BOOK REVIEW: A History of Western Philosophy And Theology



John Frame (Reformed Theological Seminary) has recently published yet another book A History of Western Philosophy And Theology. Pump the breaks! Why would any Christian write on the subject of Philosophy? Aren’t we exhorted not to entertain vain philosophies? Yes we are but that is not whats taking place here. As a student of philosophy (and by God’s grace a Christian) I have benefited tremendously from understanding the history of thought in both the east and the west. Based upon my reading of Frame that is precisely his goal. To help the Christian community understand these certain thought patterns that have developed over time in the west for the purpose of understanding non-Christian thought and speaking intelligently to it.

The book itself is a great read. Frame’s experience as a career educator comes through in his writing style and helping the reader understand and internalize sometimes complicated concepts as he covers such topics as:

Philosophy And The Bible

Greek Philosophy

Medieval Philosophy

Early Modern Thought

Theology In The Enlightenment

Kant And His Successors

Nineteenth Century Theology

Nietzsche, Pragmatism, Phenomenology, And Existentialism

Twentieth Century Liberal Theology

Recent Christian Philosophy

Some of these topics may look heavy but Frame hones in on major key points and movements that help in understanding the interchange between the disciplines of theology and philosophy.

“But wait there’s more!” The book is packed with great features. There is an appendices that provides readers with well developed reviews on topics covered in the book. Also, there is a very thorough glossary covering terms used through out the book. There is also bibliographies, indexes, but what I really enjoyed was that the chapters correlated with online lectures through iTunesU. An outstanding tool to help solidify what you just read.

In terms of reading level I would put it in the category of accessible. It is a book about the interchange of theology and philosophy in the west so there will be terms that aren’t commonly used but Frame goes over the top to make it understandable. This is a great book for an intro level college course (especially on a Christian campus) but it can also be used in a Sunday school class, or even home school (Freshman – Senior).

Rating: 5 Stars


This book is provided to me courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.




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Filed under Book Review, Philosophy, Theology

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