Drama of God

John Frame is engaged in a battle over “classical theism” or “scholasticism” as articulated by James Dolezal (about whom I’ve written here). Leave the terminology aside. Frame gets to the heart of the question, and gets it right:

“The main content of Scripture is not that God is simple or changeless (though I think these concepts can be derived from Scripture), but that God has dealt with his creation through history, particularly with human beings, in a thrilling historical drama. His relations with us are not merely causal, but are relations of knowledge, wrath, and mercy. The central message of Scripture is that God came to earth to live among us as a man and to die the death we deserved. As a philosopher, I can argue that this narrative presupposes that God is above time, simple, eternal and unchangeable. But the main biblical narrative is one of divine-human personal interaction.”

If we take Scripture as God’s verbal revelation, then it’s hard to resist Frame’s further point: “If someone says that this interaction implies that God is changeable, so we must regard the narrative as figurative or anthropomorphic, I cry foul. The narrative is true, indeed the highest truth, the truth by which all other truth should be measured.”

On Frame’s view, “The Bible’s personalistic worldview opens up to us a great and wonderful cosmic drama. God is not impersonal, and his personality is not a concession to our anthropomorphic language. God really is Father, Lord, and Savior. He really speaks to us, authoritatively and personally, in Scripture. The Son of God really was born of a virgin, worked miracles in time and space, died for our sins and rose for our justification.”

Exactly so. That is the evangel that has to evangelize our metaphysics.

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  • Michael Kenan Baldwin

    I’m surprised that you would side with Frame on this issue, given your considerable appreciation for history and historical theology.
    Does not the historical pedigree of classical theism, scrap that, the sheer historical consensus (Irenaeus, Athanasius, Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Aquinas, Calvin, Owen, Turretin, Bavinck) give significant pause for thought?