John Franke

John R. Franke is a Christian theologian and Theologian in Residence at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, PA. He was the Lester and Kay Clemens Professor of Missional Theology at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA until 2011. Franke received a BA from Nyack College, an MA from Biblical Theological Seminary, studied at Drew University, and received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford where he studied with Alister McGrath.

Franke has associated himself with the missional church and Emerging church (EC) movements, having given talks and presentations at various EC conferences. His theology tends to be regarded as postmodern and postconservative.



  • "As concluded in the previous chapter, the unending task of theology is to find ways of expressing and communicating the biblical story in terms that make use of the intellectual and conceptual tools of a particular culture without being controlled by them. This suggests the need for both critical and constructive reflection on the beliefs and practices of the church in order to scrutinize continuously the life of the church by the standard of the biblical witness and to envision all of life in relationship to God and the mission of God in the world." ^[1]^


  • Beyond Foundationalism, with Stanley Grenz. Westminster John Knox, 2000.
  • The Character Of Theology: An Introduction To Its Nature, Task, And Purpose. Baker, 2005.
  • Editor, "Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel" in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. IVP, 2005.
  • Barth for Armchair Theologians. Westminster John Knox, 2006.
  • Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth. Abingdon, 2009.


  1. The Character of Theology, p. 119

Online writings