Benjamin B. Warfield, The Right of Systematic Theology (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1897), 83-84.

We not only have no desire to deny, we rather wish to proclaim, the great truth involved in the watchword of the greatest of the fathers and schoolmen, Credo ut intelligam [“I believe in order to understand”], and adopted by the Reformers in the maxim of Fides præcedit rationem [“Faith precedes understanding”], and before the Reformers or schoolmen or fathers, proclaimed by Paul in the immortal words that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them because they are spiritually judged” (1 Cor. 2:14). None but the Christian man can understand Christian truth; none but the Christian man is competent to state Christian doctrine.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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