Christian apologist and theologian John Frame has a e-Book in Html format titled “Theology at the Movies.”
Here are the Table of Contents:
Posted in Christianity, doctrinal apologetics, God, John Frame, Perspectivalism, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Theology, Triperspectivalism on January 26, 2015 | 6 Comments »
Yesterday I posted a critical look at two Fuller Seminary’s professors’ argument that Jesus was not for carefully reasoned arguments. I want to balance that by saying that just because I argue that reasoning is important that does not mean it is okay to be rigorous with our reasoning and not have love. Both logic and love are compatible. In fact if we love others it require us to adhere to and use the laws of logic appropriately! And when we use the laws of logic, as Christians we ought to use it lovingly for the other person.
Here’s John Frame’s quote from the Doctrine of the Knowledge of God that reflect one way there is an inter-relationship between love and the laws of logic:
Perhaps you are beginning to see what a practical science logic is or at least should be! Love for our brethren requires careful thought. Unfortunately, we often leap recklessly to conclusions precisely on these matters that are most important, matters that require the most careful analysis . We jump to conclusions on those matters because we are passionate about them. The passion may be appropriate, but it ought to be channeled in a healthier direction. Our passion ought to give us a greater zeal for truth and for the means of attaining truth” (John Frame, Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 293).
If we don’t want to miscommunicate and have problem in our relationship with others, it require us to be diligent in how we accurately understand what people are saying, and the right implication rather than the wrong ones of what their words mean. We need to also make sure our words to others are coherent.
Loving thoughts need to logical thoughts, etc.
Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, God, John Frame, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Reformed Theology, Sovereignty, systematic theology, Theology, theology proper on December 11, 2014 | 7 Comments »
Those of you who follow our facebook page and Twitter will know that we post John Frame quotes every morning Monday through Saturdays for your edification and Lord willing we plan to do this up until the end of 2015.
I thought today I post an extended quote that would be too long to post through Social Media.
One of the thing that I enjoy about reading John Frame is that it is not dry systematic theology but his exploration of the relationship of doctrines and the inter-connectivity of God’s truth makes me stand at awe of God when I see the coherence of Biblical truths. I would say it portray the beauty of God! It is not only wonderful as an apologetic (the coherence of the Christian worldview) but it moves me to worship God–we can call it “doxological apologetics” to borrow that phrase from another apologist!
Here John Frame makes the point with the example of the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty and human responsibility:
And so it often comes as an exciting discovery that doctrines that at first glance to be opposed are actually complementary, if not actually dependent one on another. For Calvinists, for example, divine sovereignty and human freedom are examples of that sort of dependence and complementarity. Although at first glance those doctrines appear to be opposed to one another, a closer look shows that without divine sovereignty there would be no meaning in human life and therefore no meaningful form of freedom. And if our concern for freedom is essentially a concern to maintain human ethical responsibility, we should observe that divine sovereignty is the source of human responsibility. Because the sovereign Lord is the cause of and authority over human responsibility we can say that God’s sovereignty–His absolute lordship–establishes human responsibility. Thus Scripture often places the two doctrines side by side, with no embarassment or sense of impropriety whatsoever (cf. Acts 2:23; 4:27f; Phil. 2:12f.). Human responsibility exists not ‘in spite of’ but ‘because of’ God’s sovereignty. Not only are the two compatible; they require each other” (John Frame, Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 268).
In the past I have written on our blog on the importance on how PRAYER PRESUPPOSES THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD. I’m grateful to see John Frame point out something similar with human freedom and human responsibility necessitate the Sovereignty of God.
Posted in Apologetics, christian apologetics, Christianity, doctrinal apologetics, John Frame, Presuppositional Apologetics, presuppositionalism, Reformed, Theology on November 19, 2014 | 19 Comments »
One Christian apologist and theologian that I really got to read more this year has been John Frame. His writing has been tremendously helpful and has the rare combination of being intellectually stimulating, biblically faithful and I would even say quite devotional. Beyond the apologetics’ value of John Frame presenting a coherent Christian worldview in which he shows the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of Christian doctrines, I find that Frame’s writing engages my mind, will and emotions to love God and God’s truth more.
If you didn’t know already, every morning on Mondays through Saturdays we post quotes from John Frame on our Facebook page and our Twitter. We plan to do this for the remainder of 2014 and going into 2015.
An example of Frame’s spirituality that seeps into his discussion about apologetics and theology is a passage in The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God that talks about doctrinal controversy and the relationship to spiritual immaturity in which he discusses the importance of Christians to grow in holiness and make progress in sanctification. I appreciated that Frame did talk about this in the context of a book that talks about Christian theory of knowledge! The Christian must not separate academic theological endeavors from one’s progress in being more like Christ!
Here is the quote:
Many doctrinal misunderstandings in the church are doubtless due to this spiritual-ethical immaturity. We need to pay more attention to this fact when we get into theological disputes. Sometimes, we through arguments back and forth, over and over again, desperately trying to convince one another. But often there is in one of the disputers–or both!–the kind of spiritual immaturity that prevents clear perception. We all know how it works in practice. Lacking sufficient love for one another, we seek to interpret the other person’s views in the worst possible sense. (we forget the tremendous importance of love–even as an epistemological concept; cf. 1 Cor. 8:1-3; 1 Tim. 1:5ff; 1 John 2:4f.; 3:18f.; 4:7ff.). Lacking sufficient humility, too, we overestimate the extent of our own knowledge. In such a csae, with one or more immature debaters, it may be best not to seek immediate agreement in our controversy”
(John Frame, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 155)
Of course this does not mean that all doctrinal debate is the result of all parties being theologically immature but if we really believe what the Bible says about our sinfulness, we ought to be ready to search our motives, and re-check if any of the above is true.
Knowing this truth has made me more slower in responding to online debate and also see the importance of not just only reading up on theological and apologetics’ controversy but also the importance of resources on sanctification and godliness.