Prolific Bible expositor Warren Wiersbe dies

Warren Wiersbe, pastor and author of the popular ‘Be’ expositional Bible commentaries, has died aged 89.

The theologian, who authored more than 150 books, passed away on the evening of 2 May.

Wiersbe was also pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Kentucky from 1961 to 1971 and served with the Moody Bible Institute in its radio ministry and memorial church.

‘Insatiable appetite’

Born on 16 May 1929, the third child of Fred and Gladys Anna, Wiersbe became a Christian aged 15, at a Youth for Christ (YFC) rally, under the ministry of a 26-year-old Billy Graham.

A few years later, the then president of YFC Torrey Johnson told Wiersbe: “Young man, find the one thing you do that God blesses, and stick with it!”

Wiersbe later wrote: “I had developed an insatiable appetite for the Word of God, and I wanted to study and understand the Bible more than anything else in all the world.”

Loved books

He ministered for almost 70 years, offering practical theology counsel, serving as Chairman for the Slavic Gospel Association and teaching at seminaries and universities.

Wiersbe loved books (he had a personal collection of over 10,000), and he loved studying Scripture, so much so that his wife allegedly once said: “We are looking for a library with a house attached.”

Phil Johnson, Executive Director of radio and online ministry ‘Grace to You’, said: “The backbone of my library today consists of books he introduced me to. He sparked my interest in Lloyd-Jones, the Puritans, and preaching”.

‘A privilege’

Wiersbe’s grandson Dan Jacobsen said: “He stuck to expounding Scriptures, practically helping people move closer to the destination of Christlikeness.”

“’There’s not a passage in the Bible I haven’t first looked up what Wiersbe has said on the topic’, most pastors tell me. In multiple languages, his words have helped many handle God’s Word with some sense of accuracy and fidelity.”

In a final interview in January 2018, Wiersbe said: “When you learn the joy and the privilege of Bible study, you don’t have to be paid to do it. You don’t have to be pushed at doing it, and scolded. No, no, no. It’s a privilege. It’s a marvellous, glorious privilege.”