Warfield’s historical and theological analysis of Calvinism contains a great deal of fantasy (making the “immediacy” of the operations of the Spirit on the human soul the essence of calvinism, or claiming that there were two opposing theologies in Augustine–his soteriology and his ecclesiology at war with each other). Nevertheless, his Biblical studies on the New Testament teaching on the authority and infallibility of Scripture are as scholarly, astute, and as careful as any New Testament scholarship has ever been. Warfield in this area, is easily as skilled as N. T. Wright or any other contemporary scholar of repute that one might name.
It is possible that somewhere Warfield argued deductively from the nature of God (God does not err, therefore Scripture does not err). It has been awhile since I have devoured his works and I won’t swear he never does so. And I do no he spent much time showing how Scripture asserts that every part of Scripture is from God, which does come close (If Scripture errs, then God is the one who errs because he is the author). But his overwhelming line of argumentation is that Scripture contains a unified view of Scripture’s veracity which one must either accept or reject but not claim is missing.
And this line of argumentation is backed by copious evidence. Warfield was a god among men. I’m open to him making some major mistake in this area, but when such claims have been made, I have yet to find anyone who engages the real Warfield–who cares What B. B. Warfield Really Said, if you will. I am not saying he anwered every possible question. In the past few years N. T. Wright’s defense of Biblical authority as I’ve read it in different places (I’m not talking about his book devoted to the topic, which I’ve heard is rather bad, but haven’t read for myself yet) has helped me greatly and shown me ways in which I was naive. But Warfield’s work is still bedrock. He truly presented the faith to the modern world at a time when new challenges had arisen. He refined and improved upon the Protestant scholastic heritage.
For anyone who may care, that is what I think. And for anyone else, I’m sorry to have posted another theological post. I have a review of a Buffy novel coming ups soon. So all is not lost.