Warfield devoted a significant portion of his scholarly pursuits to the life and thought of John Calvin. Throughout his lifetime, Warfield remained an ardent defender of the Reformed faith, in part because Reformed theology represented an orthodox medium between the extremes of emotional revivalism on the one hand and domesticated liberal theology on the other. He believed that confessional Reformed theology could withstand contemporary criticism from both extremes, because Reformed confessions offered the clearest and most honest summary and application of Scripture. Warfield’s volume on Calvin and Calvinism begins with a lengthy biography of John Calvin, followed by chapters on Calvin’s doctrine of the knowledge of God, Calvin’s doctrine of God, and the doctrine of the Trinity. The volume concludes with two final chapters on Calvinism in general, and on the literary history of Calvin’s Institutes.
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield was born in 1851 in Lexington, Kentucky. He studied mathematics and science at Princeton University and graduated in 1871. In 1873, he decided to enroll at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was taught by Charles Hodge. He graduated from seminary in 1876, and was married shortly thereafter. He traveled to Germany later that year to study under Franz Delitazsch.
After returning to America, Warfield taught at Western Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary). In 1881, Warfield co-wrote an article with A. A. Hodge on the inspiration of Scripture—a subject which dominated his scholarly pursuits throughout the remainder of his lifetime. When A. A. Hodge died in 1887, Warfield became professor of Theology at Princeton, where he taught from 1887–1921. History remembers Warfield as one of the last great Princeton Theologians prior to the seminary’s re-organization and the split in the Presbyterian Church. B. B. Warfield died in 1921.