A Biblical Response to Two Kingdom Theology
Here is a very interesting but very important work by Dr. John Frame. The book consists basically of several very long, very thoughtful book reviews of authors who've come from the Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California. Based on the works they've produced Frame makes a very compelling case that they've developed their own "version" of Reformed theology particular just to the Escondido school. Unfortunately, as Frame goes on to show, their "version" is not truly standard Reformed theology. Furthermore, when seen through a Biblical analysis, it is at many points unbiblical theology.
Taking on about a half dozen authors (including such authors as Michael Horton, R. Scott Clark, David Van Drunen, Meredith G. Kline, and Darryl Hart), Frame shows review by review how their particular outlook is simultaneously (1) not in line with standard Reformed theology, (2) particular only to the Escondido school, and (3) not at all a truly Biblical outlook.
The main common denominator between the Escondido proponents is their "Two Kingdom Theology" whereby they teach in essence that it is not the church's responsibility or call to try to influence culture or society much in any way. While the exact opposite of this can be seen throughout Frame's Theology of Lordship series (and many other Reformed works by other Reformed theologians and teachers), in this work he makes a very concise application of that theology by reviewing selected works of these Escondido authors.
In an age where Evangelicalism has already waned in regard to making disciples (their focus tends to be on evangelism rather than actually evangelizing and discipleship - teaching converts to observe all that Christ has commanded in all spheres of life), the Escondido proponents ("Reformed" theologians of all people) have stepped in basically to congratulate such behavior. Meanwhile Frame is working hard at calling the church back to the great commission to truly make disciples of all nations, and teaching them to observer all that Christ has commanded.
No doubt this book will not be welcomed with open arms among the faculty at Escondido (and perhaps several other "Reformed" institutions). But I'm very glad to see that it's in print and that Frame is not giving up the battle. I truly hope the students at Southern Seminary (past, present, and future), will at least give this book a perusal seeing as how it looks like Southern's main systematic theology text is now Michael Horton's Theology for Pilgrims on the Way.
In the end, while this book will not be the last word, it is certainly an important word. And I hope it's read by the many students of theology for whom it was written.
I'm a sinner saved by God's amazing grace through the the precious blood of Jesus Christ and the glorious quickening of the Holy Spirit.
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