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The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship) Hardcover – May 1, 2002
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"A magnificent treatment that will be a standard work for decades. Frame stands in the great Reformed tradition . . . yet in his treatment of the doctrine of God he surpasses them all with an amazing breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding. In every section Frame brings fresh insight to old doctrines." --Wayne Grudem
"A meticulusly biblical, remarkably cogent, and powerfully transforming presentation." --Richard L. Pratt Jr
"A joy to read. It is an intellectual treat. . . . Preachers and academic theologians will soon count it an indispensable tool." --Donald Macleod
From the Publisher
Readers familiar with Frames analysis of historic doctrines and current questions will welcome this long-awaited second installment in the Theology of Lordship series. Here he examines the attributes, acts, and names of God in connection with a full spectrum of relevant theological, ethical, spiritual truths.
The Doctrine of God received the 2003 ECPA Gold Medallion Award in the Theology and Doctrine Category. Congratulations, Dr. Frame, for this award reflecting many years of study on the topic of God's attributes and character.
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Frame has a unique style among Reformed theologians. Having a preference for Berkhof and old Princeton guys (like Hodge, Murray, and Warfield), I did not immediately take to his style. I still do not have a strong taste for his trademark tri-perspectivalism. But I can say that his arguments are very persuasive. I am driven to doxology and devotion after reading Frame. His writing is clear, biblical, and robustly Reformed. With this book in particular, Dr. Frame demonstrates that he is to be counted among the great Evangelical theologians, like Packer and Berkhof. Wonderful book!
However, the work is arranged so that you can read one chapter at a time, and sometimes even one short section of a chapter, without feeling lost or overwhelmed.
This is well worth the minimal cost of purchasing it. Frame offers great insights and is "refreshingly" honest about things he does not have conclusions for. If you want to read it through, you won't be sorry. If you want it as a resource book to use at various times, you won't be disappointed.
I am familiar with Frame through RTS (some of his courses are still available thru itunes u), and some of his other writing. He has always struck me as a thoughtful, sincere and capable thinker - a rare individual who combines solid biblical exegesis with rigorous philosophical thought. DG is characteristic of his thorough work, and, while I agree with Frame on many points, he is most interesting in the areas where we disagree such as the Calvinist denial of human freedom.
A radical denial of human freedom underwrites much Calvinist theology such as, double predestination, wherein some, are predestined to eternal damnation independent of their actions, and, total depravity, where, post-fall humans are unable to perform any `good' acts of their own accord- not even acceptance of the call to faith. This view of free will appears in part to be motivated by an attempt to protect God's omniscience and sovereignty. This move, however, does not seem necessary. With regard to omniscience, Frame appears to conflate foreknowledge with a strong view of foreordination, that is, if God knows something it is because he has determined it to be so. This deterministic view seems avoidable regardless of God's relationship with time. If God is outside of time He would see all of time at once, and, be aware of the free actions taken by individuals without out having to foreordain them. While if God is in time, middle knowledge would allow Him to remain omniscient by his knowledge of all future counterfactuals (how individual would behave in all possible situations).
While with regard to God's sovereignty - it is not clear why libertarian freedom would compromise his power - if anything, it seems to make God and creation all that much more majestic. As Frame notes, the denial of free will is not popular amongst Christian philosophers - that is not surprising since it is difficult to understand how agents could be held responsible, and subject to punishment, by an all-good God for actions and beliefs that God predetermined? While an understanding of God's motives are beyond our knowledge, the Calvinist position seems to compromise the goodness of God. While, I agree with Frame that portions of the Bible can be read in a combatablist sense - a natural reading of the Bible as a whole, strongly implies some degree of human choice - the repeated call to repent and belief would seem empty without it. The mainstream Christian view (Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Arminian) that humans possess some degree of free will seems more logical and Biblical.
On a more mundane point, I agree with earlier reviewers that the multiple appendices were ill-fitted for this text and needlessly added to an already lengthy book. Overall, while solid, I was a bit disappointed (my expectations were extremely high; I had saved it for my annual fishing trip). Perhaps I was unduly swayed by my disagreements with Calvinism, or my modest fishing success - it is still worth a look for fans of Frame