Bernard Ramm

1 August 1916 in Butte, Montana - 11 August 1992 in Irvine, California

Baptist theologian and apologist within the broad Evangelical tradition. He wrote prolifically on topics concerned with biblical hermeneutics, religion and science, Christology, and apologetics. The hermenuetical principles presented in his 1956 book Protestant Biblical Interpretation influenced a wide spectrum of Baptist theologians. During the 1970s he was widely regarded as a leading evangelical theologian as well known as Carl F.H. Henry. His equally celebrated and criticized 1954 book The Christian View of Science and Scripture was the theme of a 1979 issue of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, while a 1990 issue of Baylor University's Perspectives in Religious Studies was devoted to Ramm's views on theology.

Ramm's education included a B.A. (University of Washington)—initially studying chemistry then switching to philosophy of science in preparation of ministry, B.D. (Eastern Baptist Seminary), M.A. in 1947 & Ph.D in 1950 (University of Southern California). He also undertook additional studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Basel, Switzerland (1957-1958 academic year with Karl Barth), and the Near Eastern School of Theology, Beirut, Lebanon.

His academic teaching career began in 1943 when he joined the faculty at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now Biola University, La Mirada, California). He became Professor of Philosophy at Bethel College and Seminary, and then Professor of Religion at Baylor University, Texas. Most of his academic teaching was conducted at the American Baptist Seminary of the West at Covina, California, where he taught between 1958–74 and again from 1978-86. At that seminary he held the post of Professor of Systematic Theology.

Ramm wrote eighteen books, contributed to chapters to other books, and composed over one hundred articles and book reviews in various theological periodicals.

Selected publications

  • Problems in Christian Apologetics, Western Baptist Theological Seminary, Portland, Oregon, 1949.
  • Protestant Christian Evidences, Moody Press, Chicago, 1953.
  • Types of Apologetic Systems, Van Kampen Press, Wheaton, 1953.
  • Christian View of Science and Scripture, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1954.
  • The Pattern of Authority, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1957.
  • The Witness of the Spirit, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1960.
  • Special Revelation and the Word of God, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1961.
  • Varieties of Christian Apologetics: An Introduction to the Christian Philosophy of Religion, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1962.
  • The Christian College in the Twentieth Century, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1963.
  • Them He Glorified, William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1963.
  • A Handbook Of Contemporary Theology, William B. Eermans, Grand Rapids, 1966.
  • Protestant Biblical Interpretation: A Textbook of Hermeneutics, 3rd revised edition, Baker Book House, 1970.
  • Right, the good and the happy: The Christian in a world of Distorted Values, Word, Waco, 1971.
  • The God Who Makes A Difference: A Christian Appeal to Reason, Word, Waco, 1972.
  • The Evangelical Heritage, Word, Waco, 1973.
  • Rapping About the Spirit, Word, Waco, 1974.
  • Devil, Seven Wormwoods, and God, Word, Waco, 1977.
  • After Fundamentalism: The Future of Evangelical Theology, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1983.
  • An Evangelical Christology: Ecumenic and Historic, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1985.
  • Offense to Reason: A Theology of Sin, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985.
  • God's Way Out: Finding the Road to Personal Freedom Through Exodus (Bible Commentary for Laymen), Regal, Ventura, 1987.
  • Ramm and others, Hermeneutics, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1987.

The Christian View of Science

"It is impossible to separate Christianity from history and nature. The hope of some to relegate religion to the world of pure religious experience, and science to the world of physical phenomena may suit some religious systems, but not Christianity. The historical element alone in the Bible is too dominant to permit this treatment, as is the repeated reference to creation. Christianity appears in a universe created by God, and in historical situations under the providence of God. Creation and history are indispensable to a loyal evangelical theology. Although to some this appears as a weakness in Christianity in reality it is part of the strength of Christianity, for it shows that Christianity is deeply woven in the UNIVERSAL SCHEME OF THINGS." p347-351

Windows of Creation
Evidence from nature
  Reasonable Faith Go Back