“The fear of The LORD is the beginning of knowldege; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
What can you say about a Book like this? Frame is indeed “Thee Professor”. I would call this his magnum opus but each new book he comes out with is equally deserving of that title.
God has blessed him with unique insights into deep concepts most of us would drown in. He wades out into the depths in order to bring back pearls for us, but he also teaches us the principles we need in order to follow him back out there.
Frame writes with clarity, cogency, and profundity as he takes key concepts passed down to him from his own professor, Cornelius Van Til, and applies them in analysis of the history of philosophy as well as theology. In fact the book is even dedicated to Van Til, who’s legacy has enjoyed a new flourishing as of late due to Frame’s works.
A History of Western Philosophy and Theology is a text book, but it’s not your average “head in the clouds” text book written from an ivory tower. Frame has gone above and beyond in making philosophy and theology accessible to the church. His goal is not merely to flex his intellectual muscles or demonstrate his philosophical acumen. Primarily, his goal is to bless the church. His arguments are valid and sound to be sure, but they’re also persuasive! He successfully shows that the history of western philosophy and theology has been “spiritual warfare in the life of the mind”.
You don’t need a background in theology or philosophy to enjoy this book, Professor Frame will teach you! If you’re anything like me, you learn best when you read something and then hear someone teach on it. Well there’s more good news! Frame has included the outline of his lecture series on ITunes U where you can here him teach on each chapter of his books, for free!
Chapter 1 is a rich intro to philosophy and it’s relation to the Bible. Frame does a great job of orienting the reader and familiarizing his audience with the discipline. After the prolegomena we begin with the history of Greek philosophy and then move on down the line to recent Christian philosophy.
Chapter by chapter Frame lays out prominent philosophies and their influence on the theology of the time. But this isn’t just a survey of philosophy; in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 10:5, Frame analyses, critiques, and destroys arguments and lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God.
In typical Framean fashion, there are lots and lots of diagrams and visual aids to help the reader understand various perspectives and where certain philosophies are diametrically opposed to a Christian philosophy.
At the top left of each page Frame include and outline of the section you’re in with a highlighted marker showing you exactly where you’re at.
At the end of every chapter is a list of key terms. This may seem daunting for you right now, but Frame’s style pulls your right in and before you know it, you’ve finished the chapter and you’re familiar with every word on the list.
He also includes tons of study questions after each chapter which allows you to work as hard as you wish. He also includes a “read for yourself” list of related books for further study.
When I first picked up A History of Western Philosophy and Theology, I thought it would look good on my shelf, I never thought I’d read every last page and go through 5 different highlighters in the course of reading it. Frame writes in a fashion that’s easy to read and he does so without compromising content.
Every Christian can benefit from this book. I even bought a second copy to go through with the guys I disciple. Yeah, it’s that good!
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