The Chief End of Man

Tony Reinke: An excerpt from B. B. Warfield’s article, “The First Question of the Westminster ‘Shorter Catechism,’” from The Princeton Theological Review (October 1908), pages 583–87: The peculiarity of this first question and answer of the Westminster Catechisms, it will be seen, is the felicity with which it brings to concise expression the whole Reformed conception of the significance of human life. We say the whole Reformed conception. For justice is not done that conception if we say merely that man’s chief end is to glorify God. That certainly: and certainly that first. But according to the Reformed conception man exists not merely that God may be glorified in him, but that he may delight in this glorious God. It does justice to the subjective as well as to the objective side of the case. The Reformed conception is not fully or fairly stated if it be so stated that it may seem to be satisfied with conceiving man merely

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