There’s little doubt about the impact B.B. Warfield has had on American Christianity. Some hail him for his apologetic and polemical skills, praising him as a defender of Reformed orthodoxy. Others view him with less regard—as too focused on the role of reason in faith and too devoted to the inerrancy of Scripture. But all agree that he is a man with whom one must reckon.
Despite the resurging interest in his life and work, Warfield’s views are often misunderstood. In The Lion of Princeton, Kim Riddlebarger investigates Warfield’s theological, apologetical, and polemical writings, bringing clarity to the confusion that surrounds this key figure of the Princeton tradition.
Riddlebarger provides a biographical overview of Warfield’s life and traces the growing appreciation for Warfield’s thought by contemporary Reformed thinkers. Furthermore, he evaluates the fundamental structures in Warfield’s overall theology and examines Warfield’s work in the field of systematic theology.
Warfield’s theological heirs revere his memory, while his critics continue to find his work misguided and his legacy troubling. “The Lion of Princeton,” as he was known, was certainly up for the challenge. We must therefore take a fresh look at the work of this great scholar, who was in many ways the most significant American apologist, polemicist, and theologian of his age.
It has been a pleasure for me to learn more about Warfield as a colleague of Kim Riddlebarger. To my mind, Kim is a lot like Warfield: lucid and learned, measured and careful with his judgments, yet bold just where it’s needed. This book exposes us to Warfield on his own terms, and usually in his own words.
—Michael Horton, professor of systematic theology, Westminster Seminary, CA
Almost a century after his death, B.B. Warfield continues to command attention as a must-read theologian. Kim Riddlebarger’s accounting of Warfield’s philosophical influences raises again the question of the role of Scottish Common Sense Realism in the Princeton tradition, which many will dispute—but all who owe a debt to Warfield’s vast erudition and evident devotion to Christ and the Scriptures will find much to enjoy in this portrait of the “Lion of Princeton.”
—Fred G. Zaspel, author of The Theology of B.B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary
“ ‘From the very beginning to end, Warfield was a fighter.’4” (Page 8)
“‘Dr. Warfield had the finest mind ever to teach at Princeton Seminary” (Page 8)
“According to Mark Noll, Warfield was responsible for the ‘most learned defense’ of biblical inerrancy” (Page 18)
“Annie Warfield suffered a severe trauma to her nervous system from which she never fully recovered” (Page 12)
“To which Warfield responded, ‘Why, Mrs. Stevenson, I am praying that there may be a fight” (Page 7)
Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Kim Riddlebarger (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, CA, and has been a visiting professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California. He is author of A Case for Amillennialism and The Man of Sin, and a co-host of the White Horse Inn radio program.