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Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Doctrine of Christian Life John Frame

Note: You can purchase this work at a discounted price over at Westminster Bookstore by clicking HERE.

A massive volume on the important subject of Christian ethics by one of the most sophisticated Biblicist today.  This volume by Dr. John Frame in his theology of Lordship series was a wonderful read and was intellectually stimulating and doxological—what I expect from John Frame’s work and something I hope to be able to emulate in my own teaching ministry.  This work is different than most Christian text book on ethics in that it applies John Frame’s Triperspectivalism (looking at things with the consciousness of the normative, situational and existential perspective) and a robust Reformed and Biblical theology to the area of Christian ethics and living.  I also think Frame’s Van Tillian side is also a big a plus since I appreciate how the beginning of the book John Frame goes about refuting non-Christian philosophy, religion and worldview that are competitors against the Christian worldview of ethics.  This section is excellent and can be a small book that is worth buying alone.  Frame also wasn’t just into refutation but a positive presentation of the Christian position on ethics as well.  In fact the bulk of the book was his exposition on the ten commandments and he did a good job of showing how other parts of the Scripture illuminates the Decalogue with more specific application or nuances.  Even if one might not agree with Frame in the particular, he nevertheless will provide great food for thought and challenge the reader to think more biblically and rigorously on ethical matters.

Frame was able to strike my interests and simulated my thought throughout the thousand page book which I think is quite a feat.  In what follows I can only share some of the highlights:

  • Frame had a good discussion in the book about the danger of exclusively preaching redemptive-history especially without the intention of application. If one reads his collection of shorter works, Frame expands on this concern he has.
  • The chapter on motive and virtue was saturated with the Gospel and how it motivates a believer’s sanctification; this same chapter also had a good discussion trying to reconcile imprecatory prayers with loving one’s enemy with Frame noting the distinction between wanting God to pour out His wrath while we not doing this ourselves.
  • Another highlight in the book was John Frame’s discussion about racial equalities. I think what he has to say is probably the closest position to mine that I have seen in print.  In particular, I find it helpful his discussion of various ways people use the term “racism.”  I also liked his discussion about race within the context of the church such as his quote: “Churches do not have to seek a quota of every ethnic or national group in their vicinity.  But they must welcome everyone” (John Frame, Doctrine of Christian Life, 674).
  • The discussion on war is a good one; Frame is conscious of what the Scripture say and does not say and he brings this to bear in his observation and criticism of Just War theory. As a Marine myself, I have had some questions about various aspect of Just War theory that seems problematic such as what is proportional force, etc.  I appreciate Frame saying that Just War Theory isn’t so much a theory as it is a series of good questions we must ask concerning war.
  • I really appreciate the section of the book on culture. He does a good job working towards a theological definition of culture and from there explain the various model of the relationship between Christ and culture along with his criticism of each respective views’ strength and weaknesses.  Frame’s discussion about culture also led to the topic of Christians and film; he gives some good principles of what to ask when one watches movies as a Christian and also a defense that movies are not wrong in of itself.
  • For anyone who has read Frame before, there are many points he makes that makes one think not only with the doctrine or position at hand, but also the theological method that is driving Frame as well. I feel Frame is great to read to think about theological method more consciously.
  • In terms of the appendix, I really appreciated Frame’s review of RJ Rushdoony’s book, The Institute of Biblical Law. I thought Frame did a good job of noting Rushdoony’s contribution to Christian study of the law while also being critical in a helpful way that can help push the Christian Reconstructionist movement forward.  His review noted some good problems in Rushdoony’s book while Frame was also able to address Theonomy’s critics that they must not knee-jerk emotionally reject God’s Law out of hand just because we don’t like it, because afterall it was at one time God’s Law.

With the positive I must add a few constructive criticism of the book but I hope this is not misconstrued to mean that I thought Frame did a poor job.  On the contrary, I think it speaks to the quality of the book that my criticisms are few for such a lengthy book:

  • The book is weaker theologically concerning eschatology and especially the millennial positions. Frame doesn’t get into much of eschatology although I think its worth pursuing by others more systematically the relationship between eschatology and Christian ethics.
  • The book gave a short treatment on the topic of spiritual growth and I wished he talked more about sanctification but for such a lengthy book that already covered so many areas one can’t really fault John Frame.
  • A lot of the appendixes were book reviews of works in the 1980s or earlier. Since the book was published in 2008, I thought it would have been nice to see reviews of books that are more recent in publication.

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Wonderful-Photo-of-a-Lavender-Field-in-Montana-USA

The following are links related to Presuppositional apologetics that were posted on the Internet between September 1st-7th, 2014.

What links were you blessed with?

1.) The Longest Known List of Self-refuting Statements

2.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [4]

3.) Another Oliphintian Philosophical Challenge

4.) Irreligion and violence

Late August 2014 Presuppositional apologetics’ links

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hmong soldier

I am posting this during a time when daily news in Iraq is rather saddening with the increase of ISIS atrocities.  In the middle of this massacre, it made me thought a lot about whether there are beginning to be parallel between Iraq and Vietnam.

Among the minority group that the United States used in fighting the Communists in South East Asia during the Vietnam War was the Hmong People, a tribal group that lived primarily in the mountain region of Laos.  Unfortunately after Vietnam fell, the Hmong people were left to fend for themselves.  They fled in masses and some later became refugees in America.

While the world watch the political scene, God was working to bring many Hmong to faith.

The following three videos are the story of how God brought them to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior among the Hmong people, particularly those in America.

Watching the videos was rather emotional for me.  On a more personal note, my own family were personally involved in the Vietnam War and had to flee to America because of their involvement with America’s war against the Communist.  Relatives were killed because of their covert work with Americans.  Survivors fled their country and eventually was sponsored by churches to America.  I see parallel with my family’s story with that of the Hmong people.

Which brings me back to Iraq: Please pray that God will use the current crisis in Iraq to reach many people for Himself.  May the Church be ready to adopt this next wave of refugees, and to evangelize and show compassion to them.

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How Shall We then Live SchaefferThose of you who have followed us on Veritas Domain knows that Francis Schaeffer is someone that comes up from time to time in our posts.  Francis Schaeffer was a great Christian apologist and evangelist that was a student of Cornelius Van Til who developed his apologetics in his own direction.

For the month of September 2014 Christian Audio has made available for free the audio book of Schaeffer’s Classic, How Shall We Then Live?

I enjoyed reading this book about ten years ago and also the documentary series that Schaeffer produced with his son.

You can get the audio book if you click HERE.

 

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article-0-1FFAC81500000578-674_964x870These are links related to Presuppositional apologetics gathered between August 25th-31st, 2014.

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [2]

2.) Down babies

3.) Van Tilian Turf Wars (Part 1)

4.) Objective Moral Values Necessitate a Living God

5.) Plantinga on Van Til: Unbelievers can’t know anything?!

6.) To Richard Dawkins…

7.) 

Van Tillian Links for Middle of August 2014

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b-b-warfield-portrait

The influential Princeton Theologian B.B. Warfield has made a tremendous impact that people still benefit from his writing today.

Over at Monergism they have graciously done a great work by making available online for free seven of his books.

Here are the works from Warfield:

Faith and Life (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Studies in Theology (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Biblical Doctrines (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Calvin and Calvinism (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Augustine & The Pelagian Controversy (eBook)

The Making of the Westminster Confession (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Sermons and Essays from the Works of B. B. Warfield (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

 

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Peter-Jones

 

Yesterday I posted a book review by Dr. Peter Jones who use to teach at Westminster Seminary California and is an expert on Paganism and the new spirituality.

I thought I share this Youtube video of him teaching about the Gnostic Gospel during Ligonier Ministries 2010 West Coast Conference.

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