Bible and Tradition

Few people have had a front-row seat to the various controversies that have rocked the Reformed world since the 1970s. John Frame is one of those few. Irenic and gentle as he is, he has been a target of attack and a spark of controversy throughout his long career of teaching and writing.

By his account (in Theology of My Life), he may have inadvertently ignited the Shepherd controversy with a question at an ordination exam. He’s been involved in various tussles with traditionalist TRs in the Reformed world, over the legacy of Cornelius Van Til, about Biblicism and confessionalism, and on and on.

He didn’t start the Federal Vision controversy, but nearly all the “FV” leaders were direct or indirect students of Frame.

Frame ends his memoir with a list of the top ten things God has taught him during his life. Several are particularly useful reminders in a time when traditionalism seems to be taking over swathes of the Reformed world

6. The best thing about the Reformed tradition is that it directs us to Scripture. What is merely traditional is dispensable.

7. Total alignment with a historical tradition leads to spiritual shipwreck.

8. One tradition worth keeping, that we need to emphasize more, is that of “creativity within the bounds of orthodoxy.”

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