I recently received an email from someone (Mike Swope) asking what I thought was a great question. Since B. B. Warfield is such an important theologian, and such a prolific writer (on the order of a Barth, or an Aquinas), where should someone begin if they wish to become more familiar with the Lion of Princeton?
I can answer this in one of two ways. First, there would be my list of favorite Warfield pieces. This would include a number of things "off the beaten path" so to speak (some of my favorites are more technical or obscure book reviews and journal articles). Then there would be the list of those essays/books which highlight Warfield's career and importance. What follows is the latter (although there is some overlap).
Since much of Warfield's work is easily accessible (in the ten-volume set from Baker Books, or the five-volume set from P & R, from Warfield's Selected Shorter Writings from P & R, or even on-line), let me set out a list of a few things just to get you started. This list is suggestive only, and is by no means exhaustive.
Online sources: Here's a great list (Click here: Warfield Index). To get started, I'd simply suggest that you pick essays based upon your personal interests--Warfield wrote on virtually every theological topic of his day.
Some of these essays are quite basic (i.e., introductory articles for encyclopedias or magazines), while others are much more technical (and written for theological journals). But be sure not to miss the following (which include a sermon, a book review, and several ground-breaking articles on critical topics--just so you get a flavor of the scope of Warfield's massive output and mastery of his subject):
It is my humble opinion that every Reformed Christian should read Warfield's The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible. There is nothing like it. It has generated no end of controversy (although it defends inerrancy) and although Warfield is crystal clear, his critics consistently misquote or misrepresent him. This book is too important not to read. Click here: P & R Publishing: Individual Title
I would also suggest reading Warfield's Plan of Salvation (which is available on-line--Click here: Warfield - The Plan of Salvation).
Every seminarian should read this short essay: Click here: P & R Publishing: Individual Title
Since Warfield's main efforts are found in theological journals, here are a few which have been reprinted (in books) and which I think are must reading:
From Biblical and Theological Studies (P & R): "The Spirit of God in the Old Testament" (127 ff.).
From Studies in Perfectionism (P & R): "The Theology of Charles G. Finney" (166 ff.).
From The Person and Work of Christ (P & R): "The Emotional Life of Our Lord" (93 ff.); "Christless Christianity" (265 ff.), "Imitating the Incarnation" (563 ff.).
From Calvin and Augustine (P & R): "Calvin's Doctrine of the Knowledge of God" (29 ff.); "Augustine's Doctrine of Knowledge and Authority" (387 ff.).
From Studies in Theology (Baker): "Predestination in the Reformed Confessions" (117 ff); "Charles Darwin's Religious Life" (541 ff.).
From Selected Shorter Writings, Vol 1: "How to Get Rid of Christianity" (51 ff.); "Hosea VI.7: Adam or Man?" (116 ff.); "Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World" (167 ff.); "The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Fact" (178 ff.); "Antichrist" (356 ff.).
From Selected Shorter Writings, Vol 2: "A Review of Herman Bavinck's De Zeherheid des Geloofs" (106 ff.); "Darwin's Arguments and Christianity and Religion" (132 ff.); "Review of John Miley's Systematic Theology" (308 ff.); "A Calm View of the Freedmen's Case" (735ff.)
This will get you started, but will barely scratch the surface of the body of Warfield's work.