Approximate Reading Time, 3 minutes.
I have been meeting with my pastor, William Shifflett, each week to discuss the book “The Doctrine of the Word of God” – P&R Publishing, 2010 by Dr. John Frame. Dr Frame is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary. Frame’s book is divided into 4 parts. We recently finish discussing part four: HOW THE WORD IS REVEALED TO US and are currently in the Appendix sections which contain a wealth of information in themselves. With the holidays beginning, I thought that I would review the parts starting with Part One and summarize my thoughts here.
PART ONE: ORIENTATION
Section one introduces the theme of the book. Frame writes; “The main contention of this volume, is that God’s speech to man is real speech. It is very much like one person speaking to another. God speaks so that we can understand Him and respond appropriately.” Frame summarizes his book by telling us; “God’s Word, in all its qualities and aspects, is a personal communication from Him to us.”
Our response to God’s revelation should be one of obedience that comes from the heart: “When God speaks, our role is to believe, obey, delight, repent, mourn – whatever He wants us to do. Our response should be without reservation, from the heart.”
Christianity is different from world religions. Frame explains that God is an absolute personality. Not only personal, but “tripersonal”. God is absolute because He is unchangeable, eternal, infinite and personal. His point is that some religions recognize gods who are absolute and some religions and worldviews acknowledge the existence of a personal god; but Christians acknowledge and worship the true God who is personal and absolute.
God is the Creator. “God, the absolute tri-personality, is related to the world in terms of the Creator-creature distinction. He is absolute, and we are not.” The creature’s life, in every respect and at every moment, is possible and meaningful only because of it’s relation to the Creator. The creation is set apart from the Creator and the creature is wholly dependent on the Creator (Acts 17:28).
God is the Covenant Lord. The relationship between Lord and servant is called a covenant. “The Creator is related to the creature as it’s covenant Lord.” God is the God of control, authority, and presence. Frame describes God’s control, authority, and presence as the three “lordship attributes“. Frame then give us three perspectives by which we can look at all of reality; situational, normative and existential. The situational perspective is the authoritative Word being taught and preached. The normative perspective focuses on how Scripture defines the Word. And the existential perspective is where God’s Word is transferred to our hearts.
God’s Word comes to us with absolute power able to accomplish it’s purposes. (Isaiah 55:11)
Next will be Part Two – GOD’S WORK IN MODERN THEOLOGY.
Frame’s book, “The Doctrine of the Word of God” is excellent. I highly recommend it.
Note: We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
You can help support this website by visiting and purchasing from our affiliate links.