As many of you are aware, The Inerrancy Summit was fairly recent. Many Christian leaders came together in solidarity concerning the doctrine of inerrancy. Many years ago, on October 1978, more than 200 evangelical Christian leaders with many different stripes of theology (i.e. Arminians, Calvinists, etc.) came together to sign the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to protect us from the cancer of liberalism. They defended us to the heart and teeth. Brethren, we are living in dangerous times where the Word of God is being attacked not only by the unbelieving world, but by those who still carry the Christian heritage. Since the topic of inerrancy is still resonating with many in the evangelical circle, we wanted to get another voice from a Christian leader. Many of our contributers here at Veritas have been tremendously blessed by Dr. Frame. Currently, we have been quoting from his books systematically each day on our Facebook wall. To get more updates and words of edification from Veritas, please feel free to visit our Facebook or Twitter page:
Dr. Frame has contributed many significant works related to theology, apologetics, and philosophy. He has interacted with many apologists and we have much to learn from him. He is committed to the inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word of God and believes we need to subscribe to them in order to able to withstand the attacks of the unbelieving worldview. In addition, here are some more details surrounding Dr. Frame’s biography which I got from RTS. He is currently the J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy.
Princeton University, A.B.
Westminster Theological Seminary, B.D.
Yale University, M.A., M.Phil.
Belhaven College, D.D.
Dr. John Frame joined RTS Orlando in 2002 and serves as J.D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy. Dr. Frame teaches core courses on systematic theology, apologetics, ethics and philosophy.
Dr. Frame’s research interests include theology proper (the doctrine of God), the doctrine of scripture, ethics and epistemology (the theory of knowledge). Dr. Frame began his teaching career on the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia before serving as a founding faculty member at Westminster Seminary California for more than 20 years. He is best known for his prolific writings, particularly his four-volume Theology of Lordship series. The second volume in this series (The Doctrine of God) won the 2003 Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association in the category of theology/doctrine.
An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, Dr. Frame is deeply committed to the work of ministry and to training pastors. Students appreciate Dr. Frame’s wealth of insight and his ability to communicate complex issues simply and clearly. Students also value Dr. Frame’s practical definition of theology as “the application of God’s revelation to all of life.”
Dr. Frame is a talented pianist and organist as well as a discerning media critic. He and his wife Mary have multiple children.
- Systematic Theology (forthcoming in 2013)
- The Academic Captivity of Theology (forthcoming in 2013)
- Theological Appendices (forthcoming in 2013)
- The Escondido Theology: A Reformed Response to Two Kingdom Theology (Whitfield Media Productions, 2011)
- The Doctrine of the Word of God (P&R Publishing, 2010)
- The Doctrine of the Christian Life (P&R Publishing, 2008)
- Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology (P&R Publishing, 2006)
- Contributor to multiple reference volumes, including the New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (Inter-Varsity Press, 2006), Dictionary for the Theological Interpretation of the Bible (Baker Book House, 2005), Handbook of Evangelical Theologians (Baker Books, 1993), Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith (Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), the New Dictionary of Theology (Inter-Varsity Press, 1997) and Baker’s Dictionary of Christian Ethics (Baker Publishing Group, 1973)
- The Doctrine of God (P&R Publishing, 2002)
- No Other God: A Response to Open Theism (P&R Publishing, 2001)
- Contributor, Five Views on Apologetics (Zondervan, 2000)
- Contemporary Worship Music: A Biblical Defense (P&R Publishing, 1997)
- Worship in Spirit and Truth (P&R Publishing, 1996)
- Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought (P&R Publishing, 1995)
- Apologetics to the Glory of God (P&R Publishing, 1994)
- Evangelical Reunion: Denominations and the Body of Christ (Baker Publishing Group, 1991)
- Perspectives on the Word of God: An Introduction to Christian Ethics (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1990)
- Medical Ethics: Principles, Persons and Problems (P&R Publishing, 1989)
- The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (P&R Publishing, 1987)
- Van Til, The Theologian (Pilger Publishing House, 1976)
- “The Road to Generous Orthodoxy,” in Reformation & Revival 14:3 (2005), 97-105.
- “Salvation and Theological Pedagogy,” in Reformation & Revival 14:1 (2005), 57-70.
- “Johnson on Van Til: A Rejoiner,” in Evangelical Quarterly 76:3 (2004), 227-239.
- “Reply to Don Collett on Transcendental Argument,” Westminster Theological Journal65:2 (2003), 307-309.
- “Studying Theology as a Servant of Christ,” in Reformation & Revival 11:1 (2002), 45-69.
- “In Defense of Something Close to Biblicism: Reflections on Sola Scriptura and History in Theological Method,” in Westminster Theological Journal 59:2 (1997), 269-291.
- “Scripture and the Apologetic Task,” in Journal of Biblical Counseling 13:2 (1995), 9-12.
- “Van Til on Antithesis,” in Westminster Theological Journal 57:1 (1995), 81-102.
- “Men and Women in the Image of God,” in John Piper and Wayne Grudem, eds.,Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Wheaton: Crossway Books (1991), 228-236.
- “Christianity and Contemporary Epistemology,” in Westminster Theological Journal 52:1 (1990), 131-141.
- “Toward a Theology of the State,” in Westminster Theological Journal 51:2 (1989), 199-226.
We will now move onto the interview portion of this post:
Hello Dr. Frame,
Thank you for doing this interview with us. We are blessed by your service to God and His inspired, inerrant, infallible, and the sufficient Word of God. Here are some questions I have for you.
1) Just for the sake of clarity for our audience, what is the difference between inerrancy and infallibility? Different authors define these terms in different ways. I try to stick with the dictionary, in which either the two terms are synonymous, or infallibility is the stronger term. Inerrancy means there are no errors. Infallibility means that there can be no errors, that there is no possibility of error.
2) What role does hermeneutics play in our defense of inerrancy? Many objections to inerrancy are based on false interpretations of Scripture. That is, they are hermeneutical issues rather than issues of truthfulness.
3) What apologetic method is most biblical in defending inerrancy? Well, I’m a presuppositionalist, and I think that method is generally biblical. (See, for example, Cowan, ed., Five Views of Apologetics.) So I think it is the best method for debates about inerrancy, as well as debates about other aspects of the Christian faith. Presuppositionalism means being honest about the Christian’s ultimate criterion of truth, and showing that other proposed criteria collapse upon themselves. See, for example, my Apologetics to the Glory of God.
4) What are your thoughts on the Classical defense for inerrancy? The Classical defense of Scripture was published in the Expositor magazine; a publication of OnePassion Ministries. You are evidently referring to a particular article, and I don’t have time to look that up and evaluate it. When I think of “classical defense,” I think of Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley,Classical Apologetics. My replay to them can be found in several places, particularly www.frame-poythress.org. TheClassical book says that we should assume at the outset that Scripture is “generally reliable,” but not inerrant, then work from there. In brief, (1) the serious critics of inerrancy don’t believe the Bible is generally reliable. (2) The classicists fail to give an account of how general reliability can be assessed.
5) Does modern scholarship have any negative implications upon the doctrine of inerrancy? If you think modern scholarship (the anti-inerrantist part of modern scholarship) is completely trustworthy, then you cannot believe in inerrancy. But I think defenders of inerrancy have raised legitimate questions about these modern attempts to undermine inerrancy. See myDoctrine of the Word of God.
6) Are those who hold onto limited inerrancy, still evangelical? Some of them clearly are not, because they not only limit inerrancy but also deny many of Jesus’ miracles, the blood atonement, etc. Others limit inerrancy to “matters of faith and practice” but maintain belief in miracles, the blood atonement, the resurrection, etc. I think this view is inconsistent, and its view of biblical authority is less than the Bible claims for itself. But I don’t worry too much about labels. Many of these people try to follow an evangelical heritage. Evangelicalism does not have a precise definition, and if limited inerrantists want to adopt the term I have no strong objections.
7) What are the top three books you would recommend on the doctrine of inerrancy? Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible; Kline, The Structure of Biblical Authority; Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God.
8) Did you watch The Inerrancy Summit? If so, what is your analysis on it? Sorry, but I did not.
9) Why are seminaries and academicians who associate themselves in the evangelical circle, denying inerrancy? Because they want to be academically respectable, so they think they have to align themselves with the mainstream liberal positions. Of course, they have arguments for their positions, and those ought to be assessed.
10) Please let me know if I am missing any other questions that you think are pertinent for this interview. Well, there are many questions, that have filled many books. But I think the above questions are sufficient for this kind of format. As I see it, the main issue is that we should believe what the Bible teaches about itself, just as we must believe what the Bible says about any other doctrine.
John M. Frame
Read Full Post »