Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New appreciation: John Frame

For years I've seen the name "John Frame" off and on, associated with theology. I was intrigued by some of his titles (The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God; Salvation Belongs to the Lord, and so on). But I never read anything by him.

Then I stumbled on some of his courses via Reformed Theological Seminary via iTunes U. Among many valuable courses, RTS offers courses in Pastoral and Social Ethics, and Christian Apologetics, both by John Frame. I have audited both, and found both to be thoroughly enjoyable, stimulating, informative, and thought-provoking. Frame sounds like a wonderful teacher — and now his books are on my ever lengthening (never-shortening) list.

What I appreciate about Frame is that he obviously has thought long, seriously, and hard about these issues, and he opens them right up for thoughtful reflection. I didn't always agree with him, but always was the better for the listen.

Further, Frame doesn't come across with an axe to grind. He's able (for instance) to admire Cornelius van Til and Gordon Clark both immensely, and find them largely persuasive, yet is free to discuss weaknesses in their presentation and emphases. His is a very winsome and persuasive van Tilianism, all the more because one doesn't feel that he's out to badger anyone into becoming a van Tilian: he simply found it most compelling, and sets about to explain why. I don't know how to say it better than this: he comes across as deeply doctrinal without being doctrinaire.

Meanwhile, look at this website, which features works online by both Frame and Vern Poythress. In particular, since I've offered y'all a number of movie reviews, notice the subhead on this page titled "Theology at the Movies." Frame reviews and reflects on a number of movies from years past.

Any Frame fans in the audience?

28 comments:

Kim said...

I am not a fan.... yet....

However, I, too have heard his name a lot and I've thumbed through his books at my favourite Christian bookstore on more than one occasion, wondering about getting them.

I think I may have to add to my ever lengthening (never shortening) book list,too.

Angie B. said...

Thanks for the link--I LOVED the movie reviews.

Rob Mellen Jr. said...

I met John Frame when he was a professor of theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido. I spent a week with the faculty there when I was considering going into the ministry (or at least getting my M. Div.). Dr. Frame is definitely an interesting guy and extremely bright. He inspired me to read his book The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God during spring break in Scottsdale in 1992. Holy cow! That might be the most difficult book I've ever read outside of some of Geerhardus Vos' stuff! I'm not a philosophy person and I run from the stuff whenever I can and that book is filled with it!!! Glad you have discovered the magnificent Dr. Frame!!!

Tom Chantry said...

I was a student of Frame's at Escondido. He is a kind and godly man. However...

...Opponents of Van Til have long tried to paint him as a relativist. Van Til was not a relativist, but the case can be made much more forcefully of Frame's VanTilian construct. I do not believe he is consciously or intentionally a relativist, but his epistemological approach amounts to a tacit acceptance of relativism.

Frame's students are always big fans for the first year or so. Once you begin understanding "Tri-Perspectivalism" a little more, though, your opinion might shift. It is arguable that Frame will be the man to bring Westminster down - even though he is no longer there. It is proving hard to hold the Tri-Perspectivalists to any solid theological positions; everything is a matter of how you look at it.

gcb620 said...

Frame’s Lordship series is must read (the 2nd installment, Doctrine of God, won the Medallion Award in 2003).

In the best tradition of the Reformation, where the Reformed church keeps reforming, John Frame’s legacy to me is that he humbly approaches theology not simply or even primarily as simply restating old (unchanging) truths, but intentionally recasting and shaping those truths in a way that is mindful of the milieu of the day.

This approach, where theology must have fresh application, can be seen best in his development of what he calls multi-perspectivalism (or tri-perspectalism) or the idea that all knowledge is intrinsically an interplay of a standard, person and situation. The history of philosophy and it’s epistemic crisis, according to Frame, is basically because men – apart from Christ – always seek to deify one element of knowledge without understanding the dependencies of the other two.

Frame therefore, building on his hero CVT, presses for a fresh understanding of knowledge as having (3) mutually dependent facets: the normative, existential and empirical perspective. Only the Christian worldview can provide the necessary preconditions of intelligibility (or knowledge) because ONLY the Christian Worldview does not arrogate any one facet of the knowing process.

It’s been over 20 years now, but His DKG broke new theological ground in 1987 daring to make this application, but I think a patient student will find it truly an application / advancement (not simply a restatement) of prior theology.

You can't go wrong with Frame. He keeps old truths fresh and alive, constructively offering applications for our day.

DJP said...

Tom, Frame's tri-perspectivalism didn't strike me that way as he used it in the ethics and apologetics classes. But I'd be interested in hearing you expand a bit on your viewpoint, if you wouldn't mind.

Tom Chantry said...

It is impossible to discuss Frame without discussing Triperspectivalism. That in itself is alarming; professors who develop a system of their own through which they filter everything which they teach are likely to adopt bizarre positions. Frame developed an epistemological system which he utilizes no matter what he teaches. It is a system with some value for describing the workings of the human mind, but he applies it in a manner contrary to scripture and destructive to rational theology.

The three perspectives are lenses through which men look at truth. The normative perspective refers to standards of truth which are received from others. The existential perspective refers to the internal persona of the individual who receives those standards. The situational perspective (he consistently used this term over “empirical” in class) refers to the circumstances in which the individual finds himself when the standards are communicated to him. Everyone’s opinion of truth is reached through the interplay of the standards he accepts, the person that he is, and the environment in which he exists.

This is a very helpful description of how men think. It explains why two people can have entirely different reactions to the same material. It is especially well illustrated in literature. If a person given to introspection who has recently experienced personal injustice were to read Hamlet, he would see it quite differently from a self-assured person who had never undergone similar trials. The same play can mean very different things to very different people in very different circumstances. Students of literature will recognize this as the basis of post-modern reader-oriented literary criticism.

It also tells us something useful about the way theology is acquired. There can be no question that Luther’s unique personality and the circumstances in which he lived played a part in the formation of his theology. This is a reason why doctrines are abandoned by whole generations and why individuals debate doctrines when they agree on the standards to be accepted. Again, Triperspectivalism has significant descriptive value. Many of Frame’s first-year students begin to grasp what he is saying and nod their heads: “Yep. That’s the problem all right.”

Only Frame isn’t saying this is a problem. He goes further to say that God utilizes all perspectives in revealing truth to us. To a point this is undeniably so, but only to a point. If we believe that God is the creator of the soul, then we may see His hand in the formation of the individual who receives the truth. If we believe in divine providence, then we can see His hand in the direction of events surrounding that individual.

Most biblical Christians, though, will recognize that there is a great distinction in the three lenses, however. Only one, the standards of truth in the Word of God, is uncorrupted and changeless. Psalm 12:6 tells us, “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” That certainly cannot be said of any man, nor of the fallen world in which men live. On the matter of changeableness, Isaiah said in chapter 40, verses 6 through 8, “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”

Certainly these differences have epistemological significance. Most biblical Christians will argue that the changeless Word of God, the only uncorrupted and incorruptible vehicle for truth, must take precedence over what we learn from our circumstances and our personalities. The written book takes precedence over the books of creation and providence. It is precisely this distinction which Frame rejects out of hand.

Pressed as to whether the three perspectives are merely descriptive of how men know the truth or normative of how men ought to know the truth, Frame opts for the latter. When asked if his epistemological construct is an observation on frail humanities inability to discern truth as it was intended when written, he says no, it is God’s intent that we interpret through the matrix of our inner selves and our circumstances. When asked if at least we ought to give precedence to the one source of truth which is not corrupted by human sin, he passionately insists that no perspective is to be elevated above another.

The implications of that are hugely destructive. It is true that the Word of God should help me to understand myself and my world, but it is equally true that my own personality not only does, but ought to transform my reading of the Word. Personality and circumstances are meant to effect our understanding of truth in the same manner and to the same degree as do the Scriptures! This position is not only decidedly anti-creedal; it also delivers a death blow to historical/grammatical exegesis.

After Frame was pushed to acknowledge this in class and I finally understood his system and its implications, two things changed. First, I was much less in awe of his lectures, and secondly, I began to earn A’s from him. The latter came when I threw out a carefully researched and constructed paper on a philosophical position and instead watched three movies and wrote him an imaginary dialogue (trialogue?) between the three directors on the issue of evil. I finally understood that my professor valued creativity over substance. Nonsense papers like that from theological students assure him that they are overcoming their stuffy reliance on the normative perspective and getting in touch with the other sides of the truth-triangle.

John Frame, as I said in my previous comment, is a kind and, I believe, godly man. His own positions remain orthodox, though at times he espouses reason-bending arguments for his less popular positions which made me horrifically uneasy. (For instance, when he said that he believes in the regulative principle, only in a regulative principle that operates more like the rule of God over our lives outside of worship. No matter what you think of the RP, he insisted in its truth, then redefined it in identical terms to its opposite, the normative principle. I suppose something in his personality or circumstances allowed him to redefine terms.) Nevertheless, he appears to have himself maintained an orthodox position. My own interpretation of this is quite simple: I believe he is saved, and the Holy Spirit has not allowed him to wonder into heterodoxy.

Nevertheless, his errors are not without consequence. His dogged support for Norman Shepherd, the dismissed Westminster professor who denied the doctrine of justification, resulted from a decision to follow the wrong perspective. He liked Shepherd because Shepherd was creative, and he couldn’t understand that most creative people aren’t as orthodox as he himself. He consistently referred to Shepherd as “my friend Norm Shepherd.” Evidently the existential perspective had won out in his evaluation of “his friend.”

Furthermore, for followers of his system, everything is open to reexamination, and I do mean everything. Is the Trinity the doctrine of Scripture, or is it the result of circumstances in the early church? Is total depravity taught in the Bible, or does it emanate from the dysfunctional psychology of men like Augustine and Calvin? The anchor of Scripture has been supplanted by three anchors, two of which cannot be expected to hold. I believe that the Westminsters face no greater challenge than that offered by the presence of so many scholars influenced by Frame. That, as much as anything, threatens to drag the two schools down the road of liberalism.

Sorry for the super-long comments, but you asked. I would be very, very careful with John Frame.

Rob Mellen Jr. said...

Tom,

I appreciate your perspective on Frame's perspectivalism. However, I think you are mistaken in some of your assumptions as to what Frame is saying and where his system may lead.

For a good overview of the topic, Dr. Frame has posted this primer.

http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/PrimerOnPerspectivalism.htm

Philip R. Gons said...

I'm a huge fan of John Frame. Logos user's will definitely want to check out the Collected Works of John M. Frame.

gcb620 said...

As one who has read DKG 15 years ago, and agree with it’s core teaching, I haven’t found myself falling into any of the dangers that Tom has warned against (either liberalism or wholesale re-examination of Biblical Truth).

Quite the contrary, I’ve come to even more strongly appreciate the authority of God’s word in my life and in His World .

Here are some random musings after reading Tom’s warning against Frame and especially multi-perspectivalism (MP)

1. Anything NOT tethered to the control of Scripture is subject to abuse – even multiperspectavilism (MP). Throughout DKG, Frame posits that Scripture still has veto power over any knowledge claims that militate against its concluions (Rom 3:4 - Let God be true, and every man a liar...)

2. Even Frame admits that MP is best seen as a pedagogical tool, and not a unifying framework or Procustean Bed.

3. Because Scripture is neither uttered or received in a vacuum, but instead graciously accommodated to our finite human (existential) and sinful (situational) capacity, the normative perspective of Scripture is still OUR understanding of it.

Finally, as Tom cautions against MP being anti-creedal, I can’t help but recall that the most revered and learned body of divines ever assembled, didn’t assert that the self-attesting character of Scripture was ever recognized in a vacuum.

After adducing arguments proving the codification of certain special revelation into the canon, the divines end their argument with a person-variable (existential) justification…….”yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”. (Westminster Confession of Faith Chapt 1, Section 5).

There has been no nexus of liberalism coming from the WCF nor should there be with an embracing of Frame or MP.

Tom Chantry said...

I think you are mistaken in some of your assumptions as to what Frame is saying...

There were no such assumptions in what I wrote. I spent three years in Mr. Frame's classes, and I wrote relatively few concerns - those which he made specific.

...and where his system may lead.

Granted, I opened a bit of a can of worms here, but given the implicit relativism of his epistemology, it is not an unfair concern, and I expressed it as such.

Throughout DKG, Frame posits that Scripture still has veto power over any knowledge claims that militate against its concluions.

Yet, he insists that no perspective may be elevated above another. You yourself say that the normative perspective of Scripture is our understanding of it. This thinking anticipates the postmodern church, hinting (granted, not explicitly saying) that everything the church has ever held or holds now is possibly a misunderstanding.

Even Frame admits that MP is best seen as a pedagogical tool, and not a unifying framework or Procustean Bed.

Procrustean Bed, no. That's not Frame's style. But whatever he admits, he utilizes MP as a unifying framework. In three years I never heard him lecture on anything but Triperspectivalism.

Because Scripture is neither uttered or received in a vacuum, but instead graciously accommodated to our finite human (existential) and sinful (situational) capacity, the normative perspective of Scripture is still OUR understanding of it.

I find that an absolutely astounding statement, and the most "Framian" quote on this thread so far. Compare that thought to this:

After adducing arguments proving the codification of certain special revelation into the canon, the divines end their argument with a person-variable (existential) justification…….”yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.”.

(I agree with their statement; it's in my Confession too.)

The Divines recognized that due to our sin, we would not recognize the Word of God as such did not the Spirit of God reveal it to us. What they never so much as hinted at was that the meaning of Scripture is tied to our understanding of it. I disagree that they were making a "person-variable" or "existential" justification. They were rather expressing their own weakness in recognizing the obvious and noting the grace of God to overcome their weakness and give them "full persuasion."

There has been no nexus of liberalism coming from the WCF nor should there be with an embracing of Frame or MP.

I of course agree with regard to the Confession, but it is premature to argue the same regarding Frame. I don't know whether you know it or not, but there is tremendous concern in OP circles that Westminster in Philadelphia, the remaining hotbed of Triperspectivalism since Frame's departure from Escondido, has become exactly what you say, "a nexus of liberalism." The fact is that MP puts everything into play, and it can be utilized in hands less orthodox than Frame's to sidestep any inconvenient doctrine.

I have no desire to tear the man down. I repeat that I found him a kind man of real piety. I believe, though, that his theological contributions have been mainly negative. My only reason for posting this here was to respond to Dan's request for thoughts on a teacher he has begun to examine, and I believe some perspective on Frame's lectures and writings may be helpful.

Rhology said...

I'm sure he's awesome and I look fwd to reading one of his books. But skip the 5 Perspectives on Apologetics book to which he contributed. :-)

John M. Frame said...

I'm delighted to hear of all the interest my works have generated on this blog. Thanks for the kind words of many. Nice to hear from Tom C. again, despite disagreements. I wish you had shared those with me during your student years. I honestly think we could have made progress toward resolving them. Just a few comments:

1. It's true that a number of students started questioning my positions in their second year of seminary at Westminster. I attribute that mainly to their studying with colleagues of mine who presented ideas inconsistent with mine and implicitly called my orthodoxy in question. That doesn't happen at RTS, where I currently teach.

2. Tom makes the mistake of many, thinking that I equate the normative perspective with Scripture. So then when I say that the normative perspective is equal to the other two, they think I am making Scripture relative. That is not the case. The normative perspective is not identical with Scripture. It is, rather, the sum total of divine revelation, in Scripture, nature, and in ourselves as the image of God. Within the normative perspective, Scripture plays a unique role: the covenant document (and therefore supreme authority) for God's people. Further, Scripture is not limited to the normative perspective. It is also situational: the fact that definitively illumines all other facts; and existential: the part of my experience that illumines all others. The three perspectives are equal because they are ultimately identical: everything is normative; everything is part of my situation; and everything is part of my experience. But Scripture is not identical with any other source of knowledge. It alone is the infallible, inerrant word of God.

3. On the regulative principle, see the treatment of the second commandment in my forthcoming Doctrine of the Christian Life. My view is not entirely traditional, but I believe it is biblical.

4. As for Shepherd, I do not agree with many of his distinctive teachings. What I do agree with, I agree with because his positions are biblical in my judgment, not because we are friends. If you read the accounts of faith and justification in Salvation Belongs to the Lord, you will find that they are entirely traditional.

5. Sorry, Tom, that you hold the high grade on your paper against me! The fact is, I grade papers on the quality of thought displayed in them, not on their orthodoxy or traditional theological style. I've had some very bad papers that defended orthodox positions in traditional ways.

6. I have answered the relativism criticism a thousand times, probably scores of times when Tom was my student. If Tom doesn't buy my explanation after all that, I don't know what I can say. For the rest of you, please see the "Primer on Perspectivalism" that Mr. Mellen referred to. The main point is that the perspectives are perspectives on something objective, the real world as God has made it, and the objective revelation God has given to us. So truth is not relative, but absolute. What perspectivalism says is that only God's thought is perfect, always correct. If you're not God, you need to be humble, and to seek more and more perspectives. Usually when people call me a relativist, it is because they want to make some purely human document (a confession or a tradition) absolute.

Hope that is helpful.

Tom Chantry said...

Mr. Frame,

I looked through your profile for an email address to respond, but I did not find one.

I hope that nothing in my comments here strikes you as personal attack. I genuinely mean what I say about your character as a professor and as a man. My disagreements are serious and considered, but have not led me to question your sincerity or commitment to Christ. I hope that has been evident.

I never approached you as a student about these matters largely because I was still in a formative stage regarding my thinking regarding much of what I was learning. I had serious questions regarding the distinctives of many teachers, but only deep misgivings about one, and that was not you. I found myself saying time and again, “Did I hear that correctly?” I was somewhat hesitant to approach you and even raise the question of “relativism,” largely due to an intellectual intimidation for which you bear no blame.

(During my first year in Escondido my father visited and was asked by one of my roommates, “Were you in the same class as John Frame?” (I think he graduated a year before you, actually.) He paused a moment and responded, “No one was in the same class as John Frame.”)

I spent my those years trying to understand and listening closely. It was after I had graduated I reread The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. On a second reading I felt that I understood better, and much of what had perplexed me began to fall into place.

I have tried to avoid accusing you either of heterodoxy or of relativism per se. I remain convinced that Tri-Perspectivalism - in the hands of men with less humility greater desire to make a mark - opens the door wide to relativism. It produces logic-bending and truth-obscuring statements such as “the normative perspective of Scripture is still our understanding of it.” I retain my suspicions of where such thinking will lead.

In any case, it was not my intent to do you any wrong in this forum. I consider the host of this blog a friend (although we’ve never met), and I wanted to alert him to matters I consider important. Perhaps I should have done so in a private email. If my failure to take that path has proven offensive, please forgive me.

Tom C.

John M. Frame said...

Tom, I'm not sure where you got that statement that "the normative perspective of Scripture is still our understanding of it." I doubt that I said that. If I did, I wouldn't say it today. I think it is confusing. But there is a problem in formulating the difference between truth and our understanding of it, whether you agree with perspectivalism or not. We don't have access to truth apart from our understanding. So every statement you or I make about the truth is a statement about our own understanding. The remedy for this seeming problem, of course, is to interact with perspectives broader than ours, and to be submissive (absolutely) to God's.

As for the rest of your comments, I take no offense. May God richly bless your labors for Jesus.

Carlo said...

Boy, this is a small world. Comments from the man himself. How did this happen?

Carlo said...

Tom,

You wrote: "The three perspectives are lenses through which men look at truth. The normative perspective refers to standards of truth which are received from others. The existential perspective refers to the internal persona of the individual who receives those standards. The situational perspective (he consistently used this term over “empirical” in class) refers to the circumstances in which the individual finds himself when the standards are communicated to him. Everyone’s opinion of truth is reached through the interplay of the standards he accepts, the person that he is, and the environment in which he exists."

My response: The subject of epistemology is a fascinating subject. We know that for the very early church, they were being taught about Christ from the OT Scriptures primarily (NT writers were in the process of writing the New Testament). The apostle Paul I think explains in part about epistemology in 1Cor2 where he states who knows what pertains to a spirit except the spirit that is within - similarly, Paul goes on to say, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God and believers have received the Spirit of God.

The apostle Paul's seclusion that he spent under the direction of the Holy Spirit in Arabia allowed him to see the OT in the interpretation of Jesus.

The apostles and the other NT (and OT) writers had a perspective that was more unique than any other man in human history - they received revelation directly from God.

I don't necessarily see anything wrong with Frame's perspectives at face value. His normative perspective, if I understand it correctly, is that there is some standard that serves as a guide. And the Bible serves as the criteria by which all truth is to be checked against. For the apostle Paul, in his seclusion in Arabia his normative perspective was the Spirit of God and the OT Scriptures.

With regards to Frame's situational perspective, if I understand it correctly, is that all the details of history, science and evidences for various beliefs can never be interpreted that ignores the binding nature of the normative perspective - which is the Word of God and so this perspective argues that that without understanding the world, one cannot rightly understand or apply Scripture.

Lastly, we have Frame's existential perspective which is that a person brings their personal dispositions, temperaments, biases, presuppositions and life experiences to the every act of knowing. There is absolutely no doubt this was the case for Paul. It was no accident that Paul's ministry to the Gentiles and his ministry of "world" evangelism was influenced by the fact he was a Roman citizen. His education and exposure that he had would have been very different if he was not a Roman citizen and simply grew up in Galilee. Also, Paul's approval of Stephen's stoning and his ravage rage against the church was the goad that the Lord used on Paul to lead him to his conversion (Acts 26:14). The lesson there for all of us, is that the Lord uses our upbringing and life experiences to eventually lead us to conversion and to exercise our spiritual gifts for the kingdom.

So, I think there is a lot of validity to Frame's perspectives and I think it was true for both the OT and NT writers and it's true for believers today in the church.

But I also understand Chantry's concerns, if I understand them correctly. We live in an age where there is false teaching that leads to the apostasy of many and we live in an era of errant teachings that doesn't necessarily lead to apostasy. The writers of the NT have warned us there will always be false teachers, they will come from the church and lead many astray. In addition, you have remaining sin and you have much error and disagreement on many issues in the church. Whatever one's position is on baptism, it wasn't long, middle of 2nd century where you had different practices on baptism. With the Protestant Reformation, you had the revival of the church and doctrines like justification by faith alone, but yet you still had pretty significant various views on the Lord's Supper.

The inerrancy of Scriptures was a reality in the multiperspectivalism of the NT and OT writers but the inerrancy of some doctrines held by believers today is not a reality. Believers disagree on some very important theological doctrines like baptism, eschatology, creation, etc.

Someone told me that one could argue that there must be a right body of Christ in one of the visible churches, certainly, that may have been the case in many churches in church history and whether any of us could be right on all Scripture or exhaustively right on a single passage of Scripture is arguable and given the living, indwelling sovereignty of God, it may not be necessary either.

The problem is that Christians temporarily live both in the flesh and the Spirit and it is a temporary condition which we cannot change. Our pursuit of interpretation should be driven by or dependence on Christ and our love for Him and love for our brethren and neighbor as self.

Multiperspectivalism is fine when we apply that to the NT and OT writers as it relates to the inerrancy of Scriptures, but caution must be applied to it for believers in the church and the doctrines we hold to and understand.

DJP said...

CarloBoy, this is a small world. Comments from the man himself. How did this happen?

No idea, but what a pleasure.

(If I'd known we were going to have Company, I'd've tidied up a bit!)

DJP said...

BTW, sincere thanks both to Tom Chantry and Professor Frame for their brotherly dialogue, and letting us all profit from listening in. Thanks to all others, too.

Auditing isn't the same as being in a classroom. However, from listening to both of Dr. Frame's classes as mentioned above, of course I noticed that he kept bringing up the three perspectives. But the impression I gained was that he was looking at the particular topics or truths from three different angles; not that he was laying out three different "truths."

You get different beauties and sparkles viewing a diamond from different vantage-points; but it's the same diamond. As Prof. Frame says in the article linked above, "There is one truth, and each perspective is merely an angle from which that truth can be viewed."

Johnny Dialectic said...

Boy, is this ever a model of how to have a theological discussion with respect and depth and Christian character, on an internet blog. Well done by all.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I read a couple of his books.

James said...

Great to see Prof. Frame and Tom discuss these things. I had Prof. Frame at RTS for several classes, and the MP approach has helped me in several areas. My only complaint from class is that it is very difficult to take a multiple choice final from a Multi-perspectivalist with option d as "all of the above" and option e as "none of the above." :)

Tom Chantry said...

Don't be silly. The answer is always "D."

James said...

That is what you would think, isn't it. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be "E"!!

:)

Tom Chantry said...

Try "F. One of the Above - It sorta depends..."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Kudos to DJP for posting this comment! It was the stimulus for Tom Chantry to contribute! Which possibly served as the stimulus for Dr. Frame to contribute!

To answer DJP's question, I am a Frame fan. I've never attended any of his classes, nor read of any of his books. I just got interested in Presupp Apologetics. That led to Van Til. And from Van Til to Frame.

Then I read various articles on the Frame-Polythress website. I especially John Frame's polemic against the Klinean argument for Natural Law/Revelation.

P.S. And I respect Tom Chantry's contributions too. He is iron sharpening Dr. Frame's iron!

P.P.S. FWIW, my favorite chain of recent theologians:

Machen -> Van Til -> Schaeffer, Frame, Bahnsen -> Nancy Pearcey

James Anderson said...

Tom Chantry's original charge was that Dr Frame's "epistemological approach amounts to a tacit acceptance of relativism". I find it remarkable, then, that nothing he wrote subsequent to that came anywhere close to a cogent argument in support of that claim.

Whatever the virtues and vices of triperspectivalism may be, the charge of relativism is easily defused. Triperspectivalism no more entails relativism than does the claim that our view of a house varies depending on whether we're positioned in front of it, at the side of it, or above it.

Jay C. said...

We used one of Dr. Frame's books in my apologetics class at Northland International University back in 2000. I'm still trying to grasp and understand some of what he wrote. :)

Seriously, he's a great read. Pick his books up for sure.