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Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Frame)

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Systematic Theology is the culmination and creative synthesis of John Frame's writing on, teaching about, and studying of the Word of God. This magisterial opus—at once biblical, clear, cogent, readable, accessible, and practical—summarizes the mature thought of one of the most important and original Reformed theologians of the last hundred years. It will enable you to see clearly how the Bible explains God's great, sweeping plan for mankind.

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Table of Contents:

Foreword by J.I. Packer

Part One: Introduction to Systematic Theology

1. What Is Theology?

2. The Lord

3. God’s Lordship as a Unique Worldview

Part Two: The Biblical Story

4. The Lord’s Covenants

5. The Kingdom of God

6. The Family of God

Part Three: The Doctrine of God

7. The Acts of the Lord: Miracle  

8. The Acts of the Lord: Providence, Part 1

9. The Acts of the Lord: Providence, Part 2

10. The Acts of the Lord: Creation

11. The Acts of the Lord: God’s Decrees

12. God’s Attributes: Love and Goodness

13. God’s Attributes: Righteousness and Holiness

14. The Problem of Evil

15. God’s Attributes: Knowledge

16. God’s Attributes: Power, Will

17. God’s Attributes: Lord of Time

18. God’s Attributes: Lord of Space, Matter, Light, and Breath

19. God’s Attributes: The Self-Contained God

20. God, Three in One

21. The Three Are God

22. Father, Son, and Spirit

Part Four: The Doctrine of the Word of God

23. God and His Word

24. God Speaks to Us in Events and Words

25. God’s Written Words

26. The Nature of Scripture

27. From God’s Lips to Our Ears

28. From the Text to Our Hearts

Part Five: The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God

29. God and Our Knowledge

30. Perspectives on Human Knowledge

31. Justifying Claims to Knowledge

32. Resources for Knowing

Part Six: The Doctrine of Angels and Demons

33. Angels and Demons

Part Seven: The Doctrine of Man

34. Man in the Image of God

35. Human Responsibility and Freedom  

36. Sin

Part Eight: The Doctrine of Christ

37. The Person of Christ

38. The Work of Christ

Part Nine: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

39. The Holy Spirit

40. Calling

41. Regeneration and Conversion – Subjective Salvation

42. Justification and Adoption

43. Sanctification

44. Perseverance and Assurance

45. Glorification

Part Ten: The Doctrine of the Church

46. The Church

47. The Task of the Church

48. The Means of Grace

49. The Sacraments

Part Eleven: The Doctrine of the Last Things

50. Heaven and Hell

51. The Events of the Last Days

Part Twelve: The Doctrine of the Christian Life

52. How Then Shall We Live? 



John M. Frame (AB, Princeton University; BD, Westminster Theological Seminary; MA and MPhil, Yale University; DD, Belhaven College) holds the J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and is the author of many books, including the four-volume Theology of Lordship series, as well as Apologetics to the Glory of God, No Other God: A Response to Open Theism, Cornelius Van Til: An Analysis of His Thought, and Salvation Belongs to the Lord.



“Few in our day champion such a vision of God as massive, magnificent, and biblical as does John Frame. For decades, he has given himself to the church, to his students, and to meticulous thinking and the rigorous study of the Bible. He has winsomely, patiently, and persuasively contended for the gospel in the secular philosophical arena, as well as in the thick of the church worship wars and wrestlings with feminism and open theism. He brings together a rare blend of big-picture thinking, levelheaded reflection, biblical fidelity, a love for the gospel and the church, and the ability to write with care and clarity.” - John Piper, Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary; Founder and Teacher,

“This is a remarkable volume—a wonderfully clear, refreshingly insightful, profoundly biblical treatment of systematic theology. While reading this book, I felt as though I once again had the privilege of being a student in John Frame’s theology classes, the classes that so deeply influenced my thinking as a Westminster Seminary student forty years ago. But now the material has been enriched by a lifetime of further research and teaching. An outstanding achievement!” - Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, AZ

“Many times in the past I have grown in my understanding of Scripture and benefited in my practice of ministry as a consequence of John Frame’s written reflections on God’s Word. Now the opportunity to draw upon that thought from a work that expands and systematizes his reflections from a lifetime of study and devotion is a great treasure for the church and a great gift to all in ministry.” - Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary

“This new systematic theology comes from one of the great theological minds of our age. John Frame’s contributions to theology are already massive and many, but now he has given the church a systematic theology. This is a very important book, and it represents a lifetime of consecrated theological reflection. This new volume promises to be an enduring contribution to evangelical theology.” - R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Systematic Theology brings together, slims down, sums up, and augments all the wisdom contained in Frame’s four-volume Lordship series. It is a worthy climax to the life’s work of one who has only ever sought to be a faithful servant of Christ, teaching in his church. It is a privilege to celebrate its appearing and to commend it for serious study. I guarantee that the dividends of such study will be uniformly high. Thank you, John Frame, for this superb gift.” - J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia

“John Frame is an esteemed colleague and one of the most important contemporary Reformed systematic theologians in the English-speaking world. His Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief reflects a half-century of distinguished teaching, prolific writing, and serious study. For that reason alone, especially in a day and age in which many evangelicals question the legitimacy of systematic theology, this volume commends itself to our attention. Frame (thankfully) encourages a Bible-centered approach to doing theology and (rightly) asserts that even ‘practical theology’ is a department of systematic theology. Here you will find the Professor Frame you have come to expect: clear, readable, restrained, and conversational in his presentation, and thoughtful, biblical, consistent, and careful in his views. Many years ago, Carl F. H. Henry suggested that we need a ‘recovery of Christian belief.’ May your engagement with this book serve to introduce you to and ground you in genuinely Christian belief.” - Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary

“Reading John Frame’s Systematic Theology often encourages, occasionally puzzles, but almost always stimulates. Growing out of a lifetime of reflection and wrestling with biblical texts, these pages contain much that we can learn from as we all try to understand better how God glorifies his lordship in our salvation. I, for one, am thankful that we now have this one-volume synthesis of Frame’s thinking.” - Kelly M. Kapic, Professor of Theological Studies, Covenant College

“John Frame’s Systematic Theology is an important landmark in one-volume treatments of the major loci of doctrine. Frame’s signature is readily apparent on every page: commitment to Scripture for everything he writes, accessible philosophical analysis of difficult questions, and, yes, triperspectivalism. This volume ranks as the most recommendable single-volume systematic theology of our time.” - Derek W. H. Thomas, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson; Minister of Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson

“What a gift the gracious Lord of all has given us in the person and work of John Frame. Of the many qualities that commend John Frame’s Systematic Theology, three stand out: (1) It is eminently biblical. As Frame indicates at the outset, his main concern (rightly) is to reflect, as best he can, the wisdom and wonder of the Word of God, which shows forth the glory of God in all he is and does. (2) It is richly orthodox. John Frame knows the gospel and what doctrines and positions are necessary to sustain, support, and spread that gospel. He holds the line at every point where this is needed, in a day when many have yielded slack to, or have thrown down, that doctrinal lifeline. (3) It is deeply insightful. Frame demonstrates where theological innovation is best applied—in endeavoring to rethink and restate age-old truths with an eye both to biblical fidelity and to contemporary expression. May God be pleased to magnify his name through the broad reading and study of this great work.” - Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary