Thursday, February 3, 2011

warfield on the word and faith


I came upon some good quotes by B. B. Warfield (1851-1921) on the Word and and on faith. (The picture above is from his grave in Princeton Cemetery).   

The Bible is authoritative, for it is the Word of God; it is intelligible, for it is the word of man. Because it is the word of man in every part and element, it comes home to our hearts. Because it is the word of God in every part and element, it is our constant law and guide.

When the Christian asserts his faith in the divine origin of his Bible, he does not mean to deny that it was composed and written by men or that it was given by men to the world. He believes that the marks of its human origin are ineradicably stamped on every page of the whole volume. He means to state only that it is not merely human in its origin.

Why may we not believe that the God who brings his purposes to fruition in his providential government of the world, without violence to second causes or to the intelligent free agency of his creatures, so superintends the mental processes of his chosen instruments for making known his will, as to secure that they shall speak his words in speaking their own?

It is never on account of its formal nature as a psychic [mental, psychological] act that faith is conceived in Scripture to be saving. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or nature of faith, but in the object of faith.

Our faith itself, though it be the bond of our union with Christ through which we receive all His blessings, is not our savior. We have but one Savior; and that one Savior is Jesus Christ our Lord. Nothing that we are and nothing that we can do enters in the slightest measure into the ground of our acceptance with God. Jesus did it all.

He who begins by seeking God within himself may end by confusing himself with God.

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