How should students of the Bible approach their study? William Swan Plumer answers.

In his 1867 Inaugural Address at Columbia Theological Seminary, William Swan Plumer explained what ought to be the right "temper" of the student of God's word. You can find his address along with others works we've posted by him, but here's a sneak peek to the answers he gives: the theologian should possess modesty, impartiality, independence of thought and freedom of inquiry, profound reverence for what he studies, a love of truth, patience, a spirit of diligence, a genuine lively faith, just moderation, the spirit of prayer, a commitment to practice what he learns, and a gospel centered, evangelical spirit. The address is only 16 small pages, so make sure to read how Plumer unpacks each of these points. 

(This is actually an abridged version of his address, published for the popular press as a booklet. You can find the entire address in the Southern Presbyterian Review , 19.1 (January 1868), which we have not posted to our site yet!) 


Want to know how to view the Bible? Read John Holt Rice's 1824 Inaugural Address on II Timothy 3:16.

John Holt Rice was the first professor of theology at Union Theological Seminary. On what was his theology founded? In his inaugural address he lays out his presuppositions:

1. The sacred Scriptures are the source from which the preacher of the gospel is to derive all that doctrine, which has authority to bind the consciences, and regulate the conduct of men.

2. That the Scriptures afford the only information on which we can rely, in answer to the all-important question, "What must we do to be saved?”

3. That the Scriptures contain the most perfect system of morals, that has ever been presented to the understanding, or urged on the conscience of man. 

May the Lord continue to grant seminary professors, and the pastors they train, these convictions about the word of God. 

Digital gold: B. B. Warfield's "On the Emotional Life of our Lord" and two Inaugural Addresses

One of the great American Presbyterian theologians, B. B. Warfield's article "On the Emotional Life of our Lord" (from Biblical and Theological Studies published by the Princeton Theological Seminary faculty) is among his most important works. His two inaugural addresses are not far behind. The first was given at Western Theological Seminary (modern Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) in 1880, entitled "Is the Church Doctrine of the Plenary Inspiration of the New Testament Endangered by the Assured Results of Modern Biblical Criticism?" The second was given at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1888, entitled "The Idea of Systematic Theology Considered as a Science." You can find them both on the B. B. Warfield page of the Log College Press site. 

One of the projects we have in mind for reprinting is an anthology of seminary inaugural addresses from the 19th century. Does anyone else think this would be a worthwhile endeavor?