“Reflections of a Lifetime Theologian: An Extended Interview with John M. Frame,” interviewed by P. Andrew Sandlin in Speaking the Truth in Love: The Theology of John Frame (ed. John J. Hughes; Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2009), 106–10:
[Question]: Finally, what advice would you offer to theological students and young theologians as they face a lifetime of theological work?
[John Frame’s answer]: Well, here are some thoughts, in no particular order.
- Consider that you might not really be called to theological work. James 3:1 tells us that not many of us should become teachers and that teachers will be judged more strictly. To whom much (biblical knowledge) is given, of them shall much be required.
- Value your relationship with Christ, your family, and the church above your career ambitions. You will influence more people by your life than by your theology. And deficiencies in your life will negate the influence of your ideas, even if those ideas are true.
- Remember that the fundamental work of theology is to understand the Bible, God’s Word, and apply it to the needs of people. Everything else—historical and linguistic expertise, exegetical acuteness and subtlety, knowledge of contemporary culture, and philosophical sophistication—must be subordinated to that fundamental goal. If it is not, you may be acclaimed as a historian, linguist, philosopher, or critic of culture, but you will not be a theologian. Continue Reading…