John Frame and Rand Hummel

by Feb 16, 2011Piety, Theology1 comment

DOCTOREDIMAGE Ever since I read John Frame I started seeing threes everywhere. His triperspectivalism has a way of worming into your brain and growing a secret third eye. My wife and I even decided to have a baby—three Wards in one house! It’s kind of creepy.

So whenever I hear someone give a three-point outline, I can’t help but try to relate it to Frame’s normative, situational, and existential perspectives. As I’ve discussed here before, these perspectives derive in one sense from what I would call general revelation: ethics is—it just is—a person applying a norm to a situation. You have to have all three or you don’t have moral decision-making. And I’ve never been able to think of a fourth thing that doesn’t easily collapse into one of the three.

This, of course, brings up Rand Hummel, former Program Director at the Wilds Christian Camp. He used to say, in his inimitable way, that he had a rule for his kids about how to follow his instructions. They had to obey Quickly, Sweetly, and Completely. (When they were young it was Quickwy, Sweetwy, and Compweetwy.)

How does Hummel fit with Frame? Here’s my attempt:

  • Quickly: the situational perspective
  • Sweetly: the existential perspective
  • Completely: the normative perspective

Sweetly was the easy one. It deals with existential (personal) motivation. Completely I put with the normative because it seemed to stress the fullness and exact dimensions of whatever command is given. Quickly gets the situational perspective—but I’m not a good enough Frame-ean (or maybe it’s Rand’s fault!) to say why. Maybe because if you don’t obey quickly, the situation might change and your obedience will become disobedience? For example, a kid could take out the trash sweetly and completely, not forgetting a single waste receptacle and carefully including all of the recycling—but if he takes an hour to do it all, he might be pushing past bed-time!

Forgive my Frame-induced OCD.

Oh no! OCD is three letters! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!

Read More 

Don’t Tell Young Women in Your Church to Avoid College

Don’t Tell Young Women in Your Church to Avoid College

There’s a young man I know from Christian circles somewhere in the U.S.—I’ll call him Kyle or Gerald or Edward, or maybe something a little more derogatory—who posted what I can only call an anti-girls-going-to-college meme on Facebook. It argued that Christian...

Honesty and Dishonesty; Inerrancy and Errancy

Honesty and Dishonesty; Inerrancy and Errancy

An ex-evangelical acquaintance of mine recently posted a link to an academic journal article critiquing inerrantist biblical scholars. It contained this paragraph: Well, turnabout is fair play, especially with insufferably tendentious arguments. (I'm sorry: I believe...

Leave a comment.

1 Comment
  1. Marshall

    Taking an ethics class right now and hearing Frame’s name a lot. Also love Rand (he helped do my wedding)… nicely done. Enjoyable.

    Reply

Leave a Reply