grace, this book is a goldmine of wisdom for older believers. –Colin S. Smith, Senior Pastor, The Orchard and President, Unlocking the Bible

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10 Publishing, 2017 | 182 pages

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Book Notice: Introducing Hugh Martin

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About the Author:

Hugh Martin (1822-85) combined a brilliant analytical and mathematical mind with a child-like heart which rested in Christ and his atoning work, as revealed in the Scriptures. Born and brought up in Aberdeen, he gained the top prizes in mathematics at the University there, before going on to study for the ministry. He cast in his lot with those who left the Established Church at the Disruption and served at Panbride (Carnoustie) and Free Greyfriars, Edinburgh, until illness forced his retirement from the ministry at the age of 42.

Thereafter, he devoted himself, despite recurring ill health, to writing, preaching and continued involvement in church issues. In 1870 his The Atonement: in its Relations to the Covenant, the Priesthood, the Intercession of Our Lord was published (reprinted by Banner of Truth, 2013), in which he defended ‘the Catholic Doctrine of the Cross’, viewing the substitutionary nature of the atonement as being grounded in the covenant of grace. In recognition of his achievements, Edinburgh University conferred a Doctorate of Divinity on him in 1872.

Hugh Martin died in Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum in June 1885, the cause of death being given as ‘organic disease of brain for two years’, which seems to indicate that he had been in the asylum for the last two years of his life.

Sherman Isbell has described Martin’s ‘eloquent theological interpretations of Bible characters and of Christ’s Gethsemane experience’ (Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, Edinburgh, 1993), and he is remembered today for his commentary on Jonah, for his sermons The Shadow of Calvary and Christ for Us, and for his study on Simon Peter, all published by the Trust.

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Banner of Truth, 2016 | 264 pages

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Book Sale at WTS Books

The world needs Christians to speak out about Scripture’s teaching on the matters of sex and gender. That means we need to make sure we have it right ourselves. Have we borrowed cultural beliefs from other times and societies? Have we overcorrected and added to God’s Word? Is there a better way than the competing rules and guidelines we see in the church today?

Rachel Green Miller argues that what the Bible teaches about women, men, and gender is both simpler and more difficult than we’re often told. Although modern discussions have focused on authority and submission, there is much more to the biblical picture. Examining common beliefs in the light of Scripture, she draws out important biblical themes that will strengthen our relationship as co-laborers in the kingdom of God and for the good of this world.

About the Author:

Rachel Green Miller is a researcher and popular blogger who is passionate about elevating the dignity of women, improving the cultural conversation about gender relations, and defending orthodox Christianity. A member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, she lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Matt, and their three sons.


“Rachel Miller writes as a conservative who loves Scripture and happily sits under its authority. She calls us to examine ourselves against Scripture, not to remove ourselves from its authority in our lives, and gives us diagnostic tools from the Word to renovate our understanding of men and women in the church, in the home, and in society at large.
Rachel teaches the history of views on sex and gender in secular cultures and then shows us the ways some evangelical teaching on the sexes is built more on secular philosophy than biblical truth. In the end, while historical context sheds great light on the Scriptures, Rachel wins us with Scripture itself. She offers us a well-researched survey of Scripture on biological sex and gender that will inspire and aid readers toward a biblical vision of men and women working in unity and interdependence in God’s kingdom.” —Wendy Alsup, Author, Is the Bible Good for Women?

“Most of the Christians I know want to be the men and women of God. But what does that mean, exactly? Who’s in charge? Who gets the final say? What does it mean to be masculine or feminine? Enter Rachel G. Miller and her new book, Beyond Authority and Submission. Between these pages, you’ll find a compelling vision for how men and women can work together, unfettered by social and historical expectations. Tracing the broader themes of Scripture, with careful attention to theology and the text, Miller calls men and women alike to live in the fullness of all that God has made us to be.” —Hannah Anderson, Author, Made for More

“Rachel Miller has done an excellent job in bringing clarity and discernment to a discussion that is often emotionally charged and contentious. Biblically reasoned, confessionally informed, and drawing from the resources of church history, Miller’s work cuts through rhetoric and assumptions to show us that sometimes ideas labeled ‘biblical’ can in fact be loaded with cultural notions. While much of the contemporary discussion about ‘gender roles’ focuses primarily on authority and submission—who is allowed to do what?—Miller shows that there is a need to go beyond this narrow focus to promoting unity, interdependence, and service. Miller invites readers not to ignore or dismiss Scripture but to go deeper in their understanding of its meaning and implications. In Beyond Authority and Submission, many Apolloses have the opportunity to listen and learn from a wise Priscilla.” —Jacob Denhollander, PhD student, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“There is a very real danger in our current cultural moment that the polarization that characterizes the political landscape might well come to exert an unfortunate influence on both the rhetoric and the content of discussions among Christians on a number of controversial topics. The temptation to respond to one extreme error by adopting its mirror image is strong but rarely, if ever, correct. And there are few topics in the public square that are more divisive than the relationship between the sexes. It is therefore a pleasure to commend this book by Rachel Miller, which eschews the cheap extremism and bombastic rhetoric that characterize conservative Christian responses to feminism and plots not a middle way but a biblical way through the subjects of authority, submission, masculinity, and the like. She is not interested in making the Bible fit 1950s ideals of what men and women should be; rather, she wants to help the reader to think about what the Bible actually means in the present. This is a refreshingly sane read.” —Carl Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College

“Rachel Miller writes with her characteristic verve and wisdom as she addresses the vexed subject of women and men, a subject where often there is more heat than light. If we are to follow the Bible when it says we are to be slow to speak and quick to listen, then this is one such occasion where we would be wise to listen well. She has made a valuable contribution to the discussion of how we negotiate between the extremes of patriarchy and feminism in the church today. Her arguments deserve to be taken seriously and weighed well as we seek to be faithful to Scripture in our generation.” —Liam Goligher, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

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P&R Publishing, 2019 | 280 pages

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No, Warfield Did Not Endorse Theistic Evolution

By Fred G. Zaspel

Note: This below is my chapter in Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique (J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann K. Gauger, and Wayne Grudem, eds.; Crossway, 2017). The chapter is entitled, “B. B. Warfield Did Not Endorse Theistic Evolution as It Is Understood Today” and is reproduced here with permission.

Despite the claims of some recent authors,[1]  renowned Princeton theology professor Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1851-1921) was not a theistic evolutionist. In fact, those on both sides of the evolution question who might like to claim him will find him somewhat of a disappointment, even if for different reasons. That is, he spoke with obvious openness to the possibility of evolution if it could be established with a reasonable degree of scientific certainty; however, throughout his career he remained skeptical on exactly this score, often even mocking the theory’s speculative nature and lack of supporting evidence. Warfield maintained an obvious interest in the subject throughout his life, and through to the end his writings reflect both his openness and his critical suspicion regarding the theory. At the end of it all we must conclude that although Warfield allowed for the possibility of evolution he himself remained uncommitted to it, and he clearly rejected most of the main components of theistic evolution as it is understood today.

A. Warfield on Evolution in Summary

Warfield makes a point to affirm the complete truthfulness of both volumes of divine revelation – Scripture and the created order – and that there can be no conflict between them. He is therefore very willing to allow the established facts of the one check our interpretations of the other. He recognizes that biblical interpreters can err as well as interpreters of physical science, and so he is willing to adjust even his own understanding of Scripture to the established facts of scientific findings once and if those facts are established. However, he does not view both volumes of revelation as equal in clarity, and so he argues that due weight of consideration must be granted accordingly: interpretations of general revelation must give way to the clearer statements of special revelation. Remarks in his review of Luther Townsend’s Evolution or Creation illustrate his thinking well:

Rejecting not merely the naturalistic but also the timidly supernaturalistic answers, he insists that man came into the world just as the Bible says he did. Prof. Townsend has his feet planted here on the rock. When it is a question of scriptural declaration versus human conjecture dignified by any name, whether that of philosophy or that of science, the Christian man will know where his belief is due…. [Professor Townsend’s] trust in the affirmations of the Word of God as the end of all strife will commend itself to every Christian heart.[2]

Here Warfield is clear in his conviction that where physical scientists’ claims contradict the plain written Word they must be rejected. Scripture alone is the final test of truth.

It must be emphasized that Warfield continually reflected a willingness to consider the evolutionists’ scientific claims. Throughout his life he very clearly kept abreast of their writings and seems very much at home distinguishing the arguments of one scientist over against another, and of one evolutionary theory over another. And often he reflects striking openness to the idea. For example, in his lecture entitled “Evolution or Development” prepared in 1888 he writes,

The upshot of the whole matter is that there is no necessary antagonism of Christianity to evolution, provided that we do not hold to too extreme a form of evolution. To adopt any form that does not permit God freely to work apart from law and that does not allow miraculous intervention (in the giving of the soul, in creating Eve, etc.) will entail a great reconstruction of Christian doctrine, and a very great lowering of the detailed authority of the Bible. But if we condition the theory by allowing the constant oversight of God in the whole process, and his occasional supernatural interference for the production of new beginnings by an actual output of creative force, producing something new, i.e., something not included even in posse [potentially] in preceding conditions, we may hold to the modified theory of evolution and be Christians in the ordinary orthodox sense.
I say we may do this. Whether we ought to accept evolution, even in this modified sense, is another matter, and I leave it purposely an open question.[3]

This kind of openness on the question is common in Warfield. Throughout his many reviews of evolutionary literature he routinely speaks of evolution as impossible apart from divine intrusion and purpose (“mediate creation”), and he can even assume evolution as a given[4] – until, that is, particular arguments are taken up for dispute. And in these same pieces he can often express his skepticism and doubt also.

It is also important to note that in addressing the question of evolution – as in the sample above – Warfield makes careful distinction between theism and Christianity. That is, he argues on the one hand that the upward progress of evolution is impossible apart from teleology (purpose) – a fact which he comments would necessarily define evolution as a theistic concept. But he further argues that to acknowledge evolution as theoretically possible within a theistic worldview is one thing; affirming that it is a specifically Christian option is quite another.[5] Again, by this he means to say that Scripture just may not allow what a broader theistic view perhaps could.

It must be noted additionally that within his openness to the possibility of evolution thus considered Warfield makes a pointed argument that evolution cannot by itself explain the world as it is. Here he makes careful distinction between creation, mediate creation, and evolution. Only creation can explain origins, he insists. And if God has providentially directed various developments of his created order (evolution), this process can never account for factors such as life, personality, consciousness, the human soul, Christ, and so on. Such realities as these require divine, creative “intrusions” (mediate creation). Providence is not creation.

What he [the Christian] needs to insist on is that providence cannot do the work of creation and is not to be permitted to intrude itself into the sphere of creation, much less to crowd creation out of the recognition of man, merely because it puts itself forward under the new name of evolution.[6]

Warfield was very insistent on this point. He specifically denied that evolution could account for everything after Genesis 1:1. Whatever evolution there might have been, it cannot account for the arrival of anything specifically new. It cannot explain the original “stuff” of the created order, and it cannot account for other subsequent realities that depend for their existence on divinely creative acts. Thus, for example, Warfield could never accept abiogenesis (spontaneous generation of life), and he explicitly denied that evolution could account for life, the origin of the human soul, the human sense of morality, the continued existence of the soul (“immortality”) in the afterlife, or the incarnate Christ.

Yet this careful distinction still leaves open the possibility of a theistic evolution carefully defined, and so it becomes necessary to address specific questions that are determinative of his understanding. The short answer here is that Warfield remained both open to some kind of evolution, within prescribed limits, and very skeptical of it.

In agreement with his theological mentor, Charles Hodge, Warfield condemns Darwinian evolution as atheistic, and he complains often of the naturalistic (and anti-supernaturalistic) bias that drives so much of the evolutionists’ agenda – and that has rubbed off on the church.[7] He understands the distinction between Darwinian evolution and other theories (although at times, as was increasingly the case generally, Warfield can use the terms Darwinism and evolution interchangeably), but even so he judges the evolutionary notion itself as essentially atheistic[8] and comments that “the whole body of these evolutionary theories” is “highly speculative,” even “hyperspeculative.” “None” of them, he insists, “have much obvious claim to be scientific…. The whole body of evolutionary constructions prevalent today impresses us simply as a vast mass of speculation which may or may not prove to have a kernel of truth in it.”[9]

Warfield insists that any claim that evolution has been proven betrays an overly-zealous enthusiasm that exceeds the evidence.[10] And despite his frequent open tone regarding evolution, when he addresses the proffered evidence for it he consistently speaks in a skeptical – and often even mocking – tone. Evolutionary theories, he insists, cry out with questions they cannot answer and rest on faulty logic even of the most elementary sort.[11]

The lay reader [speaking inclusively of himself, it seems] is left with strong suspicion that, if their writers did not put evolution into their premises they would hardly find so much of it in their conclusions…. The time has already fully come when the adherents of evolution should do something to make it clear to the lay mind that a full accumulation of facts to prove their case can never come – or else abate a little of the confidence of their primary assumption.[12]

Warfield finds no evidence for abiogenesis (that is, the spontaneous generation of life from nonliving matter), as I’ve already mentioned. He also criticizes evolution on grounds of the geological record, which, “when taken in its whole scope and in its mass of details is confessed as yet irreconcilable with the theory of development by descent.” Likewise he finds the appeal to embryology unable to account for the fact that supposed later stages of development retain a transcript of previous stages. So also the evolutionist faces difficulty, he says, with the “limits to the amount of variation to which any organism is liable.”[13]

Similarly, Warfield makes much over the seemingly limitless and impossible demands the evolutionary theory makes on time. This, he notes, is becoming more a problem recognized within the evolutionary-scientific community itself. “The matter of time that was a menace to Darwinism at the beginning thus bids fair to become its Waterloo.”[14] Warfield allows that the age of the earth – and the age of humanity, for that matter – are not questions of biblical or theological interest, and he is willing to acknowledge an age of seemingly any length. But he objects that science has not demonstrated the time it demands for the theory.

Warfield speaks often along these lines in criticism of evolutionary theories, insisting throughout his career that evolution remains an unproven hypothesis. But is it not likely that it will be proven? “Is it not at least probable?” he asks rhetorically. Cannot prescient minds expect that proof will be forthcoming? He responds, “Many think so; many more would like to think so; but for myself, I am bound to confess that I have not such prescience. Evolution has not yet made the first step” toward explaining many things. “In an unprejudiced way, looking over the proofs evolution has offered, I am bound to say that none of them is at all, to my mind, stringent.”[15]

He insists that laymen have the right to affirm with confidence that the evolutionary hypothesis remains “far from justified by the reasoning with which it has been supported.” If the facts are with the evolutionist they “have themselves to thank for the impression of unreality and fancifulness which they make on the earnest inquirer.”[16] In another place he cautions, “We would not willingly drag behind the evidence, indeed — nor would we willingly run ahead of it.”[17] Again, “Most men today know the evolutionary construction of the origin of man; there are many of us who would like to be better instructed as to its proofs.”[18] Similarly, he writes in 1908,

What most impresses the layman as he surveys the whole body of these evolutionary theories in the mass is their highly speculative character. If what is called science means careful observation and collection of facts and strict induction from them of the principles governing them, none of these theories have much obvious claim to be scientific. They are speculative hypotheses set forth as possible or conceivable explanations of the facts. . . . For ourselves we confess frankly that the whole body of evolutionary constructions prevalent today impresses us simply as a vast mass of speculation which may or may not prove to have a kernel of truth in it. . . . This looks amazingly like basing facts on theory rather than theory on facts.[19]

Once more, in a 1916 review Warfield speaks optimistically of evolution as demonstrating teleology, design. “Imbedded in the very conception of evolution, therefore, is the conception of end.” Here he seems to be more open to evolution. But later in this same review he writes more critically of the woeful lack of proof for it.

The discrediting of [Darwin’s] doctrine of natural selection as the sufficient cause of evolution leaves the idea of evolution without proof, so far as he is concerned — leaves it, in a word, just where it was before he took the matter up. And there, speaking broadly, it remains until the present day. . . . Evolution is, then, if a fact, not a triumph of the scientist but one of his toughest problems. He does not know how it has taken place; every guess he makes as to how it has taken place proves inadequate to account for it. His main theories have to be supported by subsidiary theories to make them work at all, and these subsidiary theories by yet more far-reaching subsidiary theories of the second rank — until the whole chart is, like the Ptolemaic chart of the heavens, written over with cycle and epicycle and appears ready to break down by its own weight.[20]

So although Warfield can speak of evolution as theistically allowable, his skepticism remains, as do the biblical hurdles as he understands them.

Of the specifically biblical problems he sees God’s creation of Eve as the most obvious, the account of which in Genesis 2 would seem impossible to reconcile with any evolutionary theory. But there are further problems he sees also, such as the origin of the human soul, the human sense of morality, the continued existence of the soul (“immortality”) and the afterlife, and the incarnate Christ, none of which can be accounted for on evolutionary grounds.

It is common to hear it said that Warfield understood the creation “days” of Genesis 1 in terms of ages and this in order to allow time for evolutionary development. This rumor may have arisen from Warfield’s openness to a very old earth, if such could be scientifically demonstrated, and his affirmation (with Henry Green) of gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. But it is in fact something Warfield nowhere affirms. Indeed, he explicitly rejects the view that the days represent geological ages and the view that understands them as literal but representative days that stand at the end of a long process of development.[21] And more generally he comments in agreement with another author that “the necessity for indefinitely protracted time does not arise from the facts, but from the attempt to explain the facts without any adequate cause.”[22] Warfield speaks similarly in 1908.[23] That is, Warfield was very skeptical even of the time required for evolution. And as will be shown below he tended to understand the age of humanity in terms of thousands, not millions, of years. At any rate, beyond this Warfield nowhere specifies his own understanding of the days of Genesis.

B. Elements of theistic evolution that Warfield would not accept as consistent with the Christian faith

Warfield argues that there are observable gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 and, thus, that Scripture does not speak to the age of earth or of man. He insists that this is not a theological question. Yet he seems to think – presumably on scientific grounds – that humanity cannot be more than 10,000 or perhaps 20,000 years old.[24] This, observation alone seems to rule out most any evolutionary theory of human origins.

More to the point, in his discussion of the evidence available to evolutionists Warfield seems clearly to rule out the notion of a progressive rise of human forms, asserting that “the earliest human remains differ in type in no respect from the men of our day.”[25] He scorns the evolutionary idea of “primitive man,” and he expresses agreement with John Laidlaw that “to propound schemes of conciliation between the Mosaic account of creation and the Darwinian pedigree of the lower animals and man would be to repeat an old and, now, an unpardonable blunder.”[26] Even so, he also writes that the creation of man by the direct act of God need not “exclude the recognition of the interaction of other forces in the process of his formation.” Again, he speaks with allowance, but he goes to pains to emphasize that in the creation of man God made something specifically “new” and that the Genesis narrative itself makes this plain. “He was formed, indeed, from the dust of the ground, but he was not so left; rather, God also breathed into his nostrils a breath of life,” making him something distinct from all other creation. Thus, he concludes, a “properly limited evolution” is not excluded by the Genesis text if – and as always he emphasizes the “if” – an evolutionary process was, in fact, involved. That is to say, he allows for some kind evolution, carefully defined, but he does not commit to it.[27]

In Warfield’s 1906 review of James Orr’s The Image of God in Man he notes Orr’s argument that disparate development of mind and body is impossible, that it would be absurd to suggest an evolutionary development of the human body from a brutish source and a sudden creation of the soul by divine fiat. Warfield commends Orr’s grasp of man as body and soul in unity and refers to this as “the hinge of the biblical anthropology.” Warfield seems in obvious agreement, but in terms of the argument against evolution he characterizes this as a “minor point”; that is, he does not think this argument will be effective given that it could be answered with a theory of evolution per saltum (macro-evolution).

Two factors in context militate against taking this as a statement of Warfield’s own belief, however. First, earlier in the same review, Warfield praises Orr for his “courage to recognize and assert the irreconcilableness of the two views and the impossibility of a compromise between them” and that “the Christian view is the only tenable one in the forum of science itself.” Second, Warfield commends Orr’s thesis explicitly:

“That he accomplishes this task with distinguished success is the significance of the volume…. The book is a distinct contribution to the settlement of the questions with which it deals, and to their settlement in a sane and stable manner. It will come as a boon to many who are oppressed by the persistent pressure upon them of the modern point of view. It cannot help producing in the mind of its readers a notable clearing of the air.”[28]

It may be helpful to recall here Warfield’s 1897 affirmation cited above that “man came into the world just as the Bible says he did” and his understanding of the creation of Eve as the leading obstacle to believing in evolution.

We find this same tone in a student’s (N.W. Harkness) extensive 1898 class notes from Warfield’s lectures on the origin of man. Here Warfield makes repeated references to Adam’s creation from the dust by God, in his image, God having breathed into him the breath of life, so to make him a living being. Never is the plain understanding of the Genesis narrative questioned but always taken at face value and treated both as theology and historic fact. Several times Warfield is quoted as speaking of evolution as “modern speculation” that “runs athwart” the biblical record. Warfield concedes – as throughout his writings – that evolution and creation are not necessarily mutually exclusive so long as evolution is not understood in reference to origins.[29] “Man is not improved organic matter, but was created new out of nothing, the intrusion of divine power for something entirely new,” Harkness records his professor as saying. At this point evolution cannot be reconciled to Scripture. “To agree with us,” Warfield argues, the evolutionist “must admit that the chain was broken at one or more points by intrusion of divine power.” We must insist, he says, that man was created.

Warfield further instructed his students that Adam was “created perfect” and that this perfection must be understood in physical as well as moral terms. Adam, the first man, was created “mature and without defect.” He also debunks the evolutionary idea of “primitive man” and insists that “there is no proof of progressive stages in man.” Indeed, sin, having entered, debased and degenerated humanity. Adam was created in God’s image, in righteousness and holiness – “an intellectual, moral, voluntary being” who is “like God” and “different from the beasts.” Warfield is reported to affirm in summary, “We hold that God made Adam well and good.”[30]

This material from the student’s lecture notes is in keeping with what we find in Warfield’s lecture itself, prepared originally in 1888, in which he explicitly affirms that Adam is the “first man,” that Adam and Eve were created with “a fully developed moral sense” and in “moral perfection,” that in Adam the human race stood on probation and fell into sin, and that an evolutionary model would seem to reverse the biblical order of original perfection followed by sinfulness.[31]

All of this from Warfield’s lectures is in keeping with what we have of his published writings. Every reference in Warfield to Adam and Eve and to human origins asserts or presumes the historicity of that original pair as the first humans from whom all the race has descended and by whom sin entered the race – a traditional reading of the Genesis narrative. And often the references, always unqualified, are so brief that the reader is left with the impression that this was for Warfield “assumed” ground scarcely in need of defense or further explication.

Warfield touches the question of the origin of human death only briefly. In his review of James Orr’s God’s Image in Man when he expresses surprise at Orr’s ambivalence on this question.

The problem of the reign of death in that creation which was cursed for man’s sake and which is to be with man delivered from the bondage of corruption, presses on some with a somewhat greater weight than seems here to be recognized.[32]

Warfield does not here state this explicitly as his own belief (he says the problem “presses on some,” which of course might include himself), and in fact he never failed to point out a better argument for either side in this discussion. But he clearly considers this a strong argument for Orr’s position that he should have employed. And given his strong endorsement of Orr’s defense of Adam’s creation, along with our previously mentioned considerations, it seems that this affirmation, stated in his conclusion, does reflect his own thinking. The implications of this are telling: Warfield does not seem to allow any room for previous generations of humanity who lived and died prior to Adam.

It is also significant that Warfield here (in his 1906 Orr review) describes the fallenness and hostility of this present world as “the reign of death in that creation which was cursed for man’s sake.” That is, he seems to indicate that not just human death but the general fallenness of the larger created order also came about as a result of Adam’s sin.[33] Warfield reflects this condition elsewhere. First, in 1902 Warfield reviews an essay that treats 4 Esdras where the author laments the suffering that is in the world and of Israel in particular. Warfield characterizes this problem as, “the sin and misery of the whole world, plunged by the fall of Adam into every kind of evil.”[34] And in his brief 1908 participation in “A Symposium on the Problem of Natural Evils,” Warfield again traces all calamity to Adam’s sin. Commenting on Luke 13:1ff he says,

On the other hand, your questioner in the Bible class argues apparently on the assumption that there is no necessary relation between sin and calamity. He seems to suppose that calamity can fall when there is no sin. In other words he has forgotten (as many forget nowadays) the Fall. Given the Fall, and there is a place for the use of calamity in the moral government of the world. God may then visit or withhold the suffering which is due to all, as best suits his ends…. If there had been no Fall, however, there would be no such use made of calamity.[35]

Warfield speaks only in passing to the question of God’s direct intervention in the creation of animals “after their kind.” He held that God created all this “lower creation,” but he nowhere exactly specifies it as immediate creation. He can allow only the possibility of “mediate creation,” and he remarks that “let the sea/earth bring forth” can be so understood. But at the same time he argues vigorously that even a divinely guided developmental process (providence) cannot do the work of creation. He simply affirms God’s creation of the animals “after their kinds.”[36]

Moreover, given 1) Warfield’s general assessment of evolution as speculative, and 2) his expressed acceptance of the Genesis record elsewhere, 3) his criticism of abiogenesis and his insistence that life is a divinely creative act (something specifically “new” that evolution cannot accomplish), and 4) his observations that the fossil records provide no indication of transitional forms,[37] it is safe to assume that he held to God’s direct intervention in the creation of animal “kinds.”

Warfield’s thinking on these defining issues is rather traditional. We may say in summary that Warfield held the following:

  • the creation of Adam from the dust of the ground
  • the creation of Eve from Adam
  • that Adam and Eve were the original pair
  • that Adam and Eve were not highly developed animals
  • that all humanity has descended from Adam and Eve
  • that humanity was created in moral and physical perfection
  • that sin entered humanity by Adam
  • that humanity has not progressed from primitive man upward but has fallen because of sin
  • that human death entered by Adam
  • that the created order itself is in disarray because of Adam’s sin
  • that the arrival of the animal world as it is also required divine, creative intervention

In an earlier chapter, Wayne Grudem has enumerated twelve points at which theistic evolution as currently endorsed differs from the biblical account,[38] and at this point we can provide an answer to Warfield’s understanding regarding each.

  1. Adam and Eve were not the first human beings (if Adam and Eve even existed)

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed that Adam and Eve, historic persons, were the original human pair.

  1. God did not directly create Adam out of dust from the ground

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed Adam’s creation by God from the ground as per the Genesis narrative.

  1. God did not directly create Eve from a rib taken from Adam side

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed that Eve’s creation from Adam was the leading obstacle to a Christian’s embracing of evolution.

  1. Adam and Eve were born from human parents

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed repeatedly that Adam and Eve were created by God as the first human pair.

  1. Adam and Eve were never sinless human beings

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed the original perfection of Adam and Eve and their fall from it.

  1. Adam and Eve did not commit the first human sins, for human beings were doing morally evil things long before Adam and Eve

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed that sin entered humanity by Adam.

  1. Human death did not begin as a result of Adam’s sin, for human beings existed long before Adam and Eve and they were always subject to death

Warfield seemed to deny this. He seemed to affirm that death came to humanity and to the created order by Adam’s sin.

  1. Not all human beings have descended from Adam and Eve, for there were thousands of other human beings on earth at the time that God chose two of them as Adam and Eve.

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed that Adam and Eve were the original humans and that all humanity descended from them and is united in them.

  1. God did not directly intervene in the natural world to create different “kinds” of fish, birds, and land animals

Warfield would deny this. Although he spoke to this issue only in passing he spoke to it and the related discussion sufficiently to understand his affirmation of God’s intervention in the creation of animal “kinds.”

  1. God did not “rest” from his work of creation or stop any special creative activity after plants, animals, and human beings appeared on the earth

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed God’s rest on the seventh day.

He who needed no rest, in the greatness of his condescension, rested from the work which he had creatively made, that by his example he might woo man to his needed rest. The Sabbath, then, is not an invention of man’s, but a creation of God’s…. God rested, not because he was weary, or needed an intermission in his labors; but because he had completed the task he had set for himself (we speak as a man) and had completed it well. “And God finished his work which he had made”; and God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good.”[39]

  1. God never created an originally perfect natural world in the sense of a world that was a safe environment, free of thorns and thistles and similar harmful things

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed the fallenness of the created order in Adam.

  1. After Adam and Eve sinned, God did not place any curse on the world that changed the workings of the natural world and made it more hostile to mankind

Warfield would deny this. He affirmed the fallenness of the created order  as a result of Adam’s sin.

C. Warfield in Transition?

One question remains: Did Warfield change his position later in life? The notion that Warfield was a theistic evolutionist is common, fueled especially by various works by David Livingstone and Mark Noll, most notably their collection of Warfield’s writings in Evolution, Science, and Scripture: Selected Writings. Livingstone and Noll argue that Warfield’s position on this question changed – that late in his career he came again to embrace an evolutionary theory of origins.  I have addressed this point at greater length elsewhere,[40] but I can make a few summary remarks here.

First, all sides acknowledge that Warfield’s lecture, “Evolution or Development,” prepared in 1888, reflects his clear skepticism regarding the theory. At least six observations are worthy of note here.

  1. It would be possible to trace sentiments of Warfield’s skepticism expressed here throughout his later writings also.
  2. Warfield’s later “positive” statements about evolution are substantively no more positive or open than some found in his 1888 lecture. If we agree that in 1888 he at the same time remained skeptical of evolution, then his later allowances can scarcely indicate anything more. This observation is especially relevant given Warfield’s continued expressions of skepticism. Both his openness to evolution and his skepticism regarding it continued to the last.
  3. It appears that Warfield continued to use this 1888 lecture, with various emendations, at least through 1902 (when he began to share the teaching load with C.W. Hodge, Jr., who eventually succeeded him, and whose lectures, interestingly, followed Warfield’s closely).
  4. Some of the emendations Warfield added to the lecture along the way seem in fact to reflect a strengthening of his convictions against evolution, not a weakening.
  5. We have no later or replacement lecture from Warfield on this topic – this was the last he used, and he preserved it along with his other works to be examined by those coming after him.
  6. For a theologian the stature of Warfield to change course after passing the age of 50 on an issue so well studied and on which he had pronounced so often and so clearly, would be remarkable indeed. I don’t see evidence for it.

One major factor lending confusion to the question of Warfield’s later commitments regarding evolution is a 1915 essay on Calvin’s doctrine of creation in which Warfield argued that Calvin understood the work of the creation week (Gen.1) in evolutionary terms. On the face of it this may seem to reflect Warfield’s own persuasion – why else would he make such an unprecedented claim regarding the Reformer?

But there is more to the story. In this essay Warfield points out that Calvin held to literal six day creation week and a young earth of less than 6,000 years, so we must at least say that in his famous (notorious?) claim that Calvin’s doctrine of creation was “an evolutionary one” Warfield makes no connection to any evolutionary theory current in his own day. There is not enough time allowed.

More substantively, what Warfield refers to as “evolution” in this essay is nothing more than “second causes” which God employed in forming the world. (Of course, Calvin would have had no idea of Darwin’s theory of evolution, which was published nearly 300 years after Calvin’s death.) Warfield argues that for Calvin “creation” proper refers only to the original fiat of Genesis 1:1 (and to the origin of each human soul). God “created” the original world stuff (Gen. 1:1), and it is from this that the rest of the created order was brought forth and formed.[41] This is what Warfield refers to as Calvin’s “evolutionary” view. And he acknowledges that Calvin makes no indication as to just how the rest of the created order thus “evolved.” Clearly, Warfield uses the term “evolution” somewhat loosely here. He certainly does not refer to any particular theory of evolution. Indeed, he notes that Calvin held no such “theory” but simply that the Creator employed “second causes” in the development of the world in six days from the original world-stuff. Moreover, Warfield judges this “evolutionary” teaching of Calvin to be “inadequate.” All considered, whatever Warfield’s motivations were in describing Calvin’s teaching as evolutionary, there just is not enough evidence to attribute any evolutionary theory to Warfield himself.

Indeed, one year later Warfield insists that evolution necessarily entails teleology, purpose, mind, intelligence, and therefore a Designer. He argues that given the current rejection of natural selection evolution is left without explanation. Then he offers his latest (final) assessment of the various evolutionary theories.

The discrediting of his doctrine of natural selection as the sufficient cause of evolution leaves the idea of evolution without proof…. And there, speaking broadly, it remains until the present day…. Evolution is, then, if a fact, not a triumph of the scientist but one of his toughest problems.[42]

Finally, we must note that in a 1916 piece written for the college newspaper Warfield reminisces of his time as an undergraduate student in Princeton. Here Warfield affirms that he was a convinced (theistic) evolutionist in his teenage years when he entered the College of New Jersey (Princeton), but he also affirms that he had abandoned the theory by the time he was thirty years old (1881). That is, although theistic evolution was championed by his revered professor and college president, James McCosh, Warfield says that he had outgrown it himself early on, and the clear implication is that as he was writing now at age 67, just four years before his death, his evolutionary beliefs remained a thing of the past.[43]

D. Conclusion

The claim that Warfield held to theistic evolution goes beyond the evidence. Throughout the years of his writing on the subject Warfield spoke with marked openness and even allowance of evolution. Many of these statements were obviously made simply for the sake of argument, and many are not so obvious. But it must be recognized that all along, at the very same time and through to the end, Warfield spoke very critically of evolution, pointing out the obstacles to accepting it, characterizing it as mere speculation, and commending refutations of it (as Orr’s). He spoke with evidently genuine openness to the idea, and this is doubtless the source of the confusion on the question; in fact, it may be said that the confusion is Warfield’s own fault. But his openness to evolution is only half the picture, for all along he also spoke critically of its purely “speculative” character. And in fact he says late in life that he had left it in his youth.

Moreover, he very clearly held that Adam and Eve (created from Adam) were historical persons, that they were created perfect, that the entire human race is descended from them, that theirs was the first human sin, and that the human race and all creation with it is fallen in Adam. This would seem to rule out theistic evolution as we understand it today, and in fact it must be admitted that it would be impossible to identify any theory of evolution that Warfield himself held. Again, the claim that Warfield held to theistic evolution goes beyond the evidence. Indeed, the claim seems to go against the evidence.

We may say this in summary:

  • Warfield seemed very open to evolution and spoke allowingly of it.
  • Warfield at the same time was very critical of evolution, questioned its scientific grounding, mocked its speculative character and logical fallacies, and recognized the biblical obstacles to it. Indeed, his last assessment of evolutionary theories is sharply critical.
  • It would be impossible to identify any specific evolutionary theory that Warfield allegedly held.
  • Warfield did not hold to the essentials of any theistic evolutionary theory held today (as enumerated in Grudem’s twelve points above).
  • Warfield asserted in 1916 that he had left theistic evolution behind him years earlier.

There, it seems, we must leave it also.


[1] See especially “B. B. Warfield, the Theory of Evolution, and Early Fundamentalism,” Evangelical Quarterly LVIII:1 (January 1986):78. “B. B. Warfield (1851-1921): A Biblical Inerrantist as Evolutionist.” Journal of Presbyterian History 80:3 (Fall 2002):153-71. See also Evolution, Science, and Scripture: Selected Writings (hereafter ESS), B.B. Warfield; Mark A. Noll and David N. Livingstone, eds. (2000, Grand Rapids: Baker Books).

[2] 1897, ESS 177-178. See also 1895, ESS 153-154, where Warfield complains about the view that in “modern thinking  … it is to science that we must go for the final test of truth.” Also 1888, ESS 130 where Warfield insists that biblical pronouncement is “the test point” in the discussion and that an evolutionary theory that would “reverse” clear biblical teaching is unacceptable. (Note that I will include the year for each Warfield citation.)

[3] ESS 130-131 (italics original).

[4] E.g., 1899, ESS 189.

[5] 1901, ESS 202

[6] 1901, ESS 210; cf. p.100.

[7] 1897, ESS 177.

[8] 1901, ESS 196.

[9] 1907, ESS 244-245; cf. 1908; ESS 255-256.

[10] Cf. his 1888 review of McCosh’s The Religious Aspect of Evolution; ESS, 67.

[11] 1891, ESS, 143; 1898, ESS 184-7, etc.

[12] 1898, ESS, 184, 187.

[13] 1888, ESS 122-124.

[14] 1888, ESS 124.

[15] 1888, ESS 121-122.

[16] 1891, ESS 143.

[17] 1893, ESS 153.

[18] 1896, ESS 171.

[19] 1908, ESS 244-246.

[20] 1916, ESS 319-320.

[21] 1892, ESS 145-146.

[22] 1903, ESS 228-229.

[23] ESS 242-243.

[24] 1911, W9, 235-245.

[25] 1888, ESS, 124.

[26] 1895, ESS, 165.

[27] 1903, ESS, 214-216.

[28] ESS, 230-236.

[29] Note that Warfield can speak of creation and evolution as mutually exclusive at times and as not mutually exclusive at other times, but the contradiction is only apparent. His point is that creation speaks of origins and that evolution can only speak of modification. In this sense they are mutually exclusive: evolution cannot account for origins. But a modification (evolution) of previously created matter is possible, and in this sense the two are not mutually exclusive. This is the sense here.

[30] Unpublished class notes of N.W. Harkness, Jr., from Warfield’s Princeton Seminary course on Systematic Theology, 1898; pp.1-5; Princeton Theological Seminary Archives. For more reflections on the original perfection of man see also Warfield’s 1903 The Power of God unto Salvation, (Eerdmans, 1930), 1-9.

[31] ESS 128-130.

[32] 1906, ESS 236.

[33] 1906, ESS 236.

[34] The Bible Student Sept., 1902, p.177.

[35] The Biblical World 31:2 (Feb., 1908), 124. Cf. 1916; Faith and Life (Banner of Truth, 1974), 330-332.

[36] 1903, ESS 211-215. Cf. Harkness class notes.

[37] 1908, ESS 253.

[38] See pp. 000-000.

[39] 1915 “The Foundations of the Sabbath in the Word of God”; Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, vol.1, John E. Meeter, ed. (Philipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1980), 309, 318.

[40] But see my “B.B. Warfield on Creation and Evolution” Themelios 35.2 (2010): 198–211. Also chapter 9 in my The Theology of B.B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary (Crossway, 2010).

[41] W5, 304-305.

[42] 1916; ESS, 319-320. For the larger quote see p. 00 above.

[43] “Personal Recollections of Princeton Undergraduate Life IV— The Coming of Dr. McCosh,” Princeton Alumni Weekly 16:28 (April 19, 1916): 652.

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THEISTIC EVOLUTION: A SCIENTIFIC, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE, by J. P. Moreland, Stephen C. Meyer, Christopher Shaw, Ann K. Gauger, and Wayne Grudem, eds.

Crossway, 2017 | 1008 pages

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Weekly Recap: September 7

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A Brief “Bonus” Summary from Books At a Glance   In his “The Divine Origin of the Bible” B. B. Warfield makes inquiry into the question of how to give account for the Bible. What ultimate factor gives adequate explanation…


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Book Sale at WTS Books: Kids Week [Part 3]: God Made Me Series

Book Sale at WTS Books: Kids Week [Part 3]: God Made Me Series

The God Made Me Unique series helps parents and caregivers teach children that God creates every person in the image of God and each individual has tremendous value, regardless of his or her appearance or abilities. The story is set in a classroom where a new student is introduced who has a disability and his classmates learn to ask questions and gain an understanding about their new friend. This book will help eliminate fear and misconceptions about those who have special needs and emphasizes that every person deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. The back of the book has additional information and resources to equip parents to talk with their children about this important subject.

About the Author:

Joni and Friends is an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Founded in 1979, their mission is to communicate the gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disability. The organization authors numerous books including titles such as the Beyond Suffering Bible, Real Families, Real Needs, and a series of church resources entitled The Irresistible Church.


“What a delightful and desperately needed book to introduce our children to the wonder and richness of God’s kingdom in our midst! I know of no other book that teaches our children to follow through on Jesus’s commands from Luke 14 on including those affected by disability.”
Paul E. Miller, Director of SeeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

“As a father of a child with a disability, I love the message of this book—both for kids with disabilities and their peers who welcome and embrace them. Of all the places where this message needs to be heard and taken to heart, there is none more important than the church itself.”
Rev. Steve Bundy, Sr. Vice President, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

“Today’s children are keenly aware of social diversity, yet they often miss the God-connection. In the colorful book God Made Me Unique by Joni and Friends, readers meet a delightful cast of characters and discover God’s loving design for all people, including those with disabilities and special needs. Parents and teachers will appreciate the skillful use of God’s Word woven into the story and teaching aids. I highly recommend God Made Me Unique for every home, church, and school library.”
Pat Verbal, Recipient of the Top 20 Influencers in Children’s Ministry awarded by Children’s Ministry Magazine; coauthor/editor of Real Families, Real Needs (Focus on the Family) and Special Needs Ministry for Children (Group Publishing)

“Absolutely charming! This is the happiest little book with the very biggest message . . . every life is precious!”
Emily Colson, Speaker and author of Dancing with Max

“This book is a gift to parents as they raise reflective and compassionate children. What a spectacular application of the doctrine of creation: the teaching that we are all made in the image of God! These teachings are significant for how we interact with people of all different types of abilities. This book highlights our value as God’s creatures and celebrates the different gifts God has given to each member of his family.”
Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb, Authors of God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their BodiesRid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault; and Is It My Fault? Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence

“In writing God Made Me Unique, Joni and Friends have created a helpful tool for parents to use to equip their children to welcome kids with disabilities. I would encourage all parents to add this book to their family library. With growing numbers of children living with special needs, it is essential that we teach our children to value every person as uniquely created by God to bring him glory.”
Marty Machowski, Family pastor and author of God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender; The Ology; Long Story Short, and other gospel-rich resources for church and home

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New Growth Press, 2019 | 32 pages

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Book Sale at WTS Books: Kids Week [Part 2]: JESUS AND THE LION’S DEN: A TRUE STORY ABOUT HOW DANIEL POINTS US TO JESUS, by Alison Mitchell

Book Sale at WTS Books: Kids Week [Part 2]

The story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den teaches children many things… It teaches them about praying; it teaches them about Daniel’s faithfulness to God, and God’s faithfulness to Daniel; and it teaches them that God is the real king of everyone everywhere.

But if you peel back another layer, you’ll see that like the rest of the Old Testament, it also points to Jesus.

This stunningly illustrated retelling of Daniel and the lions’ den helps children to see Jesus in the story of Daniel. It challenges children to spot the Jesus moments by looking out for the hidden lion symbols. It goes on to explain the parallels between Jesus and Daniel, so that children can see the gospel heart of the whole Bible.

About the Author:

Alison Mitchell is a Senior Editor at The Good Book Company, where she has written a range of Bible-reading notes for children and families, and is editor for the Christianity Explored range of resources. Alison is also involved with youth training events around the UK, including the Growing Young Disciples training days and Bible-Centered Youthwork Conference.


Mary K. Mohler, Author, Growing in Gratitude

“Jesus and the Lions’ Den is a delightful story that makes a beeline to Christ from the teachings of the Old Testament. Alison Mitchell carefully and cleverly ties Daniel’s life story to Jesus moments that will serve to help her young readers grasp the exciting truth of the gospel.”

Dan DeWitt, Associate Professor of Apologetics & Applied Theology, Cedarville University;

“Alison has written an outstanding book to help children (and adults too) understand how Jesus is the hero of every story in the Bible. The title tells the whole tale, “Jesus and the Lions’ Den.” With the signature illustrations that we’ve come to expect from Catalina, this story comes to life to show how Jesus is the King of everyone everywhere.”

Barbara Reaoch, Author, A Jesus Christmas

“The Bible tells one grand story about Jesus. “Jesus and the Lions’ Den” promises to stir your child’s heart in the discovery of this truth. Alison Mitchell knows God and she knows kids.”

Tim Chester, Pastor in Boroughbridge, UK; author, Enjoying God

“Jesus and the Lion’s Den is a delightful retelling of the story of Daniel with beautiful illustrations. But what really makes it special is the way it invites children to spot the clues that point to the story’s bigger meaning. We start with Daniel, but we end with the faithfulness of Jesus and his rescue of God’s people.”

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The Good Book Company, 2019 | 32 pages

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A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

There are many types of lies, but perhaps the most dangerous and deceptive of all is the half-truth. A manipulative distortion of truth, it sounds convincing but is destructively distant from what is true. Flip Michaels tackles five half-truths that are commonly used as arguments against the validity of the Bible, Christianity, God, Christ and faith. He clearly and engagingly unveils the whole truth and explains why understanding the whole meaning is crucial. These five truths are:

The Bible was written by men and inspired by God.
All religions are the same, except Christianity.
God is love and holy, holy, holy.
Jesus is truly a man and truly God.
Our good deeds matter when preceded by faith.

A useful evangelistic tool, a helpful clarification for new believers or a valuable reminder for those who have been believers for a long time.

About the Author:

Flip Michaels is an Associate Pastor at GraceLife Church outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania.


If you know of someone who is interested in eternal matters but expresses doubts about Christianity, please, get this book in their hands. (Justin Peters)

Flip winsomely provides the antidote with a marvelously down-to-earth defense of the Bible and Christian truth. Five Half-Truths is a gift to the church and a needy world. (R. Kent Hughes)

I pray that everyone buys two copies of this book, one to read themselves and one for a person in their life who has questions about the truth. (Paul Shirley)

I strongly recommend you read this volume to sharpen your ability to recognize truth from error and build your capacity to refute those who spin these five half-truths. (Dan Dumas)

Because the whole truth matters, I wholeheartedly commend to you this excellent evangelistic and apologetic resource expertly written by my fellow pastor and friend. (David Cunningham)

Videos Introducing the Book:

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Christian Focus, 2018 | 160 pages

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A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance

We were very happy to see the release of this well-deserved festschrift in honor of Michael Barrett of Puritan Reformed Seminary!

Publisher’s Description

This book celebrates Michael P. V. Barrett’s many contributions to the church and the academy. It covers a variety of topics and is divided into three major sections of essays: historical, exegetical/expositional, and theological. The historical section covers issues from the ancient Near East to Puritan preaching and the importance of the Reformation. Though these may seem disparate subjects, they reflect Barrett’s love for the world of the Old Testament as well as his allegiance to Protestant and Reformed Christianity.  The exegetical and expositional essays range from Genesis to the poetic literature of the Hebrew Bible, from historical and expositional theology to the details of textual criticism. Finally, the theological essays focus on three topics dear to Barrett’s heart: Christ in the Old Testament, a biblical and balanced view of God, and the wisdom of Qoheleth. This variety reflects the breadth and depth of Barrett’s own interest in the issues of reading, interpreting, and proclaiming the Scriptures.

Table of Contents


  1. The Wisdom of a Father: How the Old Testament Shaped a Home —Charles M. Barrett


  1. The Myth of Baal: Anat’s Battle in the Valley —John D. Currid
  2. The Puritan Preaching of the Old Testament —Joel R. Beeke
  3. Protestant Still: Why the Reformation Matters Today —Sean Michael Lucas

Exegetical and Expositional

  1. My Two Sons: Abraham and His Heir —Rhett P. Dodson
  2. Wrestling with Luther and Calvin at the Jabbok —Mark S. Gignilliat
  3. A Discourse Analysis of Exodus 32–34 —Ken Casillas
  4. The “Gods” of Psalm 82: Humans or Deities? —Kevin T. Bauder
  5. A Spider in a Psalm? Psalm 90:9 in Ancient Greek and Syriac Translations —Richard A. Taylor
  6. Righteousness, Justice, and Equity: Structure in Provers 2 and the Final Shape of Proverbs —A. Philip Brown


  1. Finding Messiah in the Old Testament—with the Rabbis —Russel T. Fuller
  2. The God of Love and His Command to Annihilate the Canaanites —Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
  3. Is Qoheleth’s Wisdom Trustworthy? —Steve L. Reynolds
  4. A Bibliography of the Writings of Michael P. V. Barrett —William E. Pareja


Sam Horn

This book is marked by scholarly excellence, faithful exegesis, historical sensitivity, accurate exposition, and a passion to serve Christ and His body. As such, it is a fitting tribute to my professor and role model Mike Barrett, whose life epitomizes each of these virtues. Time spent in these pages will not be wasted.”

Richard D. Phillips

The Old Testament Yesterday and Today is a fitting tribute to the outstanding ministry of Michael Barrett. Whether you are a scholar, pastor, or student, these essays in theology and biblical exegesis offer enriching insights into the study of God’s Word.”

About the Contributors

Charles Michael Barrett (BA, MA, PhD, Bob Jones University) is associate minister at Wayside Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Signal Mountain, TN. He also serves as adjunct professor at Belhaven University, Chattanooga, teaching courses in biblical studies and worldview. Before moving to Tennessee, he taught church history and systematic theology at Geneva Reformed Seminary. He has published articles in the Puritan Reformed Journal and contributed chapters in The Beauty and Glory of the Christian Worldview (RHB, 2017).

Kevin T. Bauder earned his PhD at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has two decades as both a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Auxiliary. His presently serves as research professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, where he has served in several capacities. He has authored or contributed to multiple works on fundamentalist theology and history, and he is the editor of Heart, Soul, Might, a volume of devotional theology.

Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Puritan Reformed Journal and Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written and co-authored one hundred books (most recently, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life; Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith; Prepared by Grace, for Grace: The Puritans on God’s Ordinary Way of Leading Sinners to Christ; and Debated Issues in Sovereign Predestination), edited another one hundred books, and contributed 2,500 articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. He is frequently called upon to lecture at seminaries and to speak at Reformed conferences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children and two grandchildren.

Philip Brown II (MA in Bible; PhD in Old Testament Interpretation, Bob Jones University) is a Professor of Bible & Theology and Graduate Program Director at God’s Bible School and College in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Brown is the author of Hope Amidst Ruin: A Literary and Theological Analysis of Ezra and coauthor with Bryan Smith of the Reader’s Hebrew Bible.

Ken Casillas (PhD, Bob Jones University) is Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at BJU Seminary and Senior Pastor of Cleveland Park Bible Church (Spartanburg, SC). He is the author of The Law and the Christian: God’s Light within God’s Limits and Beyond Chapter and Verse: The Theology and Practice of Biblical Application.

John D. Currid (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Chancellor’s Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to RTS, he served as Associate Professor of Religion at Grove City College. He is a trained archaeologist, having served on the staffs of the excavations of Carthage (Tunisia), Bethsaida, Tell el-Hesi, and the Lahav Grain Storage Project (director).  Currid has authored numerous books such as The ESV Bible Atlas (with cartographer David Barrett, 2010) and Against the Gods (2013) both published by Crossway.  An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, Dr. Currid currently serves as Pastor of Teaching and Preaching at Sovereign Grace Church (PCA) in Charlotte.

Rhett P. Dodson (BA, MA, PhD, Bob Jones University), editor, is the senior minister of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Hudson, Ohio. His doctoral work was in Old Testament interpretation. In addition to serving in pastoral ministry, he has taught at Providence Theological Seminary, Geneva Reformed Seminary, and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the author of Unashamed Workmen: How Expositors Prepare and Preach, Every Promise of Your Word: The Gospel According to Joshua, and Marching to Zion: Ancient Psalms for Modern Pilgrims. Rhett and his wife, Theresa, live in Hudson, OH.

Russell T. Fuller (BS, MA, Bob Jones University; MPhil, PhD, Hebrew Union College; Doctoral Studies, The Dropsie College) is professor of Old Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Before his appointment at Southern in 1998, he was assistant professor of Bible and Bible languages at Mid-Continent College and interim pastor in Ohio and Kentucky. He is co-author of An Invitation to Biblical Hebrew.

Mark S. Gignilliat is Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University. He has degrees from Bob Jones University, Reformed Theological Seminary, and The University of St. Andrews, Scotland. His most recent publications are A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism, Reading Scripture Canonically: Theological Instincts for Old Testament Interpretation, and a commentary on Micah for the International Theological Commentary series. Mark is married to Naomi and has four children.

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. (BD, Wheaton Graduate School; PhD, Brandeis University) has taught at Wheaton College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary. He served as president of Gordon–Conwell until his retirement and is currently President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Old Testament and Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. Dr. Kaiser is the author of numerous books including Toward An Exegetical Theology, Toward an Old Testament Theology, and Toward Rediscovering the Old Testament.

Sean Michael Lucas (BA, MA, Bob Jones University; PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is senior minister at Independent Presbyterian Church (PCA), Memphis, TN, and the Chancellor’s Professor of Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary. Prior to his present posts, he served congregations in Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi, as well as chief academic officer and associate professor of church history at Covenant Theological Seminary. The author of several books, his most recent publications were For a Continuing Church: The Roots of the Presbyterian Church in America (2015) and J. Gresham Machen (2015).

Will E. Pareja lives in the city of Chicago, IL. He is a member at and pastor of Addison Street Community Church. He is married to Rachel, and they are raising W. Haddon, Gabrielle, and Jacob. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University (BA, MA) and Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv). He has taught Bible and preaching courses at the Universidad Cristiana de Las Americas in Monterrey, Mexico. He was a student of our honoree from 1995-2000.

Steve L. Reynolds graduated with a B.A. in History, an M.A. in Bible, and a Ph.D. in Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University. He joined with International Baptist Missions to minister in Asia after graduation. He spent fourteen years working as a church planter, pastor, and teacher in Singapore. While in Singapore, Steve traveled to small Bible Colleges around Asia on teaching trips. After passing on the Singapore ministries to national leaders, he relocated to the United States where he continues to equip students in limited access countries through internet training.

Richard A. Taylor holds the PhD in Semitic and Egyptian languages and literatures from The Catholic University of America. He serves as senior professor of Old Testament studies and director of PhD studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Representative publications include The Peshitta of Daniel (Monographs of the Peshitta Institute 7; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994); “Haggai,” in Haggai, Malachi (New American Commentary 21A; Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2004); Reflections on Lexicography: Studies in Ancient Syriac, Hebrew, and Greek Sources, ed. Richard A. Taylor and Craig E. Morrison (Perspectives on Linguistics and Ancient Languages 4; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2014); Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature (Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis 6; Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2016); entries on Aphrahat, Ephrem the Syrian, and Shenoute, in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (3rd ed.; ed. Daniel J. Treier and Walter A. Elwell; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2017); “A Note on the Text of Dan 2:24 in Light of the Aramaic Expression עַל עַל  ‘to enter upon,’ pages 142-54 in The Unfolding of Your Words Gives Light: Studies on Biblical Hebrew in Honor of George L. Klein, ed. Ethan C. Jones (University Park, PA: Eisenbrauns, 2018); forthcoming: The Book of Psalms [annotated translation and diglot edition of the Syriac Psalter] (Antioch Bible; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2019).

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Reformation Heritage Books, 2019 | 304 pages

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Weekly Recap, August 31

Book Summary:


A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance By Benjamin Montoya   Editor’s Note With this “Bonus” Book Summary we continue giving attention to contemporary cultural concerns.   About the Author Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of…


A Brief Book Summary from Books at a Glance By Mark Baker   About the Author Karl Deenick is Senior Pastor of the Branch Christian Church, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. He is also a guest lecturer at the Reformed Theological College,…

Book Review:

Cole Felix’s Review of THE BEAUTY AND GLORY OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW, edited by Joel R. Beeke

A Book Review from Books At a Glance Reviewed by Cole Felix   A Barna study, published in May of this year, found that non-Christian worldviews are beginning to have a stronger effect than orthodoxy on what Christians believe. More…

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Book Notice: THEORETICAL-PRACTICAL THEOLOGY, VOL. 2, by Petrus Van Mastricht

A Brief Book Notice from Books At a Glance   Petrus van Mastricht’s Theoretical-Practical Theology presents one of the most comprehensive methods of treating Christian doctrine. In it, Mastricht treats every theological topic according to a four-part approach: exegetical, dogmatic,…

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