10 Things You Didn’t Know About John Frame

We all know John Frame is a brilliant theologian and a prolific author, but here are ten things you likely didn’t know about him, as revealed in a personal bit published at the end of the new book, John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 1 (P&R, April 2014), 290–2:

  1. [As a family] we listened faithfully to Pittsburgh Pirate games from 1950–56, when the team had the worst record in baseball.
  2. As treasurer in our youth group, I used to harangue the kids every week to bring a quarter for the offering.
  3. The height of my piano study was Edvard Grieg’s piano concerto. On the organ I played over half the organ works of J. S. Bach.
  4. During my high-school years, I was on the verge of accepting an organ position at a Christian Science church, but chose instead a similar job at a Presbyterian church (PCUSA).
  5. I became a fundamentalist at Princeton, and more or less remain so. When I am called that, I’m not embarrassed at all.
  6. My first paper for Cornelius Van Til was 125 pages. People had told me that Van Til graded by weight. So I added seventy-five pages to some material from my Princeton thesis. He gave me an A, and that is what brought me to the attention of the Westminster Seminary faculty.
  7. My priorities for ministry were (a) missions, (b) pastorate, (c) academic theology. A visit to mission fields in 1960 ruled out (a). A year and two summers of pastoral experience ruled out (b). So I embraced (c) by default, as God’s calling.
  8. At Yale, I was bored to death by modern theologians. Still am.
  9. In my early career, I felt a strong tension between my interests and my abilities. The former were focused in practical ministry; the latter were almost completely academic. God has helped me to resolve the tension by writing up academic theological theories that glorify practical ministry.
  10. I did not marry until I was forty-five. God was preparing someone special.


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