John Frame has delivered us a very big book addressing an infinitely bigger topic - the Doctrine of God. It is a book that is thorough in its coverage, clear in its language and thought, and organized in its presentation. All of this is important since Frame's methodology is unconventional to the point where some academic controversy has ensued - though most readers, I suspect, will not notice one way or the other. It is a heady read in spots, but is a book that is much needed and worthy of serious perusal.
Frame properly mentions early on that the Protestant Reformation did not really touch on the area of Theology Proper that much. The Reformation focused on other theological loci such as soteriology and ecclesiology, but left much of the medieval understanding of Theology Proper fairly intact. Therefore, Frame's book, along with some other books that have come out recently, really represent the first serious attempt to apply Semper Reformanda to the Doctrine of God, and it is an effort that is long overdue. Frame's considerable interaction with non-evangelical views of God in this book amplify the fact that evangelical Protestantism has, for way too long, failed to develop a distinctly Protestant understanding of God that sets a reliable standard against heterodoxy.
In this book, Frame emphasizes the concept of God as covenant Lord, and develops much of the book in accordance with this organizing principle. While Frame is careful to note that covenant Lordship is not the only legitimate way to organize a Theology Proper, it is nonetheless a compelling approach given its constant theme throughout Scripture. In fact, Frame convincingly argues that many heterodox attempts to develop a theology of God deliberately avoid this theme because of its obvious threat to the autonomizing of man that so many modern day theologies try to stress. In this vain, Frame's systematic critique of libertarian free-will and the notion of divine middle knowledge are extremely good. Frame's sustained focus on the Biblical names of God is quite refreshing in showing how His names are themselves a form of revelation that teach us more about Him. Frame's discussion of transcendence and immanence draws heavily from Van Til, but is a presentation that is most helpful, and most needed. Lastly, Frame's interaction with the gender-neutral and 'maleness of God' controversy is both very relevant and substantive. Frame takes a conservative view on this question, but the reader is comforted by the fact that Frame's presentation is respectfully Biblical in its emphasis, rather than reaking of the kind of hysteria that is typically employed by folks on all sides of this issue who tend to have axes to grind. Those looking for solid critiques of Barth, Moltmann, Pinnock, McFague and others will find much to chew on here.
Readers who are familiar with Frame's perspectivalism may find some of the early chapters to be a bit redundant, but these chapters are very helpful for those are just beginning to get exposed to Frame's approach. In addition, those who are well versed in many of Frame's other works will find a bit of duplication here. Lastly, while many of the appendices are good, a number of them seem off-topic and make an already big book unnecessarily larger.
But overall, this is a very important book that makes significant in-roads in developing a Protestant and strongly Reformed Doctrine of God. It is a book that forges a careful path of sound theology where God is concerned amidst a forest of competing theological constructions that often leave much to be desired. Frame has provided the church with a valuable service here.