Yesterday I began to review John Frame’s Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction. I wasn’t especially positive! But my critique was mainly one of tone rather than content. And although I found the book as a whole somewhat exasperating, it did give me three takeaways that I am genuinely very thankful for. The first of which is this:
1. Apologetics must lead to a fully-orbed view of the biblical God.
In the second chapter, Frame discusses four essential components of the Christian worldview, under the heading of metaphysics.
These are: first the absolute personality of God; second, the distinction between Creator and creature; third, the sovereignty of God; and fourth, the trinity. (p34)
This is a helpful challenge, and one that I’ve been pondering recently. Apologetics can often fall into the trap of trying to prove certain things about God which, whilst undoubtedly true, are not the whole picture. We can end up having a silo mentality towards our apologetics, building up a raft of strong arguments for various aspects of God’s being, existence or activity, but rarely bringing these various arguments into conversation with one another. And although we may end up convincing someone of the existence of a g/God, I wonder at what cost? And what kind of g/God have we ended up arguing for? Perhaps a sub-biblical one.
So arguments designed to prove God as Creator, unless they are coupled with other aspects of who God is and what He does, may lead one to believe in a creator… sure. But what kind of creator? The god of the Bible or the god of deism?
Arguments about the uniqueness of God – arguments against polytheism – are certainly helpful. But we must be careful not to argue in such a way as to exclude the possibility of the Trinity.
And so on…
Frame’s approach is good insomuch as he works hard to link these four aspects of God together, ensuring that each argument segues into the next, to build up a fully-orbed view of the God of the Bible. I’m not sure I was equally convinced by every step of his argument, but it was a challenge nonetheless to ensure my own portrayal of God is accurate and full.
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