Item description for The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship) by John M. Frame...
Overview In keeping with the conviction that theology is the application of God's word to our lives in all situations, Frame combines trenchant analysis with practical insight and counsel for living in the knowledge of God.
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Studio: P & R Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.32" Width: 6.28" Height: 1.44" Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 1989
Publisher P & R Publishing
Series Theology of Lordship
ISBN 0875522629 ISBN13 9780875522623
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More About John M. Frame
John M. Frame (A.B., Princeton University; B.D., Westminster Theological Seminary; M.A. and M.Phil., Yale University; D.D., Belhaven College) holds the J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and is the author of many books, including the four-volume Theology of Lordship series.
John M. Frame was born in 1939.
John M. Frame has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship)?
knowing what we know, as revealed Apr 11, 2008
How do we know, that we know? Or better put, how do we begin to have any comprehension of the world that we know? For John Frame, a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, all knowledge, of ourselves, of the world around us and anything beyond, the starting point begins and ends with knowledge of God. As such, revelation, knowledge gained from outside our own perspective, given directly to us, must come, or most of what our attempts at knowledge are mere stabs in the dark.
This book is the result of years of teaching, and in fact, the book itself, written about twenty years ago, came about from a class on the Christian Mind. This is a deep and complex book. Many have said, including its author (!), that a great many of its readers will find use of it as primarily a reference book. But there are great truths to think and dwell upon, and yes, wrestle with, if the reader digs deeper.
A key concept expounded in this book is the concept of three perspectives - the rational, the situational and the experiential; with the idea that all forms of knowledge, that is that knowledge of the world, ourselves and God relates in an inter related triangle that are identical and interdependent. In other words they all rely on each other. In other words, while different, all ways that we know, rely on each other. It would be strange to many Christians to think that it is not first the Bible, or revealed revelation that rules knowledge. But Frame, really arguing from a very traditional Reformed stance, says that what you bring to understanding the Scriptures, your reason, your world that you live in and your personal contact with God that determines the way that Scripture rules in the lives of believers. Because Frame writes of a sovereign God, who reveals himself through people, and through nature, that man is in God's image and that nature declares God, that he cites a three way understanding for how we know, beginning with how God reveals himself to us.
Due to the first way of knowledge, God revealing himself to man, Frame cites the uses and abilities of tools of knowing: logic, language, history, science and philosophy, in service to a ruling and revealing God. He strongly believes that every man is a theologian and as a result wrestles with these questions every day, in every part of his life. Again, this is a deep book, but in many ways, it is just an introductory book for dealing with the idea of how do we know what we know, beginning with how God has revealed and continues to reveal himself to man.
If the reader is looking for a long term read dealing with aspects of God's rule over every area of his life, including the religious portion, this would be a fine place to start.
Easy Decision........ Feb 27, 2008
Stop thinking about it, enter your credit card number, and buy it now. This book may be a bit much for those just dabbling in Christianity, but for those who seek an eye opening perspective on seeking knowledge of God, this is absolutely an easy decision. But like I said, you kinda have to know you basic terms of systematic theology to be able to navigate this book, such as "epistemology" (the study of the knowledge). But don't worry, online dictionaries are sure to help your study of this fantastic book.
Biblical Epistemology Jun 16, 2007
In the preface, Frame says, "For many readers, this book will be a reference text. Few will bother to read it all the way through." I guess he said that because the book is rather large (404 pp). I wouldn't recommend only reading parts though. Frame has a fairly sustained argument through the whole book. This book is really a biblical epistemology, or biblical theory of knowledge with lots of info and analysis on theological and apologetical method. Frame brings a robust reformed theology to the issue of knowledge. In part one, Frame focuses on the objects of knowledge (God, law, world, selves, studies), part two with the justification of knowledge (rationalism, empiricism, subjectivism), and part three on the methods of knowledge (use of Scripture, tools of theology-language, logic, history, science, philosophy). Two of the appendices were on evaluating and writing theological writings. I believe that all readers (but especially pastors, theologians, and apologists) will profit from this book. My only critique would be that I am not as convinced as Dr. Frame that the abundance of triads, and perspectivalism is as helpful as he would like it to be. Quotes: "Rationalism recognizes a need for criteria, or standards; empiricism a need for objective, publicly knowable facts; and subjectivism a need for our beliefs to meet our own internal criteria. A Christan epistemology will recognize all of those concerns but will differ from the rationalist, empiricist, and subjectivist schools of thought in important ways. Most importantly, the Christan will recognize the lordship of God in the field of knowledge. God is sovereign, and He coordinates law, object, and subject, so that the three cohere; a true account of one will never conflict with a true account of the others." 123 "Our apologetics must be pervaded by a sense of Christ's lordship, and this demands diligent preparation so that we may be able to obey our Lord's Great Commission, being prepared to answer inquirers--not only with proclamation, but with answers and reasons. And it requires boldness so that we may take advantage of the these opportunities." 358
A Standard Introductory Treatment of Christian Epistemology Jun 14, 2007
As a former student of Dr Frame, I clearly arrive at a review of this book holding some favorable presuppositions. My hope is that despite my favorable personal experience with Frame and his theory of knowledge, this review will be substantive and not merely cheerleading or hero worship. I'm giving the book 5 stars even though I don't totally agree with Frame's approach, and even though I think his model can be improved upon. But as I will explain below, I do think Frame's perspectivalism has a great deal to commend it as an overall 'frame'work for a distinctively Christian epistemology that greatly helps us avoid harmful imbalance.
Frame presents his theory of knowledge in the context of 3 perspectives - the normative (rationalism), situational (empiricism), and existential (experiential). The normative perspective is the perspective dealing with laws or standards that essentially define a person's ultimate and final authority. For Frame, the normative perspective comes in the form of God as revealed in Scripture. Thus, as a Reformed theologian, Frame considers Scripture to be the final authority on matters of faith and practice. The situational perspective is that perspective which addresses our interaction with the world around us, including our interaction with tradition and history. The existential perspective is the perspective that addresses the self, our experiences, and how we process those experiences.
For Frame, each act of knowing involves all 3 perspectives. Each perspective informs the other. When Scripture asks us to consider the lilies of the field, it is impossible to know what this normative perspective is really telling us without knowing what a lily is, which is something derived from both the situational and existential perspectives. Similarly, one cannot truly know whether the taking of innocent life is wrong without having a normative authority that informs our thoughts and actions.
Frame's most important contribution in his theory of knowledge is that he urges a resistance to absolutizing any one perspective at the expense of the other two. This is absolutely critical. Frame correctly notes that the folly of secular philosophy has been that one preferred perspective is made King over the other two perspectives, and this results not only in imbalance, but in an inability for epistemology to reconcile all reality. Descartes made empiricism and existentialism bend the knee to rationalism. Hume made rationalism and existentialism bend the knee to empiricism. Sartre made rationalism and empiricism bend the knee to existentialism. Even Kant, who came close to a synthesis between rationalism and empiricism, greatly discounted the role of experience in our acquisition of knowledge. For Frame, each such example of imbalance places too much value on one perspective and too little value on the others, and this can't help but impact the quality of the knowledge we obtain.
I have found Frame's perspectivalism to be very helpful in its general framework. His perspectivalism is not limited to theological knowledge, but can be applied to fields such as apologetics, hermeneutics, preaching, counseling, parenting, and secular vocation. The reason I have found this to be true is because Frame's three perspectives effectively capture in a general way the main aspects of humanity and how we come to know things and go about knowing things. By keeping all 3 perspectives in balance, we begin to better understand what it is to be authentically human in all of our complexity. Philosophers are as guilty as anyone else in trying to take anthropological shortcuts to simplify who we are as humans in order to develop an approach to knowledge that accords with the human simplicity their approach demands. This sells a lot of books, but under Frame's approach, it's not that easy. Acquiring authentic knowledge involves grappling with all of the 3 main ways humans come to know things (thinking, feeling, and sensing). Under Frame's approach, all 3 approaches are valuable and essential, and none is denigrated or minimized in favor of some other preferred perspective. This approach challenges us to deal forthrightly with our own biases when it comes to knowledge. Are we the kind who says "I'll believe it when I see it" and really lives that way day to day? If so, Frame's approach insists on a more well rounded approach to knowledge. The same goes for those who think knowledge is primarily about logic and logical deduction ('all I need is the Bible'), or primarily about gaining knowledge through first-hand experience and existential introspection. All are valuable, all are essential. But they must be kept in balance.
Frame is helpful in arguing that all 3 perspectives on knowledge are endorsed throughout Scripture. Jesus regularly employed logical argumentation in his dialogue with the Pharisees. The role of sensory validation is also regularly affirmed (the Doubting Thomas story comes to mind). And much of Paul's theologizing about the 'old nature/new nature' comes not from logic or sense perception, but through an existential change brought about by conversion. Frame is also particularly helpful in his discussion of the relationshipt between human logic and theology. This section of his book should be required reading, especially in the Reformed tradition where logic and rationalism have sometimes been put on too high a pedestal.
It has been argued by some who are much smarter than I that Frame's approach is too introductory and lacks nuance and depth. I do think there is something to this criticism. I, for one, would expand Frame's model to make the point that while these 3 perspectives are interrelated and inform each other imperfectly and incompletely at the human level, these 3 perspectives perfectly reconcile in God. This means that instead of Frame's triangle, I would favor a pyramid. Particularly given the Christian understanding of man made in the image of God, it would seem to follow that these human perspectives on knowledge would have some purified and perfect applicability to the nature of God as well. It seems to me that there is tremendous potential to explore this further both in the field of Theology Proper and anthropology. Perhaps through such a study, Frame's general perspectival model can incorporate and speak to the issue of nuance in epistemology.
I recommend this book highly as a substantive starting point in one's journey in answering the age old question, "How do we know that we know?"
A Prequel to Theology Proper Dec 27, 2006
What do we know? On what basis do we know? How do we know? And more specifically, how do we have knowledge of God? These are the questions that are addressed in this book. One might mistakenly assume that such a title would actually relay information ABOUT God, but that is beyond the scope of this work. It serves instead as a prequel to Theology Proper, dealing with the more general questions of epistemology and the use of logic in coming to know God.
The framework of the book views the Bible from the varying perspective of a picture (the normative view in which the reader is given a system of doctrine to be studied and understood), a window (the situational view through which the reader looks to see the world as it is), and a mirror (the existential view in which one sees oneself).
Frame admits in his Preface that most owners of his book will not attempt to read through it, but that the penalty for being one of his students will be to undertake this task. As such, the book sometimes reads like an assigned textbook in which a captive audience is assumed.
I found the most useful portions of the work to be those places where the author departed from the general question of epistemology. For example, he reminds the reader that psychological interest in encouraging a "good self-image" has had some influence, I think, in a trend away from "miserable sinner" theology. It is becoming more evident that the New Testament does not call believers "sinners," even though it recognizes that they do sin (1 John 1:8-10). Even at their worst, Christians are saints of God -- washed, sanctified, and justified. Sin has no dominion over them. Thus older hymns in which saved people continue to confess that they are worms and wretches no longer seem as appropriate as they once were. This development has not come about as a "concession to secular psychology" but because of a rereading of Scripture in the light of questions raised by psychology" (Page 314-315). This was a refreshing change to the all-too common attitude taken by those Reformed ministers who are enamored with the Puritans and who preach the sort of "Worm Theology" described by Frame. His words serve as an excellent reminder to hold a Scriptural balance of truth in all things.
Frame admits that nearly all presuppositional apologists give lip service to evidence, but there is very little actual analysis of evidence in the presuppositionalist school of apologetics (Page 352). I've found this to be true in my own exposure to presuppositionalism.