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The Escondido Theology: A Reformed Response to Two Kingdom Theology

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This book is a critical analysis of a theological movement John Frame calls The Escondido Theology. The name is chosen because this movement developed mainly among faculty members of Westminster Seminary California which is located in the city of Escondido, California.

Some members of this school of thought, such as Michael Horton, Meredith Kline, and Darryl Hart, are well-known to students of Reformed theology. But these figures have never before been discussed as composing a distinctive school of thought. More often they have been discussed as individual theologians, or simply as representatives of the orthodox Reformed theological tradition. But they are not simply Reformed; they hold views that are quite distinctive, unusual and controversial.

In Dr. Frame's view, these positions are not standard Reformed theology. None of their distinctive positions is taught in any of the Reformed confessions. These positions are an idiosyncratic kind of teaching peculiar to the Escondido school. Those who teach them are a faction, even a sect. 1 Taken in the plain sense of the terms, their positions are all unbiblical. Dr. John Frame s The Escondido Theology is a needed corrective to the rapidly growing advocacy and acceptance of a two-kingdom approach to theology and culture.

It is not only timely, considering the popularity of Two Kingdom Theology , but also because he is the right individual to address the issues, having previously served as a Professor at both Westminster in Philadelphia and then as a founding faculty member at Escondido. Dr. Frame personally witnessed the inception and development of this doctrinal view in Escondido. Dr. Frame s insight and analysis clearly represents my Christian World and Life View because it is historically rooted in Calvinistic theology.


Endorsements

Dr. John Frame has taken up the theological issue of Two Kingdom Theology and demonstrated his qualifications in addressing this popular view currently being advocated by various Reformed professors at Westminster Seminary in California. Dr. Frame provides critical insight and analysis of each Professor s published views advocating this doctrinal teaching. The tone and attitude of Dr. Frame is distinctively Christian and his response is clearly Reformed. Whether you advocate for or against Two Kingdom Theology, this book must be read prior to making any final determination as to the biblical and Reformed teaching on the subject. Dr. Kenneth Gary Talbot President, Whitefield Theological Seminary

Frame has lived to see a vocal segment of the robust, rich tradition in which he was educated transformed into a narrow sectarianism that anathematizes other orthodox, Bible-believing Christians; elevates theological and church tradition to near equal status with God s Word; and diminishes that Word as the norm for all of life and thought. This book is the agonizing jeremiad of an older prophet who sadly diagnoses a desiccating illness of a friend and offers a prescription for a wholesome healing. Dr. P. Andrew Sandlin President, Center for Cultural Leadership --Dr. P. Andrew Sandlin President, Center for Cultural Leadership

In these pages John M. Frame clarifies in rather crystal clear terms what many of us have suspected for years: that the Escondido theologians, though claiming the Reformed heritage, are nonetheless out of accord with many of its most fundamental tenets. Broad in treatment, penetrating in scholarly analysis, and avoiding ad hominem, Frame builds a persuasive case the entire Protestant church should take the time to investigate. The sections that scrutinize the two kingdoms perspective of the Escondido teachers show especially the extent to which they have compromised a staple of Calvin s thought: the Lordship of God over all things." Dr. John Barber Pastor, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church --Dr. John Barber Pastor, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church 

 

About the Author

John Frame is presently Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He previously served as a Professor at both Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia and then as a founding faculty member at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California.

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