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"Systematic Theology" is the culmination and creative synthesis of John Frame's writing on, teaching about, and studying of the Word of God. This magisterial opus at once biblical, clear, cogent, readable, accessible, and practical summarizes the mature thought of one of the most important and original Reformed theologians of the last hundred years. It will enable you to s "Systematic Theology" is the culmination and creative synthesis of John Frame's writing on, teaching about, and studying of the Word of God. This magisterial opus at once biblical, clear, cogent, readable, accessible, and practical summarizes the mature thought of one of the most important and original Reformed theologians of the last hundred years. It will enable you to see clearly how the Bible explains God's great, sweeping plan for mankind.


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"Systematic Theology" is the culmination and creative synthesis of John Frame's writing on, teaching about, and studying of the Word of God. This magisterial opus at once biblical, clear, cogent, readable, accessible, and practical summarizes the mature thought of one of the most important and original Reformed theologians of the last hundred years. It will enable you to s "Systematic Theology" is the culmination and creative synthesis of John Frame's writing on, teaching about, and studying of the Word of God. This magisterial opus at once biblical, clear, cogent, readable, accessible, and practical summarizes the mature thought of one of the most important and original Reformed theologians of the last hundred years. It will enable you to see clearly how the Bible explains God's great, sweeping plan for mankind.

30 review for Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark Jr.

    When a systematic theology begins with a series of endorsements that are longer than certain other systematics, you know you’ve got either a goldmine or a naked emperor. I didn’t have to even touch the book before I knew I had the former, because Frame is a favorite of mine. He is biblical, above all else (I took it as a compliment when R. Scott Clark complained in his review that Frame is "more ‘biblicist' than confessionalist"). Fr When a systematic theology begins with a series of endorsements that are longer than certain other systematics, you know you’ve got either a goldmine or a naked emperor. I didn’t have to even touch the book before I knew I had the former, because Frame is a favorite of mine. He is biblical, above all else (I took it as a compliment when R. Scott Clark complained in his review that Frame is "more ‘biblicist' than confessionalist"). Frame is self-consciously Reformed while feeling free to prod his tradition when it becomes doctrinaire or semantically pedantic (like his discussion of the use the words author, cause, permit, etc. on pp. 294ff.). It is precisely Frame’s care with words that often endears me to him; in a field in which definition of terms is extremely important and much-discussed, Frame is a rarity: a theologian who maintains a keen sensitivity to the principles of descriptive linguistics. He’s also a great writer, so clear and simple. Now, I didn’t have to read all 1,000 pages to write a review—did I? Does anyone really expect that? I wish I could deliver, of course. Some day I may. But systematics are meant to be dipped into, not, generally speaking, devoured like a 52-course meal. So that’s what I did. I read the problem of evil section, and it was classic Frame. Utterly clear and simple, really. Carefully and frequently biblical. And, by the end, triperspectival. If you, like one reviewer, count yourself among those who just don’t find Frame’s three perspectives helpful—if you find them arbitrary or even confusing—then I still don’t think you’ll mind. You might scratch your head, like I do when I read books full of alliteration or acronyms. But the idiosyncratic (well, Frame’s buddy Poythress uses it, too) terminology of the “normative," “situational," and “existential" will not obscure the real substance of the discussions. I found that substance in other places I dipped, too. His discussion of the means of grace employed his three perspectives (fellowship, word, prayer) helpfully (1047ff.). Those perspectives also illuminated his discussion of the image of God (786ff.). And I could hardly see a page in which he didn’t cite and quote Scripture extensively. As in the Ten Commandments section in his  Doctrine of the Christian Life , Frame appeals regularly to the Westminster Standards. This alone may cause readers in my own segment of Christianity to suspect his biblicism. But everywhere you will see him use those standards as a help (he’s persuaded me fully that they are) and not an authority over Scripture. He’s willing to point to areas of weakness in the confession (866-867). The things I’ve always disliked about Frame are present: his totally uncharacteristic uncharitableness whenever Westminster West comes up, his unwarranted charitableness toward Norman Shepherd’s "Auburn Avenue” theology (974–975), and I can’t decide how critical to be of his evenhandedness with C. John Collins’ position on the historicity of Adam and Eve (806—Frame himself does not take Collins’ view). Also, his coverage does seem a little odd, making you wonder if this ST was a little rushed or borrowed too heavily from past work—Christology gets 46 pages, for example, compared to 178 for bibliology and 75 for epistemology. As I flipped through the book, on every page I turned to I recognized Framean themes I’ve read in him before; I can’t say how much here is helpfully new. Other reviewers have complained about these things here and there. But other reviewers have also concluded what I did: these are minor points in a massive, and massively helpful—at least everywhere I looked—systematic. It has a good glossary of Framean terms as well as a good bibliography, and helpful topical and Scripture indices. He also presents all his triads in a helpful chart form. Frame genuflects toward more structured and lay-friendly systematics like that of Wayne Grudem by including study questions, key terms, memory verses, and a brief bibliography at the end of each chapter. These sections felt a little half-hearted to me, tacked on. Nonetheless, I think Frame’s ST could be as good a read as Grudem for a lay Bible study. It was not the purpose of this review to engage in detailed discussion of points of disagreement, or even to mention them all (if I were even qualified to do so), but merely to alert you to a valuable resource which I do think belongs on your shelf. Or maybe your desk.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Before I started reading this book I had never heard of John Frame nor had I delved very deeply into Reform Theology. Frankly when I noticed that the book had 1275 pages I thought “Good grief, 1275 pages of dull, boring, reading.” I wondered if I should put it farther back in my “to-be-reviewed” list and take some of the shorter ones first. However, after reading a few pages, I knew I had to read this book now, not later. The author has an easy style of writing and a way of making complicated th Before I started reading this book I had never heard of John Frame nor had I delved very deeply into Reform Theology. Frankly when I noticed that the book had 1275 pages I thought “Good grief, 1275 pages of dull, boring, reading.” I wondered if I should put it farther back in my “to-be-reviewed” list and take some of the shorter ones first. However, after reading a few pages, I knew I had to read this book now, not later. The author has an easy style of writing and a way of making complicated theological concepts simple enough for anyone to understand. You might expect a really good novel or adventure story to draw you in after just a few pages – but a systematic theology? Well, it did and the pages just flew by. I want to quote some of the author’s introductory remarks so you can see where he is coming from and what his basic purpose is for writing this systematic theology. “In Christianity the study of God is a study of God’s revelation of himself. Theology must be essentially a study of Scripture. It should not be defined as an analysis of human religions. consciousness, or feelings. The theologian states the facts and truths of Scripture for the purpose of edification. Those truths are stated NOT for their own sake, but to build up people in Christian faith. In this way, we align the concept of theology with the concepts of teaching and preaching in the New Testament. To apply Scripture is to use Scripture to meet a human need, to answer a human question, or to make a human decision. Questions about the test of Scripture, translations, interpretation, ethics, Christian growth – all these are fair game for theology. To show (by word or deed) how Scripture resolves all these kinds of questions is to apply it. So I offer my definition of theology: theology is the application of Scripture, by persons, to every area of life. Why, then, do we need theology in addition to Scripture? The only answer, I believe, is because we need to apply Scripture to life.” “I think that theology today has become preoccupied with auxiliary secular disciplines (psychology, sociology, politics, economics, philosophy, literary criticism, and the natural sciences) to the extent of neglecting its primary responsibility: to apply Scripture itself. Theological literature today is focused, especially, on history of doctrine and contemporary thought. Often this literature deals with theological questions by comparing various thinkers from the past and from the present, with a very minimal interaction with Scripture itself. I cannot help but mention my conviction that this problem is partly the result of our present system for training theologians. To quality for college or seminary positions, a theologian must earn a Ph.D., ideally from a prestigious liberal university. But at such schools, there is no training in the kind of systematic theology that I describe here. Liberal university theologians do not view Scripture as God’s Word, and so they cannot encourage theology as I have defined it, the application of God’s infallible Word. For them, one cannot be a respectable scholar unless he thinks autonomously, that is, rejecting the supreme authority of Scripture.” I agree with every thing quoted above. If fact, I agree with most of the book. However, there are two areas where I totally disagree with the author. The first area is predestination. Predestination is a belief that of all the humans who have ever existed, only the “elect” will be saved. The elect is group of people who were chosen before the creation of the world to be saved. All others will be lost and suffer eternal punishment. The author gives what he considers Scriptural support for the belief, but I am not convinced. I think the Bible, in its entirety supports the fact that salvation is offered to all with each having the free will to choose. The other disagreement I have is with his view of the end times. He believes the amillennial position and I believe the premillennial position. The author states “the amillennial position believes that the millennium is right now, the whole period from Jesus’ ascension to his return. It emphasizes that the resurrection and ascension of Jesus ushered in a new era of world history. Jesus has now achieved a great victory over Satan, sin, and death and although we don’t see all the effects of that victory now, it is certainly real. It is, perhaps, hard for us to imagine that right now Satan is “bound” (Rev. 20:2), sealed in a bottomless pit, but it certainly is the case that his power is weakened.” In my personal view, Satan is not weakened, if anything he is stronger and more active than ever. The premillennial position, which I believe, says that Christ comes back before the millennium. Except for these two positions, I do recommend this book. John Frame believes in a literal interpretation of Scripture and he believes that Scripture should be applied to our lives, as Jesus intended. If you are looking for a systematic theology that is presented from the Reform viewpoint, this is one you will want to add to your library. I was provided a free copy of this book for review from P & R Publishing. I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    This is the first Systematic Theology I've read. It is a bit daunting to undertake reading a Systematic Theology as they're are essentially text books, and are consequently very long and generally not very enticing unless you're assigned the book in seminary. But seeing this release last year, I was very excited, as I hold John Frame in high esteem, and knew this would be worth the undertaking. Now, a year later, I am glad to have read this work. Frame is one of the contemporary champ This is the first Systematic Theology I've read. It is a bit daunting to undertake reading a Systematic Theology as they're are essentially text books, and are consequently very long and generally not very enticing unless you're assigned the book in seminary. But seeing this release last year, I was very excited, as I hold John Frame in high esteem, and knew this would be worth the undertaking. Now, a year later, I am glad to have read this work. Frame is one of the contemporary champions of presuppositional apologetics and the intellectual heir of Cornelius Van Til. Considering how Van Til is ignored by most within evangelicalism, I immediately recognized the importance of Frame's Systematics. Frame's primary thesis is the Lordship of Christ in all of life--particularly epistemology. If Christ is not Lord of our understanding, if we synthesize human philosophy with Christian theology, not only will our theology suffer, but our lives will suffer because we remain beholden to the idols of human autonomy. So from the beginning, Frame seeks to control our theology according to the Word of God. He holds Scripture up highly and submits to its teaching, despite his nature desiring to reject it. He expresses these doubts several times throughout the volume--perhaps most notably in the Bible's teaching on Hell. But he is clear on this--the Bible teaches on the eternal suffering of the damned, and God is just, therefore he--and we, must hold firmly to this doctrine, despite our fleshly rejection of it. Under this rubric, Frame rejects the law/gospel distinction that is so prevalent in our day. He views it as a sub-biblical teaching that confuses what the gospel is. The gospel is not only good news, but the supremacy of God's law over all others. If Christ is King, his law is supreme. Yet Frame is also equally clear here, that we are not saved by works, but faith. We are saved for works. We must obey. This is where Frame's perspectivalism is so helpful and so critical to understanding the Scriptures. Theologians are so quick to put doctrines in opposition, or competition with one another. This is not a biblical view. Instead, Frame offers the view that each teaching has three perspectives--the normative, the existential, and the situational. They are not in competition, but just a perspective. These three perspectives offer greater understanding to men, because our perspectives and knowledge is limited. We are finite creatures and unable to comprehend the fullness of God. So we must seek to understand God, and his teachings from his Word, our own perspective, and that which is most satisfying to a believing heart. The tri-unity of these perspectives will bring us closer to the truth of any matter. Contrary to his critics, this is not postmodern subjectivity, but a holistic understanding of the world. It puts balance to any teaching--not stressing one thing over another. These "triads", as Frame calls them, are throughout the book and show how all of life is Trinitarian in nature. I wasn't surprised by much of anything in this book, perhaps only Frame's humility. He isn't dogmatic on some of the more controversial doctrines that divide, instead, choosing to acknowledge the Bible isn't as clear on many teachings as we would like it to be. For example, eschatologically, he leans toward postmillenialism, but isn't dogmatic on it. The book is long, yes, but most of the chapters aren't more than ten or fifteen pages long. You can, as I did, chip away at this slowly. Read a chapter or two at a time and you will be edified and grow in your understanding of the Bible and have a firmer grasp on how to apply its teachings to your life. This is a rich resource for the church and I commend it to all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    John M. Frame holds the J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Frame received degrees from Princeton University, Yale University, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He is widely recognized by his peers as one of the greatest theological minds of our age, and arguably the most important Reformed thinker of the last century. Frame is the author of many books, including A History of Western Philosophy and Theology, Theology John M. Frame holds the J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Frame received degrees from Princeton University, Yale University, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He is widely recognized by his peers as one of the greatest theological minds of our age, and arguably the most important Reformed thinker of the last century. Frame is the author of many books, including A History of Western Philosophy and Theology, Theology in Three Dimensions: A Guide to Triperspectivalism and Its Significance, and the 4-volume A Theology of Lordship series. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief is the culmination and synthesis of many years of writing on, teaching about, and studying of the Bible. Frame is known for being biblical, clear, cogent, readable, accessible, and practical, and Systematic Theology summarizes the mature thought of one the most important Reformed theologians of the last hundred years. Frame's contribution to the Reformed tradition is already massive, but his Systematic Theology uniquely represents a lifetime of dedicated and distilled theological thinking and service to the next generation. Systematic Theology is over 1100 pages and separated into twelve parts, most of which should be self-evident and expected for students of systematic theology: (1) Introduction to Systematic Theology, (2) the Biblical Story, (3) the Doctrine of God, (4) the Doctrine of the Word of God, (5) the Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, (6) the Doctrine of Angels and Demons, (7) the Doctrine of Man, (8) the Doctrine of Christ, (9) the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, (10) the Doctrine of the Church, (11) the Doctrine of the Last Things, and (12) the Doctrine of the Christian Life. Many readers are likely familiar with Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem and Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson. Frame's Systematic Theology runs in a similar vein as Grudem and Erickson in terms of scope. However, Frame is set apart from these two popular works in his innovative and eccentric approach to the task of theology, balanced with the unparalleled clarity of his arguments, extensive use of Scripture, and his unique capacity to critically engage with unbelief. Not that Grudem and Erickson lack clarity. But, Frame has a distinct way of making an argument observable for the reader before connecting it to the Christian life. Frame is also known for his multiperspectivalism approach, and his Systematic Theology is saturated with examples outworking of such application. Where Frame's Systematic Theology is prone to shortcoming is the manifest unevenness of the works content. Nearly half of the book is devoted to parts three, four, and five-doctrine of God, the Word of God, and the knowledge of God. This is somewhat understandable given the scope of Frame's literary corpus and the amount of material that he's written on those three subjects already, but it leaves little room for the reader to explore Frame's thoughts on other theological matters. Additionally, while Frame is both clear and accessible for all readers, those less familiar with the arena of systematic theology or Frame's multiperspectival approach may get lost in the details. If this is a concern, I would recommend readers start with Frame's recently published Theology in Three Dimensions: A Guide to Triperspectivalism and Its Significance as a primer. It will provide a framework for better grasping the riches found here. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief by John M. Frame is a monumental achievement that deserves every bit of praise seen since its publication. It's hard to call this Frame's magnum opus given the size and impact of the 4-volume A Lordship Theology, but Systematic Theology certainly does contend for such position due to its distilled content and scope. If you're looking for a systematic theology that contends for shelf space and frequent use, then Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief comes highly recommended. It's the concentrated work of one of the greatest Reformed thinkers of the past hundred years. What more needs to be said? It should be on the shelf of every serious student of theology.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zach McDonald

    I hope to write a thorough review for my blog later, but for now it is enough to say that this is one of my favorite Systematic Theologies. It is practical and it is informative. It is an easy enough read for everyday readers, yet it is challenging enough for a theologian to enjoy. I am assuming the latter since I fall somewhere in between. There were places where I wish Frame would have went more in depth. But the work is already 1,200 pages long so. . . . he had to stop somewhere. The best par I hope to write a thorough review for my blog later, but for now it is enough to say that this is one of my favorite Systematic Theologies. It is practical and it is informative. It is an easy enough read for everyday readers, yet it is challenging enough for a theologian to enjoy. I am assuming the latter since I fall somewhere in between. There were places where I wish Frame would have went more in depth. But the work is already 1,200 pages long so. . . . he had to stop somewhere. The best part about this work is how practical, worshipful, and interactive it is. One almost feels as if you are seated one on one with Frame listening to him explain to you how doctrine X is biblical, applies to your life, and glorifies God.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Excellent. Having loved Frame's Lordship series, I was looking forward to this systematic work. My only overall critique is that the work is imbalanced, treating more thoroughly those areas covered in the Lordship series than those which are not.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luis Dizon

    There have been many Systematic Theologies that have been published in the past two centuries dealing with the great themes of Christian theology from various angles and viewpoints, from classics such as Hodge's three-volume Systematic Theology and Herman Bavinck's four-volume Reformed Dogmatics to more recent single-volume works such as Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and Millard Erickson's Christian Theology. So why recommend this particular systematic theology? Well, for those w There have been many Systematic Theologies that have been published in the past two centuries dealing with the great themes of Christian theology from various angles and viewpoints, from classics such as Hodge's three-volume Systematic Theology and Herman Bavinck's four-volume Reformed Dogmatics to more recent single-volume works such as Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and Millard Erickson's Christian Theology. So why recommend this particular systematic theology? Well, for those who are familiar with John Frame's work, he has published tremendously on various aspects of theology, philosophy and apologetics over the years. He has been instrumental in simplifying and popularizing Van Til's presuppositional method of apologetics through Apologetics to the Glory of God. He has also provided one of the most comprehensive treatment of Christian ethics in Doctrine of the Christian Life, which is part of his multi-volume Theology of Lordship series (with the combined length of the whole series being over 3,000 pages long). Anyone who has read these other writings of Frame knows that he is a very meticulous scholar who manages to combine both combine both solid biblical exegesis and an astute knowledge of philosophy, which is a rare combination in this day and age. At around 1,200 pages, much of what is found in Frame's Systematic Theology is a more concise treatment of what can be found in the Theology of Lordship series. While it covers the kind of topics covered in more traditional systematic theologies, Frame also covers topics that normally fall under the purview of philosophical theology, such as epistemology (in his chapters of the knowledge of God and its relation to man) and ethics (in his chapter on the Christian life). Of particular note is his discussion of the Doctrine of God, which is 16 chapters long, making it perhaps one of the most comprehensive treatments of God's nature and attributes of any single-volume Systematic Theology. Despite the daunting length and nature of the book, it is actually not that hard to read. Frame writes in a manner that is quite approachable, and is careful to define terms so that the reader is not lost in a jungle of theological jargon. After all, as the subtitle notes, this is an introduction to Christian belief. Thus, I would recommend this work not only to pastors and theologians, but to ordinary laypersons as well, as the work is designed in such a way as to be edifying to Christians as a whole.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    How does one review a systematic theology by one of the leading minds of the evangelical world? How does one summarize the thoughts of a 1,100 page book that towers with truth; a book that takes readers to the top of the theological mountain? Anyone who attempts to read and devour Systematic Theology by John Frame will be faced with such questions. Indeed, while the oxygen is scarce at the top of this theological peak, readers will be delighted to enjoy the view that Dr. Frame presents. As one m How does one review a systematic theology by one of the leading minds of the evangelical world? How does one summarize the thoughts of a 1,100 page book that towers with truth; a book that takes readers to the top of the theological mountain? Anyone who attempts to read and devour Systematic Theology by John Frame will be faced with such questions. Indeed, while the oxygen is scarce at the top of this theological peak, readers will be delighted to enjoy the view that Dr. Frame presents. As one might expect, every branch of systematic theology is explored. The author invites readers on a journey which introduces them to God who relates to creatures as their covenant Lord. The three lordship attributes are articulated throughout the book - control, authority, and presence. Several thoughts help capture the essence of this incredible book. While some will be repelled by such thoughts, my hope is that a majority of readers will be motivated and inspired to pick up Dr. Frame's work. Systematic theology is God-Centered Systematic theology is Scripture-soaked Systematic theology is unashamedly Calvinistic Systematic theology is conservative Systematic theology exposes liberal scholarship and lays bare its erroneous presuppositions Systematic theology is biblical Systematic theology is mind-penetrating Systematic theology is heart-softening Systematic theology is personal Systematic theology leads readers to worship God I highly recommend John Frame's Systematic theology. I can't think of any other writer who is influenced my thinking outside of Jonathan Edwards himself. This work is a true labor of love, a gift to the church, and a tool that will sharpen the minds of Christ-followers and serve as a heart-tenderizer for many years to come! www.baldreformer.wordpress.com 5 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steve Hemmeke

    Tri-Perspectivalism There’s a bulky, unwieldy word to start a book review with. It sums up Frame’s approach to Systematic Theology. Pick any topic, and Frame can in some way relate it to the triad with three perspectives. At the top point is the perspective of authority. God decrees, commands, defines right and wrong as the Creator God. At the left point is the perspective of control. God providentially sets the situation, puts us in the Garden or on this earth, tells us the story of Tri-Perspectivalism There’s a bulky, unwieldy word to start a book review with. It sums up Frame’s approach to Systematic Theology. Pick any topic, and Frame can in some way relate it to the triad with three perspectives. At the top point is the perspective of authority. God decrees, commands, defines right and wrong as the Creator God. At the left point is the perspective of control. God providentially sets the situation, puts us in the Garden or on this earth, tells us the story of redemption. And at the right point of the triangle is the perspective of presence. God indwells us by His Spirit, has us experience and feel events (situational perspective) and truths (normative perspective). Frame spends about 2/3 of these 1100 pages on the doctrine of God, teasing out philosophical nuances, so if you’re looking for an even treatment of each topic of theology, this is not it. What it is, is a systematizing of Cornelius Van Til’s pre-suppositional thought into most heads of theology, which was well worth the time. There were a few chapters toward the end where Frame didn’t seem to have much to contribute, and was simply passing on Reformed teaching, mainly from the Westminster confession. But for anyone with an interest in Van Til, this is worth the read. One key theme from him is the Lordship of the Tri-une God. He determines everything about our existence – that we have the senses we do (existential perspective), the world we are in (situational p.), and the logical and moral immutable truths at work in His universe (normative). Frame begins and ends the book with an emphasis that theology must be applied to life for it to fulfill its purpose. He often accomplishes this (though not always!) applying even esoteric subjects to life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Subtitling a tome this huge An Introduction to Christian Belief would be ridiculous, if not for the fact that it was written by John Frame. In the beginning, he defines theology as "the application of Scripture, by persons, to every area of life." (pg. 8), and insists that the primary difference between theology and Scripture itself is that "theologians state the facts and truths of Scripture for the purpose of edification." (emphasis his, pg. 6). He later comments that too many theologians write like grad student Subtitling a tome this huge An Introduction to Christian Belief would be ridiculous, if not for the fact that it was written by John Frame. In the beginning, he defines theology as "the application of Scripture, by persons, to every area of life." (pg. 8), and insists that the primary difference between theology and Scripture itself is that "theologians state the facts and truths of Scripture for the purpose of edification." (emphasis his, pg. 6). He later comments that too many theologians write like grad students (descriptively), and not normatively as Christians. (pg. 10)* As such, he spends most of his time focused on Scripture and spend less time on the academic or historical debates on which some systematic theologies major. The result is that the reader is invited to a rich, fifty-two session Bible study with John Frame. Where he really shines is in reformulating and thereby forcing you to re-encounter all of those "duh, let's move on to the complex stuff" biblical doctrines which are the true foundation of the Christian faith. And as always, Frame is wonderfully clear, full of humility, and uncommonly wise. In one sense, it's really a pity that the book is academically sized, because it really is written in such a way that the average, rank and file Christian (such as myself) can benefit just as much from it as the seminary student. Notably grand were his sections on the problem of evil, epistemology, the task of the church, and ethics. Seriously, this book is worth the time investment. Just take it chapter by chapter and you'll be fine. *To quote Screwtape on learning/studying according to the Historical Point of View: "The one question he never asks is whether it is true." (Letter 27)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Achord

    Frame is a careful and clear writer. He demonstrates originality of thought and composition of ideas in his work. I appreciated his integration of theology into the context of life-application, as well as his handling of relevant theological issues and his charitable engagement with those whom he disagrees. His writing style instructs the budding theologian how to engage in theology. The stated theme of his systematic was that “God relates to creatures as their covenant Lord. We can describe thi Frame is a careful and clear writer. He demonstrates originality of thought and composition of ideas in his work. I appreciated his integration of theology into the context of life-application, as well as his handling of relevant theological issues and his charitable engagement with those whom he disagrees. His writing style instructs the budding theologian how to engage in theology. The stated theme of his systematic was that “God relates to creatures as their covenant Lord. We can describe this relationship in terms of the three lordship attributes: control, authority, and presence.” Frame displays and defends this theme throughout the book. And although the chapters are stuffed with bibliographic information and helpful questions for students, I would not recommend this text for a standard class on systematics. However, I would recommend it for those already familiar with various issues yet who are wishing to dive in a little deeper. A few critiques: Frame does become technical, involved, and meandering at times. His language is parsed on points I would rather have seen him come down on; but this admittedly is preference. His use of triangles and rectangles as illustrations only served to confuse me; neither did I find them helpful for memorization. None of this detracts from the work, which I find to be the culmination of deep learning and great wisdom. I see myself referring to it again and again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David

    I really didn't want to like this book (or buy another systematic theology for that matter). That said, I was quite pleasantly surprised. I admit upfront that I didn't read the book cover-to-cover; many systematic books work better as references. I suspect I will keep coming back to this book for years to come. The good: Frame is great on the sacraments and baptism. He advocates strongly for Calvin's view of the Table as the spiritual presence of Christ. This view strikes a nice mediu I really didn't want to like this book (or buy another systematic theology for that matter). That said, I was quite pleasantly surprised. I admit upfront that I didn't read the book cover-to-cover; many systematic books work better as references. I suspect I will keep coming back to this book for years to come. The good: Frame is great on the sacraments and baptism. He advocates strongly for Calvin's view of the Table as the spiritual presence of Christ. This view strikes a nice medium between transubstantiation and Zwinglian "mere" memorialism. He is also pro-choice on baptism; Frame wishes (as I do) that credobaptists and pedobaptists could do church charitably together and keep baptism as adiaphora both in subject (ie who is baptized) and method (eg sprinkling, pouring, or immersion). The bad: I'm a natural law thinker. That means most treatments of natural revelation in the Van Tillian tradition are distasteful to me. Frame is no different. I am not convinced as he is that Lordship is the primary schema through which we should understand God. I would prefer to think of sovereignty as an aspect of God's character (alongside love, justice, mercy, graciousness, omniscience, being, etc.) that is infinite alongside all of his other attributes. This simple yet important disagreement has a lot of implications. All in all, I really like Frame's writing and his biblical insights are good, in spite of serious disagreements.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Frame’s ST is a cleansing breath of fresh theological air! I’ve shared this with John before, but I’m always impressed at how much better he gets at streamlining and sharpening his theological ideas to a fine point each time he repeats them. This struck me when DCL was first released. In the opening chapters of the book there’s a decent amount of review of concepts from DKG (written in the mid 1980s) but they were clearer and as a result more cogent and powerfully presented. Well, in ST Frame ha Frame’s ST is a cleansing breath of fresh theological air! I’ve shared this with John before, but I’m always impressed at how much better he gets at streamlining and sharpening his theological ideas to a fine point each time he repeats them. This struck me when DCL was first released. In the opening chapters of the book there’s a decent amount of review of concepts from DKG (written in the mid 1980s) but they were clearer and as a result more cogent and powerfully presented. Well, in ST Frame has done it again! I’m also glad that there are so many more visuals in ST. As both a former student and TA of John’s I can testify to the great help that comes from charts and visual summaries. As John himself would have us recognize, each ST comes from its own perspective. Sometimes these perspectives can hide truths that ought to be seen, but many times they enable the theologian to shed light on the truth they’re writing about. John’s theological acumen, philosophical subtly, and apologetic concerns allow his ST to see things that others miss. If you can only pick up a single systematic theology and are looking for clarity, cogency, and profundity this is the book for you!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marco

    This was an amazing anthology of Frames work. I plan on reading the complete lordship series, however, much of the material is taken from Frames previous work. One problem with the book was the triads. Not that I have any problems with them, they are in fact helpful, but without understanding Frames idea of knowledge till the 4th section made it difficult. The organization , I believe, could be arranged better. I only say this because of my lack of understanding multiperspectivism. For future re This was an amazing anthology of Frames work. I plan on reading the complete lordship series, however, much of the material is taken from Frames previous work. One problem with the book was the triads. Not that I have any problems with them, they are in fact helpful, but without understanding Frames idea of knowledge till the 4th section made it difficult. The organization , I believe, could be arranged better. I only say this because of my lack of understanding multiperspectivism. For future readers, consider starting there first. It will help with the triads.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacob O'connor

    Time would not allow me to give this book my full attention. I promise to reference it in the future. John Frame has been one of my heroes ever since I listened to his apologetics course through iTunes U. The older I get, the more conservative my theology gets. I’m not quite “reformed”, but theologians like Frame present a very strong case. To make matters worse, right now I'm studying John Calvin. I feel like I'm getting jumped into a gang.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richard Klueg

    It is good to read through a Systematic Theology every once in a while to keep oneself exposed to all aspects of Christian doctrine, and to refresh one's convictions by exposure to another man's perspective. I like John Frame's work very much, and as I expected, this treatment is very biblical. He completely misses it on baptism, but so did John Calvin, so I suppose we can overlook that. I specially appreciated his section on the Trinity.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dbradd

    Favorite. Perspectivalism is the lens I see a lot of theology through. Drives the reader back to Scripture and back to the Lordship of God. Frame is a creative thinker and this volume makes much of his prior work accessibly short... even though this is a large book. A great reference to throw against Grudem's Systematic Theology. A bit more grounded within a understood theological framework. Reformed, but definitely not stuffy or angry.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adam Smith

    So far it's really good. I am on chapter 2 right now. Frame recycles some of the same material he used in his lordship series, especially in his DKG book. We'll see how it is. It's not going to be in depth, but will touxch on a variety of theological subjects.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Wow! 1280 pages and it leaves you wanting more! Next stop, Dr. Frame's 4-part Lordship series. I'll also want to re-read parts of this volume very, very soon. Devotional as well as academic. And I love the fact that Dr. Frame admits there are some questions he cannot answer.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carter Johnson

    Clear and incredibly charitable...a "must-own" for doctrinally-minded believers. Frame, however, can be annoying in that he refuses to take up theological labels, and often apologizes for it when he does.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Goldstein

    This is the cream of the crop of Systematic Theologies.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Williams

    Excellent introduction to the Christian faith from a tri-perspective view.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Doug Payne

    Get used to triangles and triperspectivalism. It is real good though.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mike E.

    Clear. Reformed. Cessationist (not my view). Practical. Helpful study questions.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cody Nesbitt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tristan Ertel

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brad Flood

  29. 4 out of 5

    David

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pastor Kiyle

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