Systematic theology has fallen on hard times—even its right to exist has been called into question since the late nineteenth century. What’s the cause? The skepticism about the human capacity for knowledge, the reduction of religion to sentiment and emotion, the erosion of divine revelation by modernist critics—and much more. In the face of these obstacles, Warfield argues that theology is not only possible, but is now more necessary than ever. The task of theology remains urgent because only theology can address the most basic questions of our existence: Does God exist? How is God known? Are our faculties for understanding God—his nature, his works, his purposes—reliable and trustworthy? The Right of Systematic Theology addresses these questions in the face of widespread denial and doubt.
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.