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A minister must be learned, on pain of being utterly incompetent for his work. But before and above being learned, a minister must be godly.

Nothing could be more fatal, however, than to set these two things over against one another. Recruiting officers do not dispute whether it is better for soldiers to have a right leg or a left leg: soldiers should have both legs. Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. “What!” is the appropriate response, “than ten hours over your books, on your knees?” Why should you turn from God when you turn to your books, or feel that you must turn from your books in order to turn to God?

You are students of theology; and, just because you are students of theology, it is understood that you are religious men—especially religious men,to whom the cultivation of your religious life is a matter of the profoundest concern—of such concern that you will wish above all things to be warned of the dangers that may assail your religious life, and be pointed to the means by which you may strengthen and enlarge it.

In your case there can be no “either—or” here—either a student or a man of God. You must be both.

-Benjamin B. Warfield, The Religious Life of Theological Students, 182-183


Justice is done to neither factor of inspiration and to neither element on the Bible, the human or the divine, by any other conception of the mode of inspiration except…that which conceives of it as a divine-human book, in which every word is at once divine and human.

The philosophical basis of this conception is the Christian idea of God as immanent as well as transcendent in the modes of his activity. Its idea of the mode of the divine activity is in analogy with the divine modes of activity in other spheres–in providence, and in grace, wherein we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who is working in us both the willing and the doing according to his own good pleasure.

~B.B. Warfield, “The Divine and Human in the Bible,” in Selected Shorter Writings, 2:546.

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