Framing Christian Ethics: Doug Moo Reviews John Frame

I was present when Doug Moo reviewed this book at ETS in 2009:

John M. Frame. The Doctrine of the Christian Life. A Theology of Lordship. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2008.

You can view the contents of Frame’s book in a 29-page PDF here.

After recently reading Frame’s book, I asked Doug if his review has been published. It hasn’t, and he gave me permission to upload it here:

Douglas J. Moo. Review of John M. Frame, The Doctrine of the Christian Life. 61st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. New Orleans, November 2009.

Moo’s conclusion:

The book is an admirable, biblically rich, and very satisfying exploration of the meaning, implications, and practical contemporary outworking of biblical law through the lens of the Decalogue. I learned a lot from it. I was challenged in my own too often superficial level of Christian obedience. And it is an important counterbalance to those who err on the side of turning Christian ethics into a vacuous and undefined call to love one another. But at the end of the day, by not focusing enough attention on the grand New Testament themes of Christ’s lordship, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the transformation of mind and heart in conformity with Christ, the book did not satisfy me as a whole and balanced description of the Christian life.


  1. says

    After having read this book almost twice myself for a class I taught at my church on the Ten Commandments, I would agree with Moo’s assessment. Because it is only about the Ten Commandments it cannot be considered to be about the doctrine of the Christian life.

  2. Brent Deedrick says

    It seems to me that the title is the problem. Frame doesn’t claim the book to be a holistic view of the Christian life… besides, you know, the title. Oops. It is a textbook for Christian ethics. It provides a triadic framework (no pun intended) for understanding ethical decision-making and then works through examples under the rubric of the 10 Commandments.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *