The Theologian's Character: More Wisdom From John Frame

I just completed John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. The book is a wealth of theological and spiritual insight and I highly recommend it.  It now resides on my desk, ready for its most valuable contents to be recorded onto my laptop.  The following quote, I believe, places all theological labor in proper perspective.

Thus the theologian’s character gives him, by grace, that exemplary life that is requisite for the work of Christian teaching.  But even if we seek to ignore that aspect and focus exclusively on verbal theology, we will find that, too, is highly influenced by the theologian’s character.  Negatively, I believe that many of the ambiguities, fallacies, and superficialities that about in theology are failures of character as much as (or more than) intellect.  Many of these could be avoided if theologians showed a bit more humility about their own level of knowledge, a bit more indulgence in pursuing the truth, a little more simple fairness and honesty (324).

Notice that Frame attributes theological “ambiguities, fallacies and superficiality” more to the theologian’s character than to his intellect.  In other words, you may work hard in research, give yourself to reading and writing, and exercise your mind with categories of logic and philosophy, but if you are not giving equal or greater effort to cultivating Christian character, you may be just wasting your time.

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