A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
What does an author hope to accomplish by writing a biography, and in the case of Simonetta Carr, writing a whole series of biographies? Apart from introducing readers to influential Christian figures throughout history, I believe that Carr has even higher motivations. Her biographies bring to life people who lived in a different era under different circumstances than what we experience today, but she is able to make them relatable even to the point where they inspire us to try in some way to emulate them.
In her latest biography of Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, Carr takes a fairly unknown person from the 1800’s and not only describes the influence he had in his time and place, but demonstrates how relevant his writings and arguments are to us today. B. B. Warfield lived in a time when science and reason were gaining great popularity, and as a result many were questioning supernatural things such as the inspiration of scripture and the miracles of Jesus. They were questioning the trustworthiness of the Bible and Christianity as a whole. Academic arguments called for academic responses. Enter B. B. Warfield. This young man was very intelligent, highly educated, and passionate about the Word of God. He made it his practice to educate young seminary students and also to debate fellow scholars on the inspiration and accuracy of Scripture. Carr humanizes Warfield, too, with sharing anecdotes from his childhood and adulthood. We see not a stuffy intellectual, but a man who enjoyed nature and was profoundly committed to his wife despite her frail physical condition.
One thing that especially struck me was how similar the attitude toward Christianity was in his day compared to ours. Just like in the late 1800’s, we are confronted by a scientific and academic community that tries to dismiss Christianity, because it doesn’t meet their standards of verification. We have professing Christians who want little to do with Jesus except for promoting love and tolerance as they understand them to be. This biography challenges us to speak up for truth and to hold fast to the inspired Word of God.
All of this Carr makes accessible to young children with her clear and simple storytelling and with the beautiful watercolor illustrations that accompany historical photos. As with all of her other books in the Christian Biographies For Young Readers series, Carr again brings a lesser known figure from the annals of church history and introduces him to a new generation. And this generation needs B. B. Warfield, and perhaps one of them will be the next B. B. Warfield.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Buy the books
B. B. WARFIELD, by Simonetta Carr