Skip to main content

John Frame's Festschrift


Speaking the Truth in Love: the Theology of John M. Frame is now available. I must say that it is a true blessing to participate by contributing a chapter to this volume. My contribution is titled, "John Frame's Theology in the Present Cultural Context."

One reason why my involvement is meaningful to me is because there are three people who have influenced my ministry the most over the past 25 years. When I mention the three names, many people are stunned that one of them is John Frame. The other two, by the way, are the late Jack Miller, and Henry Krabbendam.

Now here's a real secret that I rarely tell anyone. Behind all three of these men is yet another figure who has influenced me even more than these; in fact, he did much to guide the thought of the three men mentioned above. He is Cornelius Van Til.

But focusing on the three, I would say that it is John Frame who did the most to fashion the way in which I think about ministry (Dr. Miller helped to put in me a zeal for evangelism and missions, and Dr. Krabbendam shaped the way in which I look for truth in the Bible).

John is not even aware of how he influenced me (of course, if he reads my chapter he may get a hint). It all started when he walked up to a group of us students who were sitting around getting to know each other, and asked, "What are you guys talking about?" One fellow responded, "We're discussing Cornelius Van Til." John said, "Everything Van Til ever said can be boiled down to two ideas: that all men undeniably know the truth. And that the only way to approach them is to pull the rug right out from under them."

I'll never forget that moment. Suddenly, everything came together. Graduating college with a music degree, and with no formal training in theology, made me quite nervous about attending Westminster Theological Seminary. It all seemed so overwhelming. But John's words were the perfect "hat rack" if you will, that helped me to place everything I was being exposed to, and rapidly, in its place.

From that moment, I began to see everything in my theological education in the light of his distilled interpretation of Van Til. Once I graduated seminary, and to this day, everything I have ever done in the ministry--whether preaching, teaching, evangelism, radio broadcasting, and writing, has been guided by the facts that all men know the truth but suppress it in their hearts (Romans 1).

Is it not amazing how just a few words meant in passing can have a lifelong impact on the life of a student? So it is with this recollection that I am more than glad to have participated in the "Fest."


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Andy Stanley and the “NEW Hermeneutic”

The problem of faith and reason is longstanding in the history of theology. Augustine held that faith aids reason (credo ut intelligam) and that reason aids faith (intelligo un creadam). The church father is, however, inclined to stress the later over the former. It was with Thomas Aquinas, and his Summa Theologica, that the effort to reconcile faith and reason reached its apex. Rejecting the medieval doctrine of double truth, he placed natural reason prior to faith in effectively every area of the Christian life. The restrictions are the mysteries of the faith that reason cannot penetrate.
Thomas’ affirmation of the high role of native reason in Christian belief is linked to his stress on dialectical method in study, seminally set forth by Peter Abelard. The form of study is dependent largely on logic to argue both sides of a theological question. Christian belief is thus the proper result of process or synthesis. Faith then assents to the final proposition arrived at by reason.
Thom…

Pat Robertson is Warned!

Pat Robertson is taking it on the chin again. Seems each time he opines on why bad things happen to us, there is someone to call him on it.
Most recently, Dr. Richard Mouw has taken up the challenge in response to Robertson's recent statement on the Las Vegas shooting, in which at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
In a piece, titled, "You've Been Warned, PatRobertson!" Mouw, for whom I have deep respect, pens,

"It didn’t take long for some preachers to start telling us why God caused the horrible mass murder in Las Vegas to happen. Pat Robertson led the way, declaring that it was divine retribution for the widespread 'disrespect' for Donald Trump in America."
If Robertson had limited his rationale for the Vegas shooting to God punishing us for people dissing the President, I'd be smacking him on the chin myself. But he didn't.
Robertson's brief remarks f…

Fighting Abortion is Not the Fourth Sign of the Church

Some Christians are what I call, “single-issue.” I recall one family that left a church because everything did not revolve around Evangelism Explosion. But that's just one issue.
The issue I'm thinking about is abortion on demand. Some concerned Christians expect their pastor to thunder away almost each week on this topic, or at least mention it. He must make it is his central motif. He must protest outside the abortion clinic. If he doesn’t, he can say he’s against abortion all he likes, but it’s not enough.
Motivating the single-issue congregant is a deeper judgment. He thinks that the ultimate reason abortion on demand still happens is because pastors let it. Churches let it.
As one who has taken a virulent stand against abortion, both in the pulpit and with pen, I can say without qualification, “I hate it.”  Period. I pray the day that Roe is overturned. Nonetheless, as a former pastor, an as one who may return to the pulpit someday, here’s the bottom line.
We are called to …