The Man of God…

“This is a growing tendency to ‘deem it of prime importance that they should enter upon their ministry accomplished preachers, and of only secondary importance that they should be scholars, thinkers, theologians.’ ‘It is not so,’ he is reported as saying, ‘that great or even good preachers are formed. They form themselves before they form their style or peaching. Substance with them precedes appearance, instead of appearance being a substitute for substance. They learn to know the truth before they think of presenting it… They acquire a solid basis for the manifestation of their love of souls through a loving, comprehensive, absorbing study of the truth which saves souls.’ In these winged words is outlined the case for the indispensableness of Systematic Theology for the preacher. It is summed up in the propositions that it is through the truth that souls are saved, that is accordingly the prime business of the preacher to present this truth to men, and that is consequently his fundamental duty to become himself possessed of this truth, that he may present it to men and so save their souls. It would not be easy to overstate, of course, the importance to a preacher of those gifts and graces which qualify him to present this truth to men in a winning way—of all, in a word, that goes to make him an ‘accomplished preacher.’ But it is obviously even more important to him that he should have a clear apprehension and firm grasp of that truth which he is to commend to men by means of these gifts and graces.”

– B.B. Warfield, The Man of God (Vol. 1)

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