Re-Framing Reformed Baptist Doctrine

Sean Gerety:

A Reformed Baptist who gets it. The section on John Frame’s triperspectivalism alone is worth the read.

A few highlights…

“To lay my cards on the table from the outset let me say this: it is my firm opinion that John Frame is one of the most dangerous characters in the broadly Reformed world today.  His ideas are so disruptive of any system of doctrine and ultimately of any reasonable approach to holiness that I find myself distrusting of those who cite him.”

_______________

“What did not surprise me at all was the number of my fellow students who emerged from Westminster as distinct anti-VanTilians.  Having learned Van Til at the feet of Frame, they found the entire system dangerous in the extreme.  Needless to say, I was tremendously relieved when Frame left Escondido for Orlando, where he became a Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy.”

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“Frame’s epistemology is relativistic, and if all relativists are necessarily dishonest, the dishonesty is even more necessary for someone trying to pretend not to be a relativist in the context of a biblical institution.”

Originally posted on chantrynotes:

Frame

John Frame

As a graduate of Westminster Seminary in California during the mid-1990s, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is some variant of, “What did you think of John Frame?”  The question is unsurprising.  By 1992, when I entered seminary, Frame was among the better-known professors in Escondido.  Just a few years after I graduated he had also left Escondido after a prolonged and not very secret dispute with the Westminster administration – largely over the matter of worship.  Then in 2011 he published The Escondido Theology, a wide-ranging attack on his former employers which suggested that Westminster Seminary in California has departed from Reformed tradition.

That such a colorful figure invites curiosity is not surprising.  Furthermore, Frame is a thinker whose unique philosophical system and its accompanying linguistic usage is not immediately accessible to the reader.  It is to be expected that I hear periodic…

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2 Comments on “Re-Framing Reformed Baptist Doctrine”

  1. Roberto G Says:

    My personal opinion is that if Frame utilizes theological double-talk to undermine the regulative principle or to make special revelation relative with his tri-perspectivalism or to chop down confessionalism while claiming to be a confessionalist, a probable cause of that agenda is the strong influence of Van Tillianism in all this.
    Van Til said some dopey things about Christian doctrines appearing paradoxical, contradictory, mysterious, etc. That God was one Person and Three Persons.
    Reformed Baptists are a diverse bunch. Many sought and received Westminster educations, even before WSC had the Institute of Reformed Baptist studies. Many sat under Van Til and approvingly cite him and promote Van Tillianism here and there. With all the controvesries at WS in Philly and Cali over the years, I find it a little distressing so many RB pastors came out of Westminster seminaries. But that’s just me.

  2. Pht Says:

    Interesting article; in that article the comments are closed and directed to another article on his site, which had some comments attributed to Frame – his foreword to the book “The backbone of the bible.”

    While I couldn’t find the original source documents to back up the comments so quoted, I did find a revised version of the foreword that Frame wanted published – on frame’s website.

    “But there are those who see this discussion (the norman shepherd controversy – Pht) in much more serious terms. I am referring to some critics of Shepherd who have said that Shepherd teaches “another gospel” or that he “denies the gospel.” Two small denominations have used such language against Shepherd, along with a number of theologians, pastors, and web writers.

    We should be clear that this kind of language is not the normal pattern of theological discourse. It is not routine theological give-and-take. This language raises the stakes far beyond the normal levels. If someone preaches “another gospel,” he incurs the Pauline anathema (Gal. 1:8-9 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ); he is under God’s curse. If someone preaches another gospel, therefore, he should not be allowed to belong to a church. If a church member is found to be teaching another gospel, he should be excommunicated. And if someone teaches another gospel from outside the church, he should not be regarded merely as a non-Christian, but as one who is working actively against Christ. Make no mistake: if Shepherd teaches another gospel, he is excluded from the kingdom of God and headed for eternal punishment.

    I’m not saying that we should never make such accusations. Certainly Paul makes them against the Judaizers, and Jesus makes them against the Pharisees. But such accusations raise the bar considerably on the quality and strength of argument that must be used. If we believe that someone is excluded from the kingdom of God, we had better be prepared to make a strong case.

    Frankly, of all the arguments against Shepherd’s positions, including my own arguments noted above, I have not seen any that reaches anywhere near that level.”
    – John Frame

    http://www.frame-poythress.org/foreword-to-sandlin-ed-backbone-of-the-bible/

    It appears that frame’s relativistic confusion even extends into his own thinking processes when it comes to the very heart of the gospel.


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