Jason's Reviews > Salvation Belongs to the Lord, An Introduction to Systematic Theology

Salvation Belongs to the Lord, An Introduction to Systematic ... by John M. Frame
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Oct 23, 09

Read in June, 2009

Salvation Belongs to the Lord is a clear, readable, Biblically sound introduction to the major points of Christian theology. The book reflects decades of high level study, in the academy in the church, which should push the reader to reflect more on theology, and especially how the various parts are integrated, amongst themselves and in the lives of people. A hallmark of Frame’s writing and teaching is an emphasis on the Lordship of God, his personal ruling power and influence over his creation. Frame’s work is thoroughly Reformed, yet balanced enough to attempt to understand other points of view, and what they can add to the understanding of Christian theology.

With any study of Systematic Theology, even an introductory study such as this, the author will select points to emphasis more than others, or in this case of this book, how to order the teaching of systematics. The book is divided into two sections: an objective and non repeatable study of the points of theology and a subjective and repeatable study. The first section of the book deals with a lot of who’s and what’s: who God is, what the nature of the Trinity and his Lordship is, who is Jesus and the Holy Spirit, what is the nature of man, etc. The second section concerns how theology influences more subjective things. The nature of the church, last things, the order of salvation, faith and repentance, even ethics.

Frame, a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, originally developed this book out of a series of academic lectures, so it has a bit of conversational tone. He uses a teaching device, which he has developed more fully his multi volume work on Lordship Theology, what he calls trispectivalism, or really a way at looking at life and Biblical thought from three different perspectives: the normative, situational and existential. His teaching device mostly fits all the traditional sections of theology, and it can help the reader to apply and come to a better understanding of the subject.

What is genuinely refreshing about this book is just how Frame combines sound teaching of the theology of the Bible with a heart for individuals and a humble attitude towards his subject. I think this is largely because he is so driven by a theology that focuses on God as Lord, it makes it much easier for him to say that the Bible is not clear on a subject, or that he can give a best guess on something, but be willing that some others may see something a different way. This work interacts with, and is influenced by, such Reformed theologians as Grudem, Murray, Warfield, and Piper. So there this work comes out of some sound thinking and meditation on the Bible, but it achieves its goal of being accessible.

Many books of this sort are about unreadable as much other than a reference tool, but Frame writes well enough, that even beginning students of the complexity and richness of the Bible should find this useful. I can heartily recommend this work for individual or group study, as a great guide for teachers and pastors, and for anyone who wants to grasp, grapple with, and learn more of the great doctrines of the Bible.
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