Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What Should One Think About a Movement that says ...

1) There is no such movement;

2) The movement is not monolithic; and

3) No one in the movement believes what you just asserted about the movement.

My conclusion is that those in the movement are being pushed toward the light. There is a movement, albeit a rather amorphous one. It is not monolithic about every detail (what movement is?), but it certainly has some defining characteristics and some widely held ideas. And it must have some defining characteristics and some widely held ideas in order for one of its members to allege (3).

One thing I like about Frame's book, "Escondido Theology," is that it moves us from (1) and (2), to (3). The folks whom he has identified are free to say that he's wrong about them personally (i.e. about their views) or about the movement in general (as Horton has already said), but if they will take the approach of actually clarifying their views, there is hope to determine whether the views that they are expressing are simply reasonable points on which people can disagree, or not.

I do understand that some of the responses have been visceral, but hopefully the result of the book will be positive - one of clarifying, whether that means proving Frame right or whether that means proving Frame wrong.

One thing is certain: Frame should not be tarred and feathered or hung out to dry simply for opposing the Escondido magisterium. Such opposition can helpful and even positive. Opposition can drive error out, or can help to sharpen orthodoxy. If the Escondido Theology is right, it should benefit from the spotlight - if it is wrong, we should all benefit from that spotlight.

Thus, even before getting to the substance of "The Escondido Theology," Frame has done a world of good by publishing his book.



Joshua Butcher said...

Brother, I think you may underestimate the ability of those within the movement to avoid clarification like the plague. The only question is, how long can they rope-a-dope before those with whom they desire credibility and fellowship (who would these folks be for them anyway??) tire of the roundabout.

Chris H said...

I don't think he has been tarred and feathered simply for opposing them, it's how he did it that generated the outcry. I don't subscribe to 2k, don't care much for Klinean republication, and am generally agnostic about most of the other points of debate, but certainly felt that Frame's piece, whether he intended it or not, came off like a hatchet job. 2k does seem to still be rather nebulous and it's unclear exactly what it does positively stand for (supposedly DVD is working on a new book that is a bit more positive in character that will hopefully add some clarity), but even I could tell you that many of Frame's characterizations were inaccurate or unfair. Many who have objected to Frame's book aren't in the Escondido camp, and supposedly many of Frame's own friends advised him strongly not to publish it or revise it thoroughly (anecdotal I know, take it or leave it). I don't recall the uproar or frustration over previous anti-2k publications, even Frame's previous works (for instance, his reviews of DVD's books) which I found far less charged.

I do think that part of the problem might just be that Frame isn't the one most suited to bring out a charitable debate over 2k. His personal history with WSCal tends to raise the temperature of the debate for both sides, especially given that many on the Escondido side of the debate tend to view Frame with suspicion of being a crypto-Federal Visionist which makes him less likely to be given a fair hearing.

Reformed Apologist said...

It took a while for FV to be exposed too. The similarities in behavior are striking.

Great observations, TF.

Ivan S. said...

I am pretty new to the Reformed faith, so I am pretty ignorant to a fair number of these discussions with the faith. My first tastes of Reformed theology started from the White Horse Inn, then of course from a number of Michael Horton's books. So you could understand my surprise to read about all these disagreements about Westminster west. So I would like to know more about the other aide of the agruement, not just about 2k, but about the whole overall prespective within Reformed theologians. Mr. Turretinfan, could you recommend some authors, Pastors, blogs, or other helpful resources to help me understand or just delve in deeper to the nuances of Reformed Theology. Thanks, God Bless.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I have just posted the following on the Green Baggins' thread titled "Chapter 1, Part One: The Law-Gospel Distinction" as comment #292:

Jed, #394 (prior thread): “We also need to remember the variety of 2k being formally taught in Escondido is a relatively new development”

TurretinFan, his post titled "Varieties of "Two Kingdoms": "It seems that some contemporary theologians - names typically associated with Westminster West (located in Escondido, California) - are advocating a position with respect to the two kingdoms that takes matters even further away from the classical Reformed position. ... The position appears to reflect an idea that there should be a radical separation of church and state, and consequently is sometimes referred to as "r2k," although the adherents of the position do not appreciate that label.

I say "seems to include," because there does not appear to be a lot of clear positive statements of their positions. I wonder if any of my readers know of, and can locate for me, their positive Biblical or logical argument for their position. I can find this sort of thing with respect to the American Reformed position, and I can find very excellent works ably defending the classical Reformed position, but I cannot locate anything of substance for the Escondido position."

Darryl Hart, #212: "Zrim and Jason, for what it’s worth, I likely disagree with Horton and Clark on a number of 2k fronts. We agree on the substance of 2k but not on the application."

Zrim, #244: "But all you’ve demonstrated is that adherents of 2k agree in substance but may diverge in application."


Q for Darryl Hart, R. Scott Clark, and Jason J. Stellman who have all commented on this thread:

What is THE SUBSTANCE of the Escondido variety of Two Kingdoms?

Eric said...

I have not read the book

Eric said...

I have not read the book. Is Theonomy related to this ?

Godith said...

As for publishing it or not, many of the chapters are already on his frame-poythress website for those interested. His having a personal history with the seminary does not disqualify him from writing; for some of us, it sheds further light. After all, he was not forced to migrate to Escondido, so why did he leave? Quite enlightening, in fact.

Turretinfan said...

Ivan S.:

Francis Turretin's "Institutes of Elenctic Theology," and John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" are good sources for that.

Reformed Apologist said...

It took a while for FV to be exposed too. The similarities in behavior are striking.

Great observations, TF.

ChaferDTS said...

The book FIVE VIEWS ON LAW AND GOSPEL series editor Stanley N. Gundry would be most helpful on the various views that are held on that.

turretinfan said...

Chris H.:

I think it's more helpful to identify which particular points he raises are legitimate and which are illegitimate, rather than simply waving our hands about the matter. It's certainly possible that there are inaccuracies in Frame's book, but the more one hears advocates of E2k speak, the more of Frame's 32 points seem to "light up" as being accurate characterizations.

Moreover, it's not entirely clear which points the various E2k folks reject, and which they simply don't like Frame pointing out or don't like him expressing the way he does.

Ivan S. said...

Thanks for the references turretinfan and chaferdts. I am familiar with the "Escondido Theology" and for the most part made sense, but I guess I better think twice about it. Aside from these excellent references, are there any comtemporary Preachers, Seminaries, or perhaps denominations that reflect more of a confessional/reformed view of these issues and the ones Prof Frame brought up in his list?