Thomas B. Warren
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Thomas Bratton Warren was born August 1, 1920, in Carrizo Springs, Texas, from Christian parents. He was baptized at the age of twelve. He graduated high school as valedictorian of his class, graduated from Abilene Christian College (now University) in 1947, with the B.S. degree (magna cum laude), from the University of Houston with the M.A. degree (in religion), and from Vanderbilt University with the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees (in philosophy). He also studied at Trinity University, Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Texas Christian University and Harding Graduate School of Religion. The title of his doctoral dissertation is God and Evil: Does Judeo-Christian Theism Involve a Logical Contradiction?
Professor Warren served as a teacher of Bible, Theology, Christian Apologetics, Philosophy, Logic, and Mathematics. He taught mathematics at Abilene Christian College (1946-47) and was Chair of the Department of Bible at Fort Worth Christian College where he was also President (1959-61). Dr. Warren was Chair of the Department of Bible at Freed-Hardeman College (now University) from 1964-1971. He was Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Apologetics at Harding Graduate School of Religion (1971-79), and also served as Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Philosophy and Christian Doctrine and Apologetics at Tennessee Bible College. Dr. Warren was a member of the American Philosophical and Philosophy of Science Associations and the Southwestern Philosophical Society.
Warren was also instrumental in establishing Forth Worth Christian College, having been a member of the original board, and having served as Head of the Bible department from its beginning in September,1958 until June, 1961. He also served as President of the school from May, 1959 to June, 1961.
Warren was a prolific writer, having authored or edited more than fifty books. He was the founding editor of the monthly, then quarterly, journal Spiritual Sword, and served as its Editor 1958, 1969-89. His book, Have Atheists Proved There Is No God? (1972) is a definitive and logical answer to the atheist’s argument from the problem of evil. Two extremely significant volumes, The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (1976) and The Warren-Matson Debate on the Existence of God (1978), remain in print. The former is the complete account of Dr. Warren’s debate with renowned philosopher, Antony Flew, on the campus of North Texas State University on four consecutive nights before audiences of five to seven thousand. In his 2007 book, There Is A God, in which he reveals the philosophical arguments and scientific discoveries that turned him from a staunch atheist into a theist, Dr. Flew identifies his debate with Professor Warren as the best attended of all of his debates including discussions with such individuals as C. S. Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, and Richard Swinburne. Dr. Warren’s debate on the existence of God with Wallace I. Matson who was Professor of Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley was held at Tampa, Florida, in 1978. Warren’s closing words in this debate contain a stirring, passionate appeal that, coupled with his arguments set forth in the debate, evidence why it has been observed that few matched Thomas B. Warren in ability. As a thinker, debater, and scholar, he had few equals. And yet, all the while he remained a wonderfully kind, gentle, loving, and humble man. Roy Deaver, who served as moderator for Dr. Warren during his debate with Professor Matson, as well as assisting in the same capacity during Professor Warren’s 1980 debate on Christian Ethics versus Utilitarian Ethics with Dr. Joe E. Barnhart, called Thomas B. Warren “the greatest ‘thinking machine’ I have ever known.”
service and memory
Dr. Warren was a veteran of the United States Air Force. During the early part of World War II, he entered the Air Force and served fourteen months in the South Pacific area as a mathematician and topographic draftsman. He then returned to the Unites States and after eighteen months of college at Oklahoma State University, pre-flight and navigation school, he was commissioned as an officer in the Air Force as an aerial navigator. After more than three years in the service, he enrolled in Abilene Christian College.
He was married to Faye C. Brauer on October 3, 1941. They were married for nearly 59 years until his death on August 8, 2000. Dr. and Mrs. Warren were the parents of two daughters (Karen and Jan) and one son (Lyndsey). Memorial services for Thomas B. Warren were conducted on August 11, 2000, at the Brown Trail Church of Christ, Hurst, Texas. His body was laid to rest at nearby Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park, Colleyville, Texas.
It is the conclusion of numerous individuals that Dr. Thomas B. Warren was the greatest Christian apologist of the twentieth century. His biography appears in several volumes among which are Notable Americans, Men of Achievement, Who’s Who in America, Outstanding Educators in America, and Directory of American Scholars. Roy Abraham Varghese, author of the internationally acclaimed book, The Wonder of the World, and co-author of There Is a God with Dr. Antony Flew, has stated, “Dr. Thomas B. Warren . . . changed the whole climate of thought as it pertained to public perceptions of theism. . . . [T]here is an obvious need for the kind of work pioneered by Dr. Warren. It is precisely this need that is addressed by the Warren Christian Apologetics Center.”