Frame: Early Christian Philosophy

I’m more critical on Frame on this section.  I am not a specialist in patristic literature, but I think I am close.  Still, Frame has a number of incisive points that are worth mentioning.

Justin Martyr

Logos is logos spermatikos, the seed of reason in all peoples.   Justin tends to ignore the principle that men suppress the truth in unrighteousness (91).

Via Negativa

Justin says we should prefer negative descriptions of God.  This isn’t biblical.  Scripture doesn’t hesitate to ascribe positive names to God.  Differerence here between covenantal thinking.

Creation

Borderline Gnostic.  God doesn’t create directly “but brings forth subordinate beings to the task” (92).  For a great survey see Colin Gunton’s The Triune Creator.

Irenaeus

rule of faith:  early baptismal creed (Frame 95).

Tertullian:

Stronger doctrine of the antithesis and a development in Christian epistemology (98).  Tertullian was a traducianist.  Tended to confuse metaphysical and ethical categories.

Athanasius

Decent summary of Nicene controversy.  The reader is encouraged to seek out Torrance on Athanasius.  Frame hints that Athanasius was present at Nicea and made speeches (106).  This is highly doubtful.

Augustine

Good survey of Augustine’s epistemology. I can doubt but I can never doubt my doubting.  Truth by nature is imperishable.  If truth passes away, then it is true that truth passes away.  Therefore, truth didn’t pass away.

My criticisms of Frame in this chapter

*He faults Irenaeus for holding to recapitulation (96), thinking it leads to Eastern Orthodoxy.  Well, but what about Ephesians 1:10?

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About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
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2 Responses to Frame: Early Christian Philosophy

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Concerning your last note, If I remember the last chapter John Frame does mention he’s not as familiar with E.O’s contribution to philosophy as much.

    Like

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