- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing; First edition (February 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875522432
- ISBN-13: 978-0875522432
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction Paperback – February 1, 1994
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About the Author
John M. Frame (A.B., Princeton University; B.D., Westminster Theological Seminary; M.A. and M.Phil., Yale University; D.D., Belhaven College) is the J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and the author of many books, including the four-volume Theology of Lordship series.
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I couldn't find any weakness in the book that raised many of my concerns. i am not saying that the book is perfect but it definitely provides us more strong points and evidence on the matters concern to the absolute of God as creator of the whole universe and also provides us with very good insights on the the arguments related to the existence of God and also the relevance of the Scripture. On page 122, Frame gives us a very striking argument about the importance also of the Scripture. He says: "Scripture itself is one element in the saving message. And the doctrine of the Scripture is not located only in a few texts of the Bible. Rather, it pervades the Scripture. God is very concerned, not only that we believe in Christ, but also that we believe in the Word which tells us about Christ, the very Word of God. God has not only given us salvation in Christ, but also a wonderfully simple way to know about that salvation."
I could make a long list of the issues raised while I was reading this book, but main issue for me is the need that we have as Christian to manage well the Word of God but also be aware of the philosophies around us and without fear and anger deal with them, clarify their mistake and show the relevance of the Word and Christ. God is glorified in us when we surround ourselves to Him to be used as a living testimony of his love for humanity.
These answers to the first two objections themselves to me are adequate to cover the Ligoniers authors' charge of irrationality as well. But Prof. Frame goes extra miles by exposing the weaknesses of evidentialism, particularly that promoted by the Ligoniers authors. The one that is most alarming is the argument of neutrality, the implied denial of the natural hostility toward God of the natural men, "the lack of seriousness in the application of the doctrine of depravity to apologetics" (p.235), considering these authors are modern day proponents of Reformed Theology. Prof. Frame rightly asks, "Seriously now, is this [the idea of natural men being sincere seekers after truth] a doctrine of depravity worthy of Calvinists?" (p.235).
What Prof. Frame is promoting in this book is a biblical presupposition as both apologetic and evangelistic methods since he has a high view of the Scriptures as inerrant, inspired and infallible divine revelations. Despite robust and compelling arguments to support the case for presuppositional apologetics, however, it doesn't mean that it has all the answers, including the answer to the problem of evil. None of the apologetic methods does. Nevertheless it teaches the right response and attitude toward the problem of evil, again, on the basis of biblical presupposition. Here is what Prof. Frame writes,
"My own verdict is that we are unlikely to find complete answers to all these questions (the problem of evil, pain and suffering) - answers which are not subject to further questions. But I do think we can provide answers in another sense. If what you want is encouragement to go on believing in the midst of suffering, Scripture provides that, and provides it abundantly (the best argument being the account of Job's interview with God). If you want help to go on trusting God despite unexplained evil, yes, we can help" (p.152).
At first, presuppositional apologetics may seem pedestrian or even boring, but upon a deeper study, it is a more powerful argument than any apologetic methods. I am not saying it is more effective, but it is more powerful. Ultimately, the effectiveness of the apologetic method, whether it be used as a defense of the Christian faith or simultaneously as for an evangelistic purpose, does not depend on human effort or the type of approach one employs, but on divine influence. In other words, it is God who eventually makes the call how effective He would cause a particular apologetic endeavor to be; whether to the one "the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life" (2 Cor 2:16).
Frame has a good way of making things clear and orderly. And he presents a very compelling theory and method of argumentation in this book. At the same time, however, some of his thoughts raise questions for the reader that he does not answer. (Although he seemingly anticipates this and frequently references DKG in his footnotes).
While not strictly adhering to Van Tillian presuppositionalism, Frame does a great job of introducing apologetics from a Biblical mindset - that is, as Christians we should defend the faith without departing from it to some alleged "neutral" ground. And he demonstrates an interesting active method of encountering unbelievers.
For those unsure if they are ready to study the theoretical aspect of Biblical apologetics, Frame encourages the reader to read Chapter 9 first (a hypothetical conversation between a Christian and a non-Christian). this will help the reader to see whether or not he would be interested in pursuing the theoretical discussions behind that conversation. I did, and it was compelling enough!
While this book was a great read and introduced apologetics in an orderly fashion: proof, defense, offense - a companion volume that I would highly recommend is Greg Bahnsen's book, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith, which has a great impact on the heart and application of Biblical apologetics.