Died: Warren Wiersbe, Preachers’ Favorite Bible Commentator

"The prolific author and pastor taught Christians how to 'Be' in the Word." - Christianity Today

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Jim Welch's picture

I am very grateful for the influence of Warren Wiersbe on my life.  His "Walking with the Giants" helped me to see that our Lord uses all kinds of believers for His glory.  I realized that I did not have to fit into a cookie cutter mold in order to serve God.  

Steve Newman's picture

I both loved to listen to him preach (Back to the Bible still features him at times) and read the BE series commentaries. He is an excellent illustrator and preacher!

David R. Brumbelow's picture

In a college student meeting the day before Wiersbe died, a Bible teacher was telling me how glad she was to find out about him and how his commentaries had helped her teaching.   

Like countless preachers would also say, Warren Wiersbe has been a great influence in my life.  My mom and dad both used his books.  I’ve often recommended his commentaries to young preachers and Sunday School teachers.  Anything written by Wiersbe is worth reading. 

David R. Brumbelow

TylerR's picture

Editor

Never actually read any of his commentaries. I keep getting him confused with another famous radio preacher from the same era; I conflate them and depending on the day I can only remember one of them. Can't think of the other guy right now ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Dave White's picture

TylerR wrote:

Never actually read any of his commentaries. I keep getting him confused with another famous radio preacher from the same era; I conflate them and depending on the day I can only remember one of them. Can't think of the other guy right now ...

J. Vernon McGee

Ed Vasicek's picture

When I was trained to preach at Moody Bible Institute, my favorite homiletics prof was Dr. Lon Wilson.  Both he and Wiersbe had been trained at Northern Baptist Seminary (back in the 40's I think) under Dr. Koller ("Expository Preaching Without Notes").  Koller developed the method for preaching Wilson taught and Wiersbe used (a proposition with man points characterize by a key word,like ideas, thoughs, concerns, mandates, etc.-- a plural noun that describes each of the main points).  Wiersbe was the perfect model.  We looked up to him, as did Dr. Wilson.

I have most of all of his "be" series books.  As an ordination gift (Dr. Wilson spoke at my ordination), Dr. Wilson bought up the copied version of his outlines from Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, KY, where Wiersbe served before he went to Moody Church. These are the outlines upon which he based his books, adding illustrations.

As a student at the Institute, I would go to my home church on Sunday mornings (Cicero Bible Church).  They sent a van then to pick up students at MBI where I lived in a dorm.  For the evening service, I would join the small caravan that would walk the mile from MBI to Moody Church and hear Wiersbe weekly.

I have not modeled my ministry or my preaching after any particular individual, but if I was to choose the one person who has influenced both the most, it would have to be Wiersbe, Loved that guy.

I have taught several lay preachers/elders to preach using his method and using his books as an example of the proposition (key idea) and then points which are all characterized by the key word.  One of these lay pastors is now a full time pastor at a church he has served for 25 years.

I will miss you, Dr. Wiersbe!

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Barry L.'s picture

TylerR wrote:

Never actually read any of his commentaries. I keep getting him confused with another famous radio preacher from the same era; I conflate them and depending on the day I can only remember one of them. Can't think of the other guy right now ...

 

Warren Wiersbe preached on the Moody Bible Hour on the radio and BBN still plays them today.  Maybe that's where you get the connection.

TylerR's picture

Editor

It was McGee I keep confusing with Wiersbe!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

DLCreed's picture

So  loved and appreciated Warren Wiersbe.  I went to an infamous fundamentalist "Bible College" in the Chicago area where the chairman of the Bible Department was well known for his amazing notes and syllabus which were required purchases for each of his classes.  This "professor" was a graduate of MBI himself and had attended and worked at Moody while Wiersbe was there.  Such was the "nature" of this particular "Bible College" that students were largely forbidden to purchase, possess or read (let alone cite) works from "evangelicals".  Seriously, we could not use MacArthur, Swindoll, Nee, Wiersbe, et. al. nor could we even have them in our rooms.  Only those from the Founder, John R. Rice, Jones, Sr., Roberson and other certified fundamentalists were to be used.  Upon graduation, I discovered Wiersbe's "Be Series" and began absolutely devouring them only to have this constant nagging sense that I had read much of the content before somewhere.  One day, I happened upon a syllabus from the esteemed Bible Chair (who would later be sentenced to life in prison for illegally adopting a child and then abusing, raping and torturing her throughout her childhood) only to discover that he had plagiarized the entirety of Wiersbe's work and passed it off as his own. 

Thankful that I eventually had the opportunity to meet Wiersbe personally and the devotional nature of his commentaries always left me feeling like I had been mentored by a wise pastor.  They were a great help and comfort to me in my earliest years of being a pastor myself.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Though I didn't always agree with Wiersbe's take on a passage, his work is consistently connected to ministry reality... "conditions on the ground," as they say in the military. After--or in the midst of--lots of academic analysis, I could always count on Weirsbe for something warm, human, and connected to life as most of us know it. Always appreciated that.