Friday, January 15, 2010
B.B. Warfield on how heresy happens
I was reading BB Warfield researching another topic. I came across a very good chapter that touches on apologetic method that is called "Heresy and Concession." (672, Selected Shorter) It describes how the world comes at us very confident, never admitting its views are "opinion" or asking us to use the "touchstone" of the Word of God for input. Rather it calls its views scholarship, prestige, and right. But we must always be confident upon the Word of God. We must realize the definition of heresy that Warfield, that classic preacher and teacher, said: "the very essence of 'heresy' is that the modes of thought and tenets originating elsewhere than in the Scriptures of God are given decisive weight when they clash with the teachings of God's Word, and those are followed to the neglect or modification or rejection of these." (677, Selected Shorter) He says that apologetics (defense of the faith) often takes the attitude that we "suppose that the minimum is all, or all that is worth defending, or all that is capable of defense. Yet it is undeniable that some recent apologetics has left on the minds of men some such impression." (677) Warfield gives several reasons why that won't work. One of them is that the person who defends the minimum will undervalue the undefended maximum. How true. Let us all learn to take God's revelation to mankind in the Bible as our touchstone, rather than shifting sand as such. Tomorrow present opinion will change, God's Word will stand.