In addition to the 32 bullet-points in the “Author’s Preface” of his book The Escondido Theology: A Reformed Response to Two Kingdom Theology, John Frame spends the first chapter of his book explaining “the history and rationale that explain these controversial statements” (1). The rest of the book then brings to light specific instances of those teachings in the writings of the Escondido theologians. At the conclusion of the first chapter, titled “What is the Escondido Theology?”, Frame summarizes the characteristics of this movement. Here are his nine summary statements:
1. As strict separation between law and gospel;
2. A radicalization of the Reformation two-kingdoms view, leading to separation of church and culture, and church and state, so that it is wrong for believers to seek changes in society;
3. A rejection of any focus on human subjectivity;
4. A rejection of the social views of Kuyper, Old Princeton, and Van Til;
5. A radical confessionalism;
6. The exclusiveness of redemptive-historical preaching;
7. The limitation of our worship and fellowship with God to the worship services of the church;
8. A prohibition of all attempts at “relevance”; and
9. The view that all these distinctives are tests of Reformed orthodoxy.
Though Westminster Seminary California and her Escondido theologians “do not wish to engage in a protracted discussion of these things with John” and have concluded that John’s work “is so replete with caricatures, misrepresentations, and straw opponents that a healthy debate on important issues is aborted at the outset,” many others would like to know what the intended meaning is of the thousands of quotations Frame engages with in his book. If John’s work is caricatures, misrepresentations, and straw opponents, this work should be straightforward.
If you are unable to purchase the book, you can read three of the chapters which were originally published over a year ago on www.frame-poythress.org:
Review of Michael Horton’s Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church—published Oct. 20, 2009 (Chapter 2 in The Escondido Theology)
Review of David Van Drunen’s A Biblical Defense of Natural Law–published Jan. 9, 2010 (Chapter 4 in The Escondido Theology)
Review of R. Scott Clark’s Recovering the Reformed Confessions: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice–published Feb. 6, 2010 (Chapter 3 in The Escondido Theology)