Summary Response to “The Religious Life of Theological Students”

Warfield, Benjamin B. “The Religious Life of Theological Students.” One of 59 articles in The Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield. John E. Meeter (Ed.).

In summary of and response to Benjamin B. Warfield’s address to theology students at Princeton Theological School in the year 1911, vocation is what we do with our lives and regardless of our vocation, we are to offer it as service to God.  As a theology student, my vocation is to study theology with diligence and fervor while always fixing my eyes on the subject of my studies.  I must commit to my studies, not merely for informational acquisition, but for spiritual transformation. The theological themes I study must not become common fuzzy niceties about the divine. They are meant to be much more than that. There is a danger of being detached and unenthusiastic in my study of God, as if I were dissecting a cadaver in anatomy class or completing rote mathematical equations.

However, the sheer expanse of the subject should induce a healthy awe and unsettlement in my soul.  My desire should be draw near to God and experience his goodness and greatness. I should approach theological studies with the purpose of meeting with God and basking in his presence, where I will experience his glory, holiness, majesty and love for us.  As a result, this will enlarge my heart, elevate my spirit and grow me in holiness. Furthermore, theological studies must not be pursued in isolation.  I need to be connected with community, often gathering with others for worship, prayer, learning and fellowship. A spirit of humility must be cultivated throughout all aspects my theological studies experience. Complete dependence on God is vital for such a great task, so I must always make time for prayer in order to ask God for his grace and strength to sustain me.