Apologetics in Perspective

John Frame is known for his triperspectival approach to knowledge, treated extensively in his Doctrine of the Knowledge of God: there is one Truth, but it can be viewed from different perspectives. These perspectives are:

  1. the normative,
  2. the situational, and
  3. the existential.

In brief, the normative perspective is God’s revealed truth: his Word, his Law. The situational perspective is the truth presented in the world around us, the situation in which we find ourselves. The existential perspective is how we experience the truth.

In his book Apologetics to the Glory of God, Frame presents three different aspects of apologetics:

  1. apologetics as proof,
  2. apologetics as defense, and
  3. apologetics as offense.

In a footnote, he equates these aspects of apologetics with his three perspectives of knowledge: apologetics as proof corresponds to the normative perspective, apologetics as defense corresponds to the situational perspective, and apologetics as offense corresponds to the existential perspective. He rather humorously concludes the footnote with, “You figure it out!”

While I have some preliminary ideas as to how these concepts might be related, I am going to give myself some time to think it over. Any thoughts?


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