For those of you who enjoy reading theology as long as its spoken in a human language still surviving today then John Frame’s latest book, Salvation Belongs To The Lord, is one you won’t want to miss. Theology can at times look like a game of cat and mouse, the cat being the ferocious Cheshire historian and the mouse being a loaded lexeme that only Ivy Leaguer’s can trap. For many the difference between principia and principium makes as much sense in life as that blue fluid that keeps our car windows from iceing up in the winter. But ever so often you find a person who’s gifted in bringing that specialized conversation to the modern joe in a life changing way and John Frame happens to be one those strange theological Potter’s.

One of the statements that’s just caught my attention tonight was his remarks on theology’s relation to ethics, listen in;

…all theology is ethics. Throughout this book we have been studying what we ought to believe. That ought is an ethical ought. Certainly if it is this important to know what we ought to believe, it is equally important to know what we ought to do. Indeed, doing is a wider category than believing. Belief is one of the things we do. (pg. 315)

The way Frame situates belief in ethics, and latter acknowledges that ethics and theology are ‘equally extensive’ meaning that neither are broader categories than the other, relieves some of the tension between Christians who say they are more focused on practice than theology and those who say they are more focused on theology than practice. For Frame, theology while being ‘equally extensive’ to practice is also a subset of practice, its an ethical ought-ness.

What does this mean? It means that every Christian practice has a theological framework that it works itself out from (you can’t say if you’re still alive and breathing, theology doesn’t matter to me, it does and must), and every theological tradition has a living ethical social and cultural context that it works itself out from (you can’t claim that you’re always and only just being influence by Scripture alone, the church and world have their part on what and how you belief). Ever Christian finds him or herself in what I call “Theo-Ethic Spirals“, something like Grant Osbourne’s hermeneutical spiral.

Reflections, comments, responses to this….