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Posts Tagged ‘language’


In my second year of seminary, John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God became required reading in the first year. Oh, well. It has only taken me about 20 years to read the book.  I began to read it 2 years ago, I think, while I was home “watching” the kids while CavWife taught a group exercise class on Monday afternoons. Last year I spent that time studying and developing a curriculum for the Book of Revelation. Though I no longer watch the kids on Monday afternoons, I resumed reading the book this Fall as time permitted. It was worth the work.

The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (an interesting title) is the first in Frame’s A Theology of Lordship series, of which I have already read The Doctrine of God (Salvation Belongs to the Lord is a shorter version that is quite readable). The title of this book suggests the main concern of the book- how can we know God. This is a book about epistomology, the study of how we know. We often take this for granted and never think through it. Those presuppositions drive many of the debates and arguments we have with people. We often fall into bad argumentation (logical fallacies for instance).

“Our criteria, methods, and goals in knowing will depend on what we seek to know.”

Frame wants to examine our presuppositions, and argue for a presupposition understanding of how we know what we know and what we can know.  He starts with knowing God, as Calvin did in The Institutes of the Christian Religion. But he starts with God as Covenant Lord. As Covenant Lord, He made us to think and understand as receivers of revelation. As Covenant Lord, he determines what is revealed to us.

“We do not come to know God, or anything else, in a vacuum. … Still, one has to start somewhere; he cannot relate everything to everything else at once, for otherwise he would be God.”

He touches on subjects like transcendence (God as head of the covenant) and immanence (God’s nearness or involvement with creation), authority,  control and presence, knowability and incomprehensibility etc. He moves out of the theoretical at times to show how these tensions reveal themselves in theological debate, particularly the disagreement between Van Til and Clark. In other words, he examines many of the implications of the Creator-creature distinction.

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Mark Driscoll’s in trouble again.  Some people have found some of the language in his book Confessions of a Reformissionary Rev to be offensive.  I have not read the book, but intend to.  I did read the section in the link above (and found it funny, but I’m weird).  The GospelDriven Life has some great points on those who are pointing to the splinter in Mark’s eye.

There is nothing like a cuss word or crude reference to a body part/sexual act to upset a fundamentalist.  Let me start by saying I grew up across the street from some of the most foul mouthed people around.  It was like living Good Will Hunting.  Now, I know this is hard for some of you to believe- but many people actually speak like that.

Joe Carter in the Evangelical Outpost has a great post on the subject of vulgarity.  A few things-

1. The language Mark used is PG compared to a number of places in Scripture where God is literally exposing the sins of Israel.  Try reading Whoredom: God’s Unfaithful Wife in Biblical Theology Ray Ortlund, Jr (now entitled God’s Unfaithful Wife).  God is not nearly as embarrassed by earthy language as we are.  Ever read Luther’s Tabletalk?  Lots of stories and words to upset the dainty-eared.

2. In Isaiah 6 we see that Isaiah repented of being a man of unclean lips from a people of unclean lips (check out my sermon on it).  Did he need to have his mouth washed out with soap like I did as a youngster?  In our culture we’d lean toward cussin’ & swearing.  But Isaiah was most likely confessing that he and his people had spoken the names of false gods to deliver them.  They were probably criticizing God because things weren’t going well.  They had forsaken the true and living God.  The use of slang terms is not the issue here.

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