Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

B B Warfield

It is the ninetieth anniversary of the death of BB Warfield. I thought we could mark it with a repeat of Lloyd-Jones's introduction to a selection of his works in 1958, designed to introduce him to British readers. Taken from here.
Biblical Foundations by B B Warfield (Tyndale Press) 1958
It would probably be true to say of all conservative evangelicals who take a lively interest in theology that no works have proved to be of more practical help to them and a greater stimulus than those of B. B. Warfield. For myself I shall never forget my discovery of them in a library in Toronto in 1932. My feelings were similar to those of ‘stout Cortez’ as described by Keats. Before me stood the ten sizeable volumes published by Oxford University Press. But, alas, it was the OUP of New York only and not of this country also. Friends and pupils of Warfield had arranged the publication of the volumes. The fact that they were not published in this country is a sad commentary on the state and condition of theological thinking here at that time. The volumes were collections of various articles written by Warfield in journals and encyclopaedias, classified under various headings. Here are some of the titles: Biblical Doctrine; Studies in Theology; Christology and Criticism; Calvin and Calvinism; two volumes on Perfectionism.
Warfield had never written text books on theology in a large and systematic manner, but had contented himself with the publication of a few small works. (This I was given to understand by the late Principal John Macleod of the Free Church College, Edinburgh, was due to his loyalty to his friends and teachers, the Hodges of Princeton, and his fear that anything he might publish might affect the sale of their works.) The ten volumes, however, published about ten years after his death which took place in 1921, have served to compensate us for that loss and to give us the essence of his teaching.
There is even a positive advantage in having his teaching in this form rather than in a more systematic one. Warfield was first and foremost a defender of the faith. The title of his chair in the old Princeton Theological Seminary was "Professor of didactic and polemic theology" and the writing of articles and reviews of books, rather than formal treatises, gives greater scope for the display of this polemical element. Warfield lived and taught and wrote in this period (1880-1921) when what was then called Modernism was virtually in control. It was the age of the 'liberal Jesus' and 'the Jesus of history' who was contrasted with the 'Christ of Paul'. The Bible had been subjected to such drastic criticism that not only was its divine inspiration and unique authority denied but the whole idea of revelation was in question. The Lord Jesus Christ was but a man, 'the greatest religious genius of all time', miracles had never happened because miracles cannot happen, our Lord's mission was a failure, and His death on the cross but a tragedy. The great truths proclaimed in the historic Creeds of the Church, and especially in the great Confessions of Faith drawn up after the Protestant Reformation, concerning the Bible as the Word of God and the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ were being questioned and rejected by the vast majority of 'scholars'.
While there were many who fought valiantly to stem this tide and to refute the errors which were being propagated, it can be said without any fear of contradiction that B. B. Warfield stood out pre-eminently and incomparably the greatest of all. He was peculiarly gifted for such a task. He had a mathematical mind and had at one time considered the possibility of a career as a mathematician. His precision and logical thinking appear everywhere. Added to this he was a first class New Testament scholar and a superb exegete and expositor. Furthermore, he had received the best training that was available at the time, and not only in his own country. He thus could meet the liberal scholarship on its own grounds and did so.
His method was not to meet criticisms of the traditional theology with mere general philosophical and theological arguments, though he could and did do that also. It was rather along the following lines. He would first state the case as presented by the critic in a fair and clear manner. Then he would proceed to analyse it and deal with it clause by clause and word by word. He was thoroughly familiar with all the literature but for him the test always was "to the law and to the testimony". For him the question was, Was this a true exegesis and interpretation of what the Scripture said? Was it consistent and compatible with what the Scripture said elsewhere? What were the implications of this statement? and so on. It was really the method of the advocate in the law courts who obtains his verdict, not by passionate and emotional appeals to an unlearned jury, but rather as the result of a masterly analysis and patient dissection and refutation of the case of the opponent, followed by a crystal clear and positive exposition of the truth addressed to the 'learned judge on the bench'.
No theological writings are so intellectually satisfying and so strengthening to faith as those of Warfield. He shirks no issue and evades no problems and never stoops to the use of subterfuge. One is impressed by his honesty and integrity as much as by his profound scholarship and learning. The result is that there is a finality and authority about all he wrote. Those who disagreed with him seemed to recognise this. They did so by simply ignoring him. This has continued to be his fate since his death and since the publication of the ten volumes. It is quite amazing to note the way in which this massive theologian is persistently ignored and seems to be unknown. A 'conspiracy of silence' is perhaps the only weapon with which to deal with such a protagonist.
Some may wonder why the writings of such a man who died nearly forty years ago should be republished and may feel that they are of necessity out of date. The answer is that the writings of Warfield are, as indicated above, not merely polemical and designed to expose error, but also positive expositions of truths which are eternal and which are as vital today as they ever have been. This can be said of the subjects dealt with in each chapter of this present volume, the contents of which have been culled from the ten volumes of his writings. Never have they been more urgent than today and the reader will find, thanks to Warfield's particular method, that he will be helped to face and to answer criticisms of the historic evangelical faith in their most modern form and guise.
A final word. While Warfield was such an outstanding scholar and theologian that the most learned can profit by reading him, it is also true to say that any intelligent lay person though lacking in technical knowledge, can be greatly helped by reading him. His mind was so clear and his literary style so chaste and pellucid that it is a real joy to read his works and one derives pleasure and profit at the same time. The selection of subjects for this volume is most judicious and representative and should serve as a perfect introduction to the works of the greatest exponent, expounder and defender of the classic Reformed faith in the 20th Century.
D Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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