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B.B. Warfield, “The Religious Life of Theological Students“:

We are frequently told, indeed, that the great danger of the theological student lies precisely in his constant contact with divine things.

They may come to seem common to him, because they are customary.

As the average man breathes the air and basks in the sunshine without ever a thought that it is God in his goodness who makes his sun to rise on him, though he is evil, and sends rain to him, though he is unjust; so you may come to handle even the furniture of the sanctuary with never a thought above the gross early materials of which it is made.

The words which tell you of God’s terrible majesty or of his glorious goodness may come to be mere words to you--Hebrew and Greek words, with etymologies, and inflections, and connections in sentences.

The reasonings which establish to you the mysteries of his saving activities may come to be to you  mere logical paradigms, with premises and conclusions, fitly framed, no doubt, and triumphantly cogent, but with no further significance to you than their formal logical conclusiveness.

God’s stately stepping in his redemptive processes may become to you a mere series of facts of history, curiously interplaying to the production of social and religious conditions, and pointing mayhap to an issue which we may shrewdly conjecture:  but much like other facts occurring in time and space, which may come to your notice.

It is your great danger.

Read the whole thing.

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9 thoughts on “The Greatest Danger for Theological Students”

  1. MarkO says:

    link seems to be broken

  2. Vico says:

    404 Not Found

  3. Justin Taylor says:

    Thanks; should we fixed now.

  4. Well said. And I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve written about this before.

    You’ve captured this in a different light. Excellent blog as always.

  5. Tim H. says:


  6. This is worth translating for our seminary students in El Salvador. Thanks!

  7. M L Hallas says:

    I have been reminded of this lately as I left academia for a season and found work outside of the church. I have found that most churches are filled with people who have just filled the bars the night before. I also realized that people who smoke go to church too, although they hided it at church. I have talked with hundreds of Christians that are spending all of their time trying to maintain their home, families, and bills. The sad fact is that most churches do not give them the spiritual food that they need but only the feel good, cotton-candy fluff that will wither their soul and dry their bones.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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