Remembering Thomas B. Warren
In 1994, or perhaps 1995, I was a student at East Tennessee School of Preaching. At the time I was having a dispute with my teacher, Al Simmons, on a logic matter. If I recall correctly, Al was teaching a hermeneutics class when the dispute arose; Al was a good student of Scripture and logical analysis. Before my enrollment in the school, I took some philosophy classes at Boise State University and one formal logic class. This was about 1990, while I was serving in the US Air Force. Since Al was the teacher of the class, I was on the short end of the dispute, but I was convinced I was right on the problem. All I knew to do was call someone of logical note, and I thought the best one to call was Thomas B. Warren. Not knowing how to get in touch with Dr. Warren, I called Garland Elkins at Memphis School of Preaching. I explained my conundrum and asked for assistance. After a few moments of conversation, he said I should call Warren, something which I was very much interested in doing. After having given me his number, I made the call.
Thomas B. Warren was very charitable with his time to me, a person whom he had never met. I explained the reason for my call and asked him if he could take a few moments and help on the issue. He said he would be happy to do so. After setting forth the issue and talking about logic-form, Professor Warren asked me what logic textbook I used. I mentioned I had a few, but while at Boise State, I used Irving Copi’s book. He said that was a good one and that I should continue to make use of it (I still have it and use it occasionally). I wish I could tell you Dr. Warren said I was correct on the disputed issue, but I really do not remember what was said. What I do remember was the impression he left on me after the conversation.
Somewhere in the conversation I told Warren I was serving in the USAF when I took my logic class at Boise State, looking to pursue a degree in philosophy. He mentioned to me that he was also in the Air Force. At the time he was enlisted, however, it was not identified as the USAF, but the United States Army-Air force. As a distinctive branch of the United States Armed forces, the Air Force came into existence in 1947.
In addition to talking about my time in the Air Force, he was interested in my family and my time at East Tennessee School of Preaching. He spoke very well of the school and was glad I was enrolled there, training to be a gospel preacher. In speaking about my family, he took a genuine interest in listening to me. Then he told me about his.
Many years have come and gone; I wish I had better retention, but the recall I have, even if what I have slips, is a very positive one.