T4L: Today we are interviewing Dr. John Frame. Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview with Theology for Life Magazine, Dr. Frame. Can you tell us a bit about your life, marriage, and ministry?
Dr. Frame: I was born in Pittsburgh in 1939, received Jesus as my savior and Lord around the age of 12. I got my A.B. at Princeton University, studied theology at Westminster Seminary, earned two Masters’ Degrees at Yale University. I married Mary Grace in 1984, served as stepdad to Debbie, Doreen, and Skip, and as biodad to Justin and Johnny. I taught theology at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, Westminster in California, and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando.
T4L: Wow! That’s quite a summary! I have quite a few questions for you—but seeing your education, I’m sure you’ll give us some great insight. Firstly, can you briefly outline the work of Christ as King?
Dr. Frame: As God, Jesus shares the rule of the Father and the Holy Spirit over all things. As man, He receives the authority over all things that the Father has given Him, as we see in Matthew 28:18.
T4L: Can you help us understand Christ as Prophet, please?
Dr. Frame: As God, Jesus IS the Word of God, the Word that all the prophets spoke, per John 1:1-14. As man, Jesus speaks all the truth the Father has given Him to speak. So He is the greatest of the prophets. He came to fulfill all the Law and the Prophets—this is explained in Matthew 5:17.
T4L: Excellent! And, can you please briefly describe Christ as Priest?
Dr. Frame: As God, Jesus is the one God who alone can be mediator between God and man, as expressed in 1st Timothy 2:5. As man, He lay down His life as a sacrifice for sinners, dying the death they deserved—we see this in Matthew 20:28.
T4L: Thank you for that wonderful explanation. Now I’ve got a more difficult question for you…What is tri-perspectivalism?
Dr. Frame: Often, when Scripture distinguishes parts or aspects of a doctrine, it does not separate them, but shows how they are inseparably united to one another—this is tri-perspectivalism. In the case of the three offices of Christ, Jesus could not have been king unless He had been prophet (uttering God’s word of supreme power) and priest (who can mediate God’s power to the created universe). He could not have been the supreme prophet unless His word had kingly power and the supreme priestly ability to reach our hearts. Nor could He have been the Greatest Priest unless He had the kingly power to break through man’s sin and the truth that is a perfect reflection of the Father’s intentions.
T4L: So, why does tri-perspectivalism matter for the Christian and those in Christian ministry?
Dr. Frame: It begins in the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity. In every phase of our experience, and in all of our salvation, God acts as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is a simplicity to it: He saves us completely from our sins and all their consequences. But in that simplicity, there is a wonderful richness, for we have fellowship with God in every way. In Him, we have a strong Father, a loving Son, and a Holy Spirit who dwells with us and in us. We have a relationship with God in all His fullness. So, in every moment He governs us as King, speaks to us as Prophet, and nurtures us as Priest.
T4L: Very insightful! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview, Dr. Frame!
Dr. Frame: You’re welcome!
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.