Arthur Walkington Pink was a pastor, theologian, and author. He was born in Nottingham, England, in 1886. He became entangled in the occult as a young man and joined a local gathering of the then-popular Theosophical Society. However, a verse his father quoted to him from the book of Proverbs led to his conversion: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25).
After A. W. Pink became a Christian, he moved to the United States to study the Bible. He also worked as a pastor. He met Vera Russell in Kentucky while he ministered there. They married in November 1916. In 1922 he began a monthly magazine, Studies in Scripture, which ran for 30 years without missing an issue; it never reached a large audience, but it was the source for most of his books. After pastoring churches in the United States and Australia, Pink spent the last years of his life writing in Stornoway, Scotland. He died at the age of 66 in July 1952. His wife died ten years later in July 1962. The Pinks are buried in unmarked graves in Sandwick, Scotland. They did not have any children.
A. W. Pink was not particularly renowned during his lifetime. And yet, after his death, his works have become acclaimed among pastors and teachers. He is now a noted author. His writings reflect beliefs that could be classified as Reformed theology. His views of the doctrines of grace and salvation, man’s depravity, election, and atonement align well with the teachings of the Protestant Reformers. In the first part of in his ministry, Pink was a devout dispensationalist, but in the early 1930s he embraced a form of covenant theology.
Modern Bible teachers have high praise for Pink. Martyn Lloyd-Jones advised, “Don’t waste your time reading Barth and Brunner. You will get nothing from them to aid you with preaching. Read Pink” (quoted by Iain Murray in David Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith 1939—1981, Banner of Truth, 1990, p. 137). John MacArthur wrote the foreword to a reprint of one of A. W. Pink’s books, saying, “[He] was a master of biblical exposition, carefully mining the biblical text for every ounce of true meaning, every nuance of doctrine, and every point of personal application he could discover. He always wrote with heartfelt conviction and persuasive insight. He was warm and positive, yet bold and unequivocal. He was at his best whenever he wrote about Christ, and he was never more focused, more thorough, or more compelling than when he proclaimed Christ crucified” (The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, Baker, 2005, p. 9–10).
A. W. Pink wrote over 50 books, including the following:
The Sovereignty of God (1918)
The Seven Sayings on the Cross (1919)
The Antichrist (1923)
Parables of Matthew 13 (1928)
The Satisfaction of Christ (1931)
The Holy Spirit (1937)
The Justice of God (1940)
Spiritual Growth or Christian Progress (1946)
Divine Inspiration of the Scriptures (1950)
Pink also wrote books studies on Genesis, Exodus, John, Hebrews, and 1 John. His character studies include books on Abraham, David, Elijah, and Elisha.
In his lifetime, A. W. Pink could not see the lasting impact of his life and writings, and he was discouraged as the number of subscribers to his magazine dwindled away. It would probably shock him that his writings survived his death.
Here are some notable quotations from A. W. Pink:
“True liberty is not the power to live as we please—but to live as we ought.”
“It is not the absence of sin, but the grieving over it—which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors.”
“The Bible is no lazy man’s book! Much of its treasure, like the valuable minerals stored in the recesses of the earth, only yield up themselves to the diligent seeker. No verse of Scripture yields its meaning to lazy people.”
“No sinner was ever saved by giving his heart to God. We are not saved by our giving—we are saved by God’s giving.”
“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependence, dependence upon God.”
“The immutability of God’s character—guarantees the fulfillment of his promises.”