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Readers familiar with Frame's 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. Readers familiar with Frame's 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.


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Readers familiar with Frame's 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. Readers familiar with Frame's 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.

30 review for The Doctrine of God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    There is much I could say about this book. Frame's primary goal is to show the exegetical roots of his systematic exploration of the doctrine of God. Overall this is a wonderful book. It's surprisingly accessible for tome this size and edifying throughout. Frame, in his characteristic way, models humility and a healthy reverence of mystery throughout. I think the greatest strength of this book is his methodology (this is probably the greatest weakness as well). He wants to show how theological w There is much I could say about this book. Frame's primary goal is to show the exegetical roots of his systematic exploration of the doctrine of God. Overall this is a wonderful book. It's surprisingly accessible for tome this size and edifying throughout. Frame, in his characteristic way, models humility and a healthy reverence of mystery throughout. I think the greatest strength of this book is his methodology (this is probably the greatest weakness as well). He wants to show how theological words have Biblical content and how these terms shape our everyday discipleship to our Covenant Lord. My one critique is that Frame's methodology prevents him from articulating certain aspects of the Classical doctrine of God in ways that I think are Biblical and helpful. You see this in his treatment of the metaphysical dimension of this doctrine. But, overall I'd highly recommend this book to anyone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    I got to read Doctrine of God while in class with John Frame. It wasn't even bound yet. We got it in notebook form. Nothing like having to answer questions from a professor about his own text. And just so you know, not the best thing in the world to question an author/professor about why they include topics in their book. A smidgen presumptuous, but I did it anyways! Frame isn't the best verbal communicator, but his written communication is amazing. To this day I continue to remember things that I got to read Doctrine of God while in class with John Frame. It wasn't even bound yet. We got it in notebook form. Nothing like having to answer questions from a professor about his own text. And just so you know, not the best thing in the world to question an author/professor about why they include topics in their book. A smidgen presumptuous, but I did it anyways! Frame isn't the best verbal communicator, but his written communication is amazing. To this day I continue to remember things that he wrote in the text and use them in my daily life. To know who this God is - Supreme, Creator, Planner of the universe. The One God who actually knows His people -- the text brings these ideas to the front of our meager minds and allows us to try and grapple with them. It's not an easy read - it is a Master's Degree text - but, worth it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gwilym Davies

    There's lots to like about this book. It's wonderfully accessible for a start: Frame consistently writes clearly and simply, to be understood. That is not a given in this field! More than that, it aims to be biblical. Rather than seeing the revelation of God in Scripture as the jumping off point for a constructive and evolutionary theological enterprise that wants to take us further than what the Bible authors could ever have believed, Frame assumes that the job of the theologian is to articulat There's lots to like about this book. It's wonderfully accessible for a start: Frame consistently writes clearly and simply, to be understood. That is not a given in this field! More than that, it aims to be biblical. Rather than seeing the revelation of God in Scripture as the jumping off point for a constructive and evolutionary theological enterprise that wants to take us further than what the Bible authors could ever have believed, Frame assumes that the job of the theologian is to articulate and apply the doctrine of God we have received in the Scriptures. Of course, that doesn't mean that we disregard the interpretive tradition or that we reject extra-biblical terminology: Frame defends both. But the value of the tradition and this language is that it helps us to understand and apply what the Lord has actually said in his word, and it is therefore ministerial rather than magisterial. One of the benefits of this 'something close to biblicism' approach is that he gives due weight to the Old Testament revelation of God - and we see this both in his starting point (Exodus 3/6) and in his frequent recourse to the prophets and the Psalms. Another benefit is that he's sceptical of philosophical formulations that take us away from what the Bible actually says: he would want to uphold 'simplicity', 'aseity', 'impassibility', 'transcendence' and 'atemporoality'. But at each point he wants to subordinate them to the way that God is actually described in the Scriptures. He shows a similarly'appreciative skepticism' with regard to the key Trinitarian vocabulary: this is why they said it, and we're unlikely to do better, but we should be careful about getting too hot under the collar about whether or not someone is using the right technical term. I'm quite sure that there are points at which his formulations could be better. I think I'd want to strengthen his case for eternal generation, for example. But I'm also sure that the centre of gravity of this book is right: if in doubt, go back to what the Bible says. Actually, whether you're in doubt or not, that's what you should be doing. What else is theology for? In that regard, he's much closer to Calvin than to Aquinas. A third benefit is his focus on Lordship. Quite simply, Frame is right that 'who is the Lord?' is a better starting point than 'what is God?' There were times when he didn't make as much of this starting point as he might have done - and I think his tri-perspectivalism is at least partly to blame here. But there were other times that it really helped: his discussion of the deity of Christ (centering on the fact that he is Lord) for a start. Still, if I'm honest, four stars feels a bit generous. I've said that he's clear and simple, and he is. But the written style is also a bit pedestrian. I read about half of this book years ago, and ran out of steam about 60% of the way through. It took some staying power to get through this time. Perhaps it's the subject matter - it's difficult to really prosecute an argument when your aim is to be comprehensive. But I still think it could be better written. Then there's the tri-perspectivalism. I'm personally unpersuaded that his control/authority/presence normative/situational/existential paradigm is nearly as illuminating as he thinks it is. There were times when it became a new grid, squandering lots of the benefit of his 'something close to biblicism' method. For example, his discussion of the oneness of God was striking both in his instinct to pick all the really key Old Testament passages (good!) and in his failure to draw them together nearly as compellingly as, for example, Richard Bauckham in his 'Jesus and the God of Israel.' I think tri-perspectivalism was the culprit: no sooner had he summoned the key texts than he marshalled them under the headings of authority, control and presence. A shame. Then there's the over focus on questions of sovereignty and free will. It felt to me that for all that these questions matter, they got more space in this book than they really deserved. There's the fact that his bible handling is adequate rather than good. There's the flatness of his mono-covenantalism - it's great that he gave adequate attention to the Old Testament, but the New Testament does not feel as climactic as I think it ought to in Frame's presentation. And the biggest casualty of that is the Trinity: the sending of the Son and the Spirit comes last in DoG, and it feels that this isn't just a question of the order of the discussion. Although lots of what Frame says about the Trinity - especially the Lordship of Christ - coheres well with the story of the Bible and the climactic revelation of the Lord in the sending of his Son, it felt like an appendix to a book that could have stood pretty well without it. There's a tricky balance here: I don't think we should be Barthian, artificially making the Trinity the starting point for all theology when the Bible is happy for it to be the climax. We ought to notice that the Bible is happy to start with the revelation of the LORD in the Old Testament, and that in God's providence this is the right introduction to the New Testament. But the lack of a sense of drama, or progression, or argument in the book meant that the final three chapters on the Trinity felt, well, optional. Frame would probably point out that he talked about Jesus and the Spirit plenty in the first 500 pages - and he did. And yet... And finally there's the starting point: I said that by starting with Exodus 3/6 and the name of the LORD he'd picked the right one... Which might be true. But it felt as though he could have been stronger on the doctrine of Creation. Maybe Genesis 1 is the best starting point of all? So what am I saying? Well, it'd be easy for me to be harsh, knock off another star, focus on the faults and give him three. But then the strengths - the focus on Lordship, the willingness to submit to what the Bible actually says, the skepticism about things that, frankly, I think we ought to be a bit skeptical about, and the simplicity are such strengths that four stars feels about right. Let's be generous: whatever else the Lord is, he's certainly that!

  4. 4 out of 5

    John

    Frame's "The Doctrine of God" is a traditional systematic theological work, with Frame's thoughtful, perspectivalist approach. He begins with "Lordship"which is expressed in three "Lordship attributes": control, authority, and covenant presence. As Frame develops these three attributes, he naturally encounters some difficult subjects, he deals with them more comprehensively in part two--specifically "human responsibility and freedom" and "the problem of evil". Frame then develops some of the tradi Frame's "The Doctrine of God" is a traditional systematic theological work, with Frame's thoughtful, perspectivalist approach. He begins with "Lordship"which is expressed in three "Lordship attributes": control, authority, and covenant presence. As Frame develops these three attributes, he naturally encounters some difficult subjects, he deals with them more comprehensively in part two--specifically "human responsibility and freedom" and "the problem of evil". Frame then develops some of the traditional systematic doctrines, such as ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, miracle, providence, creation, names, images, attributes, knowledge, time, etc. He concludes with three chapters on the Trinity. There are, in customary Frame fashion, nine appendices. Some of the highlights from the book include his discussion of miracles. His definitions are remarkably simple and clear. For example, his definition of miracle is simple, to the point, and uncontroversial: "miracles are unusual events caused by God's power, so extraordinary that we would usually consider them impossible." Related to his discussion of miracles is his discussion of whether miracles continue today and cessationism. He writes, "there is a pattern in Scripture, in which the extraordinary serves as preparation for the ordinary. We often value spectacular experience over day-t0-day routine. But God's priorities are different." Yet he is very open to the idea that, "...God sometimes performs wonders to accredit his missionaries, to defeat opposition to the gospel, and to put the new church on a firm footing." p. 265 A few other nuggets: "Holiness, then, is God's capacity and right to arouse our reverent awe and wonder." p. 28 "God does bring evil into the world, he does it for a good reason. Therefore, he does not do evil in bringing evil to pass." p. 170 "...the real persuasive power of the theory of evolution is not the evidence adduced in its favor, but rather the fact that it is the only viable alternative to theism." p. 311 I've never been disappointed with anything I've read by Frame, and there is much profit to be had in this volume.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Remarkable and fruitful. When it comes to explaining who God is and what He is like, Frame does here what he always does: makes you pause and wonder at doctrines you usually take for granted. In this way, reading Frame has always been surprisingly devotional for me. For example Frame can take a concept like God's "glory" (how, vanilla, it might seem), bring the scripture to bear, and make you really pay heed. Glorious. Remarkable and fruitful. When it comes to explaining who God is and what He is like, Frame does here what he always does: makes you pause and wonder at doctrines you usually take for granted. In this way, reading Frame has always been surprisingly devotional for me. For example Frame can take a concept like God's "glory" (how, vanilla, it might seem), bring the scripture to bear, and make you really pay heed. Glorious.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peter Jones

    I am not sure I liked this book quite as much as I enjoyed "The Doctrine of Knowledge of God." Still Frame's approach makes you think and pushes you in directions you would not normally go. This can be good and bad. He is certainly one of the more influential modern reformed theologians. Many of the ideas in this book I have seen expressed in simpler fashion by popular pastors and preachers. Reading Frame made me want to think things through more thoroughly. I am still too shallow a thinker and I am not sure I liked this book quite as much as I enjoyed "The Doctrine of Knowledge of God." Still Frame's approach makes you think and pushes you in directions you would not normally go. This can be good and bad. He is certainly one of the more influential modern reformed theologians. Many of the ideas in this book I have seen expressed in simpler fashion by popular pastors and preachers. Reading Frame made me want to think things through more thoroughly. I am still too shallow a thinker and do not have the ability to interact with those I disagree with very well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark A Powell

    In this in-depth examination of God (this is the second of four volumes in Frame’s Theology of Lordship series), Frame shows how God has made Himself known so that we might truly know Him. Frame addresses main issues thoroughly and is careful to answer critical objections. He writes with a tenor both academic and accessible, a rare feat. Any book of this size is daunting, but careful determination here will reap powerful dividends from Frame’s work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric Molicki

    This is a Biblically sound, theologically nuanced, and practically rich work. It deserves careful, reflective reading if it is to yield its treasures.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David Steele

    Most influential book in my life - outside of Scripture.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Kennedy

    (This review is edited from my review at www.mydigitalseminary.com) A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy and J.I. Packer’s Knowing God have received (much deserved) wide popularity for faithfully bringing a countless number of Christians to a deeper understanding of God's character and nature. However, both of these books only go so far; for Christians wanting the next level, where should one turn? I submit John Frame’s The Doctrine of God, a book devoted to providing a deep foundation on what (This review is edited from my review at www.mydigitalseminary.com) A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy and J.I. Packer’s Knowing God have received (much deserved) wide popularity for faithfully bringing a countless number of Christians to a deeper understanding of God's character and nature. However, both of these books only go so far; for Christians wanting the next level, where should one turn? I submit John Frame’s The Doctrine of God, a book devoted to providing a deep foundation on what Scripture says about God.[...] While I have read much theology, this is the first major work on the Doctrine of God (Theology Proper) that I have read, so I won’t be able to comment on how Frame’s compares to others. That said, I know of many who consider this as the book to get on the subject, so I think my high regard for it is warranted. Frame’s approach is unique: he begins with the tangible before moving to the intangible. This isn’t usual in theology, mostly due to the influence of philosophy on theological discussion. Philosophy tends to move from the abstract to the concrete, but Frame believes that most students today don’t have the background in philosophy to find such an approach useful. Instead, Frame flips the approach on its head by addressing the text of Scripture before philosophical questions, God’s actions before descriptions, and examining the Trinity last. Even within individual topics such as God’s actions, Frame begins with miracles and moves to creation last. His approach attempts to mirror the approach that we get from the Word; we experience God’s actions before receiving revelation. God acts so that we might know that He is Lord. Whether this approach and his triperspectivalism are more helpful than not is a matter of opinion. However, I did find his approach very refreshing and natural and am surprised if he is alone in this approach. Some will take issue with Frame leaving the Trinity until last. Frame anticipates this and argues that since God's attributes, actions, and Trinitarian nature are all different perspectives of understanding the Person of God, they can be covered in any order. With Frame’s approach of concrete to abstract, it makes sense that the Trinity would come last. This is not to say that the Spirit’s deity and Christ’s are not mentioned until near the end of the book; they are constantly presupposed. My issue is not with so much with the order of addressing the Trinity, because I understand Frame’s approach and see the strengths of it. However, I still can’t help but feel that this book lacks a Trinitarian flavour that may have been more tangible if Frame had established the Trinity from the outset. I wonder if having the Trinity first would have resulted in any significant difference in other discussions, such as God’s attributes and actions? Frame’s writing style is surprisingly clear and even conversational. It’s very easy to read, considering the subject matter! Frame is able to make complex concepts understandable without oversimplifying them. However, a downside of this clarity is the fact that this book is 896 pages, and thereby intimidating for many the average reader. I can’t help but think that most of the appendices could have been removed - and not been missed too much - in order to help this book be more approachable. Due to the size and thorough nature of this book, I expect many will expect to use it as a reference. I have done so myself, and it has been very helpful. However, with Frame’s conversational, flowing style, it wouldn’t hurt to read this book more or less from beginning to end, as I did. It’s a quicker read than it sounds, it has large block quotations from Scripture, and it’s surprisingly devotional! On the other side of the coin, his conversational style may hinder this book’s usefulness as a reference. Most expect reference books to have data easily digestible, perhaps with lots of tables and lists. This book isn’t put together quite that way, but instead is full of engaging writing that can't be taken in bite-sized chunks – which makes for such a good read. This book must be taken on its own terms. As to Frame’s thesis of God as Lord, I think it has much going for it. It is the most commonly given title to our God and it is the title that He most consistently chooses. I do wish that Frame had been clearer on the fact that God’s name YHWH, translated as LORD in our English Bibles, doesn’t actually mean ‘lord’, but is a proper name with a meaning closer to 'to be'. He does address this, but it may leave some readers confused. However, the attributes of Lordship (control, authority, and presence) are all implied in God’s self-revelation of His name (Ex 3), so I don’t think Frame is wrong in using ‘LORD’ passages to support his assertion that God reveals Himself as Lord. One clear strength was Frame’s reliance upon Scripture rather than philosophy or popular theological concepts. Every discussion was continually brought back to the text and if it couldn’t be seen in the Bible, Frame didn’t have much time for it. I consider this a strength, though some may wish that he gave more space to theological and philosophical discussion (which he does do, don’t get me wrong!). Lastly, Frame’s Calvinist theology must be noted. Among non-Calvinists, some will find this more frustrating than others. Frame doesn’t go out of his way to 'sound Calvinistic'; but with a topic such as God Himself, it's impossible to cover areas such as God’s sovereignty and human responsibility without Frame laying his cards clearly on the table. On that note, his discussions of that topic is considered by many worth the price of the book alone, so if you want a good presentation of the Reformed understanding of freedom and evil, this is a great place to turn. Back to the point, he is very fair in his assessment and responses to Arminianism and other forms of non-Calvinism, but also has no fear of strongly criticizing them where he thinks they are wrong. On the other hand, his Calvinism doesn't make itself known in every section and there are substantial sections with insights from which all Christians should be able happily receive. It would be a shame if more did not read this book simply because of some of his conclusions. I greatly enjoyed this book. The subject matter, content, approach and writing style all contributed to make this book surprisingly enjoyable given its size and scope. It's difficult to review a large book such as this because the actual content has to be summarized to the extent that the real gems aren't discussed as much as I would have liked. This book is full of great truths. The Doctrine of God would be a wonderful reference (though see my comments above) for any pastor or serious student to have on their shelf. It would also be a great book to read through beginning to end! Don’t be put off by the size; as mentioned already, Frame’s writing is very enjoyable and easy to follow. His unique approach and insistence on staying close to the Scripture makes this topic much easier to comprehend for those who would otherwise never pick up this kind of book. I sincerely hope that this (now ‘old’) book receives a much wider recognition, as I think it stands as a very unique and thoroughly-Biblical contribution on the Doctrine of God.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    In this volume John Frame applies his “perspectival approach” (Frame, 1987) to issues relating to the doctrine of God. In other volumes, Frame analyzed a topic by placing it within its normative (law), situational (fact), and existential (person) dimensions. The approach is quite clever and does shed light on many issues. In this volume, Frame approaches the doctrine of God in terms of authority (normative), control (situational), and presence (existential). Aside from the above triad, Frame’s w In this volume John Frame applies his “perspectival approach” (Frame, 1987) to issues relating to the doctrine of God. In other volumes, Frame analyzed a topic by placing it within its normative (law), situational (fact), and existential (person) dimensions. The approach is quite clever and does shed light on many issues. In this volume, Frame approaches the doctrine of God in terms of authority (normative), control (situational), and presence (existential). Aside from the above triad, Frame’s work covers much of the same ground as many other manuals on theology proper. The book’s value, though, is that it is quite recent and responds to issues that 300 year dead Puritans had not dreamed of. In this book Frame confesses God as “covenant lord” (Frame, 11). The covenant Lord interacts with his people according to the above triad: authority, control, and presence. Frame is obviously interacting with Meredith Kline’s work on suzerainty treaties (Kline, 1997). That is: The Name of the Great King; Historical Prologue; Stipulations; Sanctions; Continuity (Frame, 2002: 438). Despite some of the hysteria that usually accompanies Frame’s works, this book remains solidly within the Reformed tradition, even if Frame questions large sections of that tradition at times. Sometimes, I suspect, Frame himself does not realize he is doing it. Frame deals squarely with issues relating to man’s interaction with God (free will) and with one another (ethics). In other words, as far as books concerning the doctrine of God go, this one is quite relevant. Observations It’s difficult to review a systematic theology textbook. They all follow the same general order and in reviewing one, you have already reviewed about 35% of the next one. Frame’s book is that, to be sure, but he also deals with specific issues that do require a response. Libertarian Free Will Frame ridicules the alternative to what he perceives the Augustinian tradition to be. He defines compatibilism (determinism) as the “view that every event has a sufficient cause other than itself” (136). Libertarian free will (not to be confused with the economic position) argues that humans have the power to choose between different alternatives (138). Frame then gives fourteen or so reasons why libertarianism is false (139-144). Most of his reasons hinge on a specific exegesis of passages which are self-evident only to Calvinists. Secondly, when approached with counter texts (like in Ezekiel when God pleads with his people not to die, but turn and live) he interprets them in light of his prior Calvinist commitments. But how do we know beforehand, given sola scriptura, that we should interpret them by this framework and not that one? His only interesting objection is that Scripture never grounds human responsibility in libertarian freedom? Well, the verse in Ezekiel notwithstanding, I would reply, “Fine, ground it in the person of God.” Does God have libertarian freedom? If he doesn’t, then Frame is hard-pressed to explain how God isn’t bound by causal necessity, along with all of the Origenist problematic that entails. Frame seems aware of that criticism and says that in heaven, we won’t be able to choose to sin, so therefore we don’t have libertarian freedom (141). However, that’s valid only if we assume a form of simplicity that reduces the choice between good and evil. St. Maximus the Confessor, however, said we choose between many goods. Ergo, no Origenism. Election His discussion on election, like his take on free will, assumes a Calvinistic slant on the exegesis. That’s not a fault, to be sure, but one should be aware that his tradition’s exegesis is by no means self-evident. Interestingly, a Calvinist view of election (also known here as individual election) is not even necessary to his triad of God’s authority. He begins by rightly noting that the elect one is Jesus Christ (322). He asserts, but not quite argues, that Old Testament election was both corporate and individual. He never offers an Old Testament verse demonstrating this, though. His take on Romans 9 ignores the fact that Romans 9-11 was dealing with the corporate body of apostate Israel. He further equates election with new covenant membership. The problem, though, is that he has yet to show that election is used in an individual sense. Perhaps it is, but when the New Testament speaks of election, and Reformed people hold to the principle of continuity (especially circumcision = baptism), then we must also conclude that election must be grounded in its Old Testament, corporate sense. The Triune God Much of this section of the book reads like a proof-text list arguing for the deity of the Son or Spirit. That’s not a fault, but the question often facing people is not whether the texts say this person is divine, but how does his divine status relate to the questions of unity and plurality. Frame gives a helpful list on how the Church confessed the Trinity throughout history. There are very good critiques of Aquinas and Boethius. For example, take Boethius’ definition of a person as “an individual substance of a rational nature” (700). If this is the case, and there are three persons in the Godhead, then how are there not three (four?) natures in the godhead? Frame draws upon the soon-to-be published work of Federal Visionist Ralph Smith (2003) in critiquing Thomas Aquinas. If the persons are simply alternative names for the divine essence, then how is this not modalism? Frame concludes, following Smith, “ And when we take Father, Son, and Spirit as names of relations…are we not reducing concrete persons to abstract entitites” (702)? Frame’s take on the Filioque is interesting, largely because he doesn’t really care (718). He affirms the Western view and offers the same standard arguments for it, namely since there is an analogy between temporal sending and ontological procession, therefore they are the same (717). However, besides the fact that the above isn’t even an argument, one could argue that since Jesus came into the world by work of the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary (sending, if you will), then Jesus eternally proceeds from the Spirit!!!! Anyway, Frame says it’s bad theology to build doctrines off analogies. Conclusion This book is a welcome addition to the Reformed community. Frame passionately interacts with the texts and there is much material for sermons and lessons. The book has some weaknesses, though. There is little (nothing?) in the way of historical understanding and the student leaves the discussion without a real knowledge of how this worked out in history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dónal Walsh

    Read this for Ethics class at Reformed Theological Seminary. Honestly wasn’t massively excited about the subject, but complete turn around by the end of the semester, hugely thanks to this book. Love it and I would say essential reading for every pastor or teacher or counselor in any church/ministry setting. Love that Frame gives you a biblical model for ethics, not just telling you his opinions on what he thinks is good or not. So it helps you think through any issue too, even those not covered Read this for Ethics class at Reformed Theological Seminary. Honestly wasn’t massively excited about the subject, but complete turn around by the end of the semester, hugely thanks to this book. Love it and I would say essential reading for every pastor or teacher or counselor in any church/ministry setting. Love that Frame gives you a biblical model for ethics, not just telling you his opinions on what he thinks is good or not. So it helps you think through any issue too, even those not covered in the book. That said he covers a lot of issues, through a broad application of the Ten Commandments. The book also covers other things like Christ and culture debates (so helpful), the relationship of law and the gospel, secular ethics and is pitfalls and others. The book is long alright but a page turner so you get through it no problem. While I would be more Baptistic than Frame, what strikes me is throughout the book he is balanced, fair, generous towards other Christians and exudes the best of what Reformed theology should offer: those with a mind for truth and a heart for God. Read this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rui Cadima

    What a journey! What a book! This was my first major theological work and it has made me crave for more thick books like this. I'm so glad I finally picked it up after buying it last year! Frame really zooms in on the Lordship of God as the main thing when it comes to knowing who God is. Who is God? He is the Lord in CONTROL of all things, with the AUTHORITY to reveal Himself and to demand a response of obedience and to evaluate/judge His creatures and He is PRESENT with His people (Control, Autho What a journey! What a book! This was my first major theological work and it has made me crave for more thick books like this. I'm so glad I finally picked it up after buying it last year! Frame really zooms in on the Lordship of God as the main thing when it comes to knowing who God is. Who is God? He is the Lord in CONTROL of all things, with the AUTHORITY to reveal Himself and to demand a response of obedience and to evaluate/judge His creatures and He is PRESENT with His people (Control, Authority, Presence are the three key elements of Lordship in Frame's opinion). In regards to that triad, I can definitely see where he is coming from. His argument is quite compelling and I think I will use it in the future when discussing who God is. Now, it can be argued that it may look a bit arbitrary and too neat. But trust me, stick with Frame. Even if you're suspicious of the structure, he really gives us a gold mine of theology! What a fantastic book. And I love how he keeps coming back to his 3 key elements of lordship. Give this one a go. You won't regret it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ben Robin

    I did not give this book 5 stars for two reasons. First, Frame organizes his work quite differently from most on the doctrine of God, which is both refreshing and frustrating at times. Second, Frame either rejects or significantly nuances several of the traditional theological categories in the history of the church (e.g. immutability, atemporality, impassibility, simplicity, etc.), but he doesn’t exactly leave you with a concrete alternative. Rather, he seems to emphasize where the traditional I did not give this book 5 stars for two reasons. First, Frame organizes his work quite differently from most on the doctrine of God, which is both refreshing and frustrating at times. Second, Frame either rejects or significantly nuances several of the traditional theological categories in the history of the church (e.g. immutability, atemporality, impassibility, simplicity, etc.), but he doesn’t exactly leave you with a concrete alternative. Rather, he seems to emphasize where the traditional formulation is unhelpful or incomplete, without clearly and positively presenting his counter-proposal. Unfortunately, this left me with more questions than answers on many of these points. Those two issues aside, this is a very edifying read. Having unpacked his theology of Lordship, the last two pages left me quite stirred by God’s glorious covenant with his people in Christ.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Deurbrouck

    An excellent book by John Frame on the doctrine of God Himself. As always, Frame's writing style is clear and thorough, and even the formatting of the book itself lends itself towards clarity. The aspects of God which are clearly laid out in Scripture are most focused on, and the aspects of God which are derived from philosophical speculation in the history of the church are less focused on (which is ideal). I still give this book five stars for all the good in it, but it does give a lot of atte An excellent book by John Frame on the doctrine of God Himself. As always, Frame's writing style is clear and thorough, and even the formatting of the book itself lends itself towards clarity. The aspects of God which are clearly laid out in Scripture are most focused on, and the aspects of God which are derived from philosophical speculation in the history of the church are less focused on (which is ideal). I still give this book five stars for all the good in it, but it does give a lot of attention to silly ideologies, such as whether or not God can know the future, and whether or not He exists solely in the future. The blessing for the true Christian is that the answers to these questions are obvious. It may, however, do some good that he addresses these strange discussions here. All told, it elaborates well on the Reformed doctrine of God's providence, and God's relationship to all things as their Lord.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Rimmer

    Holy moly...so good! Kinda like a martial arts instructor that not only expertly stomps you into a pulp, reminding your arrogant self that you are a mere white belt, but also proceeds to patiently repeat the lesson over and over and over again until you realize that you've got a lifetime to go to even begin to understand how awesome what you are studying is. One of my life goals is to finish this book, and the entire series it comes from. Holy moly...so good! Kinda like a martial arts instructor that not only expertly stomps you into a pulp, reminding your arrogant self that you are a mere white belt, but also proceeds to patiently repeat the lesson over and over and over again until you realize that you've got a lifetime to go to even begin to understand how awesome what you are studying is. One of my life goals is to finish this book, and the entire series it comes from.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    A significant contemporary systematic theology by a conservative and learned Reformed theologian and philosopher. There is much to interact with here, much to agree with, and some even with which to disagree.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Fulton

    This book is great, but it is a slow read. I did not enjoy working my through it as much as “Doctrine of the Knowledge of God” but it was still tremendously helpful. The Kindle version is nice because it is searchable, but there are no page numbers or table of contents.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Thomas

    I really appreciate Frame's ability to get down into the weeds and help the reader understand what's going on. Frame's Theology of Lordship Series is a great work that I would recommend to anyone. I really appreciate Frame's ability to get down into the weeds and help the reader understand what's going on. Frame's Theology of Lordship Series is a great work that I would recommend to anyone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Rust

    This was an absolute delight.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cade Perry

    A massive yet very accessible book

  22. 4 out of 5

    Coram Deo Church

    The Doctrine of God is not currently available at local libraries.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Short

    Generally good, but I don't buy into triperspectivalism. Generally good, but I don't buy into triperspectivalism.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This book is a great resource on a theology of God. Those who have read other works by the author John Frame will find him on top of his game here as well. This is a work that pastors and teachers would turn to as reference even after completing it. I enjoyed reading this book in two separate instances: once when I was in seminary as something I had to read through rather quickly and the second instance being after seminary at a slower pace as part of my morning routine of devotional-theological This book is a great resource on a theology of God. Those who have read other works by the author John Frame will find him on top of his game here as well. This is a work that pastors and teachers would turn to as reference even after completing it. I enjoyed reading this book in two separate instances: once when I was in seminary as something I had to read through rather quickly and the second instance being after seminary at a slower pace as part of my morning routine of devotional-theological readings. I would recommend the second approach as the best way to read this volume. If it isn’t obvious already: I enjoyed this book very much. I appreciated Frame’s desire to be biblical in his approach towards systematic theology and also his openness to admit areas he’s not as certain about or have concerns with. At the same time this book is robust in its presentation of what is clear from Scripture and this gives readers the confidence in the certainty of what God’s Word teaches concerning God’s attributes, actions and the Trinity. There was so many gold in the book. Here are a few: • John Frame is right to note the Bible’s central theme of God’s covenant lordship. This observation concerning the Lordship of God is also the central theme of this work on the doctrine of God. Readers will be immensely edified with Frame’s discussion of the various aspects of God’s Lordship. A big part of Frame’s theology is his analysis of how these aspects which he call “perspectives” can be distinct from one another and yet are also interdependent. • Often the perspectives Frame observes are triadic by nature. Many examples abound in the book and Frame even have the book’s first appendix be a list of these theological triads and other triads found in God’s creation. A big triad motif in the book is the paradigm that God’s Lordship is demonstrated in His control, authority and presence. • Frame’s desire to be biblical enriches the contemporary discussion in theology of God’s imminence and transcendence. Frame critiques the unbiblical definitions and understanding of God’s imminence and transcendence. Often in unbiblical theology and philosophy God’s imminence and transcendence are pitted against one another however a biblical definition of each are actually logically consistent and without tension. Frame argues that biblical transcendence is really God’s control and authority as opposed to the unbiblical notion of transcendence that asserts God is unknowable. Likewise with a biblical view of God’s imminence Christians means God’s presence and the unbiblical notion that assert God is totally and fully knowable. One shouldn’t miss the diagram on page 113. • There was six parts to the book and my favorite among them is part five that covers the biblical descriptions of God. It was an edifying read to go over God’s attributes. For instance I enjoyed the book’s discussion of the unchangibility of God on pages 566-572. • While this work is theological and about theology proper I found that it was beautifully more than just another theology book. It is as if this work is also a work on apologetics, Christian philosophy and theological methods. Again this is the beauty of Frame’s Perspectivalism and also the beautiful exploration of how various doctrines and disciplines are inter-related so beautifully. It makes me worship God more profoundly reading this book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shaela

    It appears that the doctrine of God isn't a topic that you can cover in a 500 word essay. This heavy volume is 800+ pages and, as the title reveals, has an incredibly broad scope. It took me a coon’s age to get through it, but as usual, I really appreciated Frame’s balanced and down to earth, Christ-centered approach to sometimes technical theological subjects. He isn't afraid to humbly admit uncertainty about the more mysterious or peripheral concepts in Scripture and is fair in his treatment o It appears that the doctrine of God isn't a topic that you can cover in a 500 word essay. This heavy volume is 800+ pages and, as the title reveals, has an incredibly broad scope. It took me a coon’s age to get through it, but as usual, I really appreciated Frame’s balanced and down to earth, Christ-centered approach to sometimes technical theological subjects. He isn't afraid to humbly admit uncertainty about the more mysterious or peripheral concepts in Scripture and is fair in his treatment of views that are not his own. This is the only systematic theology that I've read cover to cover (along with The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God in the same series), but it seems from my little bit of exposure to systematics in the Reformed tradition that we sometimes lean too far in a rationalist direction in our approach to the Bible and a distinctly Christian philosophy. I tend to do the same thing, even to the point of thinking God’s Word doesn't go far enough or isn't logically tidy enough or easy to categorize enough for my liking, forgetting that it is just as sinful and arrogant to add to God’s Word as it is to take away from it. Frame’s work often stands in contrast to this in his attitude and treatment of Scripture. The main thing I love about Frame is his ability to integrate concepts instead of introducing them in a disconnected fashion. There was a lot here to digest, but I come away from reading with at least a faint grasp of the fundamental ways in which God's Word, my situation, and my consciousness tie together. I especially benefited from the sections on the problem of evil, common grace, the Trinitarian idea of “the one and the many”, and Christian ethics.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Psych

    “The work of theology is not to repeat the language of Scripture, but to apply the language of Scripture to our thought and life.” (Pg. 698, Doctrine of God, John Frame) This quote and others like it by this prolific author have been my daily digest in the world of theological discourse, with his other masterpiece, DKG (The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God), as my only other major influence. Though it can be simply stated that this book is a systematic overview of all the major Christian doctrin “The work of theology is not to repeat the language of Scripture, but to apply the language of Scripture to our thought and life.” (Pg. 698, Doctrine of God, John Frame) This quote and others like it by this prolific author have been my daily digest in the world of theological discourse, with his other masterpiece, DKG (The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God), as my only other major influence. Though it can be simply stated that this book is a systematic overview of all the major Christian doctrines, I would like to suggest to you that this book is more than simply a summary. No, it is far greater. With every possible question that arises from each doctrine, the author provides a journey through theological discourse and debate, scriptural evidence, and various other insights all for the sake of one goal, understanding God. Is that not simply the greatest achievement that anyone can have in this life, to simply know and enjoy God? Although I confess that I have only read chapters 19 to 29 for syntopical research purposes, I will almost guarantee that you, the reader, will enjoy some aspect of this book. With the exhaustive details of each attribute, the comprehensive understanding of each attribute, and even the applications of such attributes along the journey, the author goes far beyond simply introducing Christian doctrine. I would recommend this to anyone who sincerely wants to begin in studying theology, no contest.

  27. 5 out of 5

    J. Rutherford

    Frame has produced another solid book. His presentation of the doctrine of God around the concept of Lordship is helpful and quite insightful. There were a few weaknesses in the work: the arguments for his view of God's relationship with time was not entirely persuasive, the discussion of cessationism and infant baptism were the weakest parts of the book. His discussion of the eternal generation of the Son was also quite weak, especially in the identification of begottenness as essential to sons Frame has produced another solid book. His presentation of the doctrine of God around the concept of Lordship is helpful and quite insightful. There were a few weaknesses in the work: the arguments for his view of God's relationship with time was not entirely persuasive, the discussion of cessationism and infant baptism were the weakest parts of the book. His discussion of the eternal generation of the Son was also quite weak, especially in the identification of begottenness as essential to sonship, which negates the status of an adopted child. The identification of the Spirit with many references to "breath" and "wind" could have been defended a lot more, leaving the reader with the suspicion of some lexical fallacies. The strongest parts of the book were the connection between the traditional attributes of God and Frame's triperspectival lordship attributes, the discussion of divine sovereignty and providence, and the helpful discussion of divine simplicity.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris Comis

    Once again Frame delivers the goods. One thing I have always appreciated about the man is how clear and concise he is with his theological prose. The man should get an award for that alone. The section on divine a/temporality was excellent. The last chapter on the Trinity was also very good, but I think it should've been put towards the front of the book. This I think would've added a much more Trinitarian flavor to the book as a whole. The only downside to the book is that Frame has yet to inte Once again Frame delivers the goods. One thing I have always appreciated about the man is how clear and concise he is with his theological prose. The man should get an award for that alone. The section on divine a/temporality was excellent. The last chapter on the Trinity was also very good, but I think it should've been put towards the front of the book. This I think would've added a much more Trinitarian flavor to the book as a whole. The only downside to the book is that Frame has yet to interact with much liturgical and symbolical approaches to the doctrine of God. His training is analytical philosophy has (I think) detracted him from seeing how important these perspectives are for our doctrine of God. But the book is covenantal to the core, and so I would argue is a great addition in support of the Federal Vision.

  29. 4 out of 5

    G Walker

    Frame is one of my heroes. While we may not see eye to eye on everything, I genuinely believe, had he only penned this volume, it would have been enough to establish him in the halls of Western thought as a "great" alongside the likes of Calvin, Murray, etc. This book is highly accessible and doxological, yet at the same time academically rigorous. Not many shortcuts are taken. He does exegetical, historical and philosophical homework. While staying (squarely) in the reformational tradition, he Frame is one of my heroes. While we may not see eye to eye on everything, I genuinely believe, had he only penned this volume, it would have been enough to establish him in the halls of Western thought as a "great" alongside the likes of Calvin, Murray, etc. This book is highly accessible and doxological, yet at the same time academically rigorous. Not many shortcuts are taken. He does exegetical, historical and philosophical homework. While staying (squarely) in the reformational tradition, he allows the Scriptures to say what they mean... That is, he is open to using biblical language and doesn't fall prey to the Procrustean beds of the post-reformational scholastics. I cannot think of a book from the western (protestant) tradition that I would value more in the field of "systematics".

  30. 5 out of 5

    Henry

    This was somewhat mixed for me. Some parts I thought were sublime and some parts I didn 19t like as much. There were also some parts I didn 19t understand and probably should have taken the time to understand better. One specific point - I thought he made too much out of the author/story perspective on God 19s sovereignty. I think that 19s a fine way of looking at it, but it 19s not one that derives from the Bible and thus not one I would want to bear very much weight (although it may be unfair This was somewhat mixed for me. Some parts I thought were sublime and some parts I didn 19t like as much. There were also some parts I didn 19t understand and probably should have taken the time to understand better. One specific point - I thought he made too much out of the author/story perspective on God 19s sovereignty. I think that 19s a fine way of looking at it, but it 19s not one that derives from the Bible and thus not one I would want to bear very much weight (although it may be unfair to say that he makes it bear very much weight). But in any case this is overall very good and will be a good resource to go back and read on specific topics.

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