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John Frame – Theology and Scripture

4 Feb

We must be on our guard lest we confuse the technical theological definitions of biblical terms with the ways those terms are used by the biblical writers. It would be wrong to assume that whenever covenant is found in Scripture, the Westminster Confession’s “covenant of grace” is meant. It would certainly be wrong to assume that a full saving faith is in view whenever Scripture speaks of someone “believing” (cf., e.g., John 8:31 with v. 37-47) or that whenever someone is “called” in Scripture that effectual calling is meant.

Clearly, then, when we adopt a technical definition, we have no right to claim that we have found the “real meaning” or the “deeper meaning” that is only obscurely expressed by the biblical terms. Technical theology does not represent anything deeper or more authoritative than the biblical canon itself. On the contrary, technical theology always sacrifices some biblical meaning to make some biblical points more vivid to the reader. That sacrifice is not wrong. We must sacrifice something in our teaching, since we cannot say everything at once. But we must never assume that a theological system will teach us anything more than Scripture itself. Theology is application, not discovery of some new teaching.

~John Frame~


The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (Phillipsburg, New Jersey; P&R Publishing; 1987) p. 223

Books by John Frame

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R.C. Sproul – How I Became a Calvinist

26 Aug

My final surrender came in stages. Painful stages. It started when I began work as a student pastor in a church. I wrote a note to myself that I kept on my desk in a place where I could always see it.

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO BELIEVE, TO PREACH, AND TO TEACH WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS IS TRUE, NOT WHAT YOU WANT THE BIBLE TO SAY IS TRUE.

The note haunted me. My final crisis came in my senior year. I had a three-credit course in the study of Jonathan Edwards. We spent the semester studying Edwards’s most famous book, The Freedom of the Will, under Gerstner’s tutelage. At the same time I had a Greek exegesis course in the Book of Romans. I was the only student in that course, one on one with the New Testament professor. There was nowhere I could hide.

The combination was too much for me. Gerstner, Edwards, the New Testament professor, and above all the Apostle Paul, were too formidable a team for me to withstand. The ninth chapter of Romans was the clincher. I simply could find no way to avoid the Apostle’s teaching in that chapter. Reluctantly, I sighed and surrendered, but with my head, not my heart. “OK, I believe this stuff, but I don’t have to like it!”

I soon discovered that God has created us so that the heart is supposed to follow the head. I could not, with impunity, love something with my head that I hated in my heart. Once I began to see the cogency of the doctrine and its broader implications, my eyes were opened to the graciousness of grace and to the grand comfort of God’s sovereignty. I began to like the doctrine little by little, until it burst upon my soul that the doctrine revealed the depth and the riches of the mercy of God.

I no longer feared the demons of fatalism or the ugly thought that I was being reduced to a puppet. Now I rejoiced in a gracious Savior who alone was immortal, invisible, the only wise God.

~R.C. Sproul~


Chosen By God (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publisher, 1996), 12-13.

Books by R.C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul – Without Theology There is No Christianity

12 Aug

A church without theology or a theology without God are simply not options for the Christian faith. One can have religion without God or theology, but one cannot have Christianity without them.

~R.C. Sproul~


What Is Reformed Theology? (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005), 18.

Books by R.C. Sproul