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The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way Kindle Edition
Theology—the study of God—is a concern for every believer, not just theologians or those in ministry. It's the goal of good theology to humble us before the triune God of majesty as we come to understand him better. This is a book of and about good theology.
Award-winning author, theologian, and professor Michael Horton wrote The Christian Faith as a book of systematic theology and doctrine "that can be preached, experienced, and lived, as well as understood, clarified, and articulated." It's written for a growing cast of pilgrims—in ministry and laity—who are interested in learning about Christ as a way of living as a Christian. Who understand that knowing doctrine and walking in practical Christianity are not competing interests.
The Christian Faith is divided into six parts, five of which each focus on an aspect of God, while the first part sets up an understanding and appreciation for the task of theology itself, addressing topics like:
- The source of theology (where the idea of theology comes from and what its limits are).
- The origin of the canon (how the modern Bible came about and why we can trust it).
- The character of theology (is the nature of theology practical, theoretical, or can it be both?).
In a manner equally as welcoming to professors, pastors, students, and armchair theologians; Horton has organized this volume in a readable fashion that includes a variety of learning features:
- A brief synopsis of biblical passages that inform certain doctrines.
- Surveys of past and current theologies with contemporary emphasis on exegetical, philosophical, practical, and theological questions.
- Substantial interaction with various Christian movements within the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodoxy traditions, as well as the hermeneutical issues raised by postmodernity.
- Charts, sidebars, questions for discussion, and an extensive bibliography, divided into different entry levels and topics.
At the heart of this book is a deep love for and curiosity about God. Its basic argument is that a personal relationship with God goes hand in hand with the pursuit of theology. It isn't possible to know God without studying him.
About the Author
Michael Horton (PhD) is Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. Author of many books, including The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, he also hosts the White Horse Inn radio program. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and four children in Escondido, California.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B003U4UTDQ
- Publisher : Zondervan Academic (January 4, 2011)
- Publication date : January 4, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 3930 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 1057 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #246,275 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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How has he done this? First, Horton clearly writes from a position as one who understands the 21st century and the monumental changes we are seeing that are often categorized as the transition from modernity to postmodernity. Horton also draws from a wide range of sources: he not only delves into the historical background to various theological issues but also makes reference to a variety of church traditions, and not just his own Reformed tradition. He also manages to integrate his systematic theology into a living whole by the way he ties everything together through key concepts such as the covenant, Drama, Dogma, Doxology, and Discipleship. This means that Horton's work is useful not just as one more systematic theology but also as a primer in narrative theology, an inspiration to worship, and a resource for all who seek to be more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
Horton's work has been said by some to be one of the most important systematic theologies since Berkhof's. In fact, Horton's is better than Berkhof's, which is a work that betrays a much more modern mindset that categorizes things without necessarily showing how they all relate. Horton's work is a book that should be in the hands of a great many Christians!
The book begins with a wonderful Introduction that pictures systematic theology as a "
theology for pilgrims on the way." He also relates the 4 "D" words he will use in the rest of the work to hold things together: Drama, Doctrine, Doxology, and Discipleship. It all begins with the greatest story ever told, which means that Horton is aware of the importance of narrative theology, and not just an old-school propositional theology. The Drama of the gospel inevitably leads to Doctrine, and Doctrine leads to Doxology or praise. Ultimately, theology must lead to Discipleship as well. Horton wants his work to reflect and embody the goal of doctrine, which must not only be understood and articulated but also "preached, experienced, and lived as a `community of theater' in the world today."
Horton writes from a specifically Reformed perspective, but he is careful not to begin and end his thought with only Reformed categories of thought. Instead, he interacts with exegetical, philosophical, practical, and theological questions from a historically informed position. I'm also glad to see that he has not only acknowledged Eastern Orthodox theology but has clearly benefited from its wisdom and perspective.
Part 1, which consists of the first 5 chapters of "The Christian Faith," deals with "Knowing God: The Presuppositions of Theology." Although these chapters don't begin Horton's systematic theology, they lay a crucial foundation for it. This section may be difficult and not as relevant for all readers, but in these chapters Horton profitably deals with important foundations for theology, which has become more necessary in an age of postmodernism.
It's always interesting to see how a writer handles some of the more difficult aspects of his material, so I was keen to see how Horton dealt with predestination, the Trinity, and the Church, as just three examples of important material. In Chapter 8, Horton tackles the doctrine of the Trinity, which has undergone a resurgence of interest in recent decades. In this chapter, he gives the important and necessary historical background that enables the reader to understand the various views of the Trinity that have been held. This historical background also enables Horton to offer a theology of the Trinity that integrates the best insights of Augustinian, Orthodox, and other views while avoiding some of the potential errors that come from an overemphasis these historical positions are often open to.
While Horton's discussion of predestination in Chapter 9 is useful, he fails to adequately explain how God's predestination relates to the need for human agency in doxology and discipleship (he does deal with this, but inadequately). Likewise, I found his presentation on the Church to be one of the places where Horton's own Reformed perspective triumphs over an attempt at incorporating other views. The book would have been stronger if, in this section, he had dealt more with the views of the early church, as well as the views of other traditions, as he does elsewhere.
In spite of some weaknesses, Horton's work is a superior and delightful achievement. Through his use of the covenant, he's able to integrate the various components of systematic theology into a pleasing whole that should become a standard work for decades to come.
Horton breaks down his book in the following way, which manages to reflect the traditional categories of systematic theology while at the same time revitalizing this field.
Part 1 - Knowing God: The Presupposition of Theology
1. Dissonant Dramas: Paradigms for Knowing God and the World
2. The Character of Theology
3. The Source of Theology: Scripture
4. Scripture as Covenant Canon
5. The Bible and the Church: From Scripture to System
Part 2 - God Who Lives
6. God: The Incommunicable Attributes
7. God: The Communicable Attributes
8. The Holy Trinity
Part 3 - God Who Creates
9. The Decree: Trinity and Predestination
10. Creation: God's Time for us
12. Being Human
13. The Fall of Humanity
Part 4 - God Who Rescues
14. The Person of Christ
15. The State of Humiliation
16. The State of Exaltation
Part 5 - God Who Reigns in Grace
17. Called to be Saints: Christ's Presence in the Spirit
18. Union with Christ
19. Forensic Aspects of Union with Christ: Justification and Adoption
20. The Way Forward to Grace: Sanctification and Perseverance
21. The Hope of Glory
22. The Kingdom of Grace and the New Covenant Church
23. Word and Sacrament: The Means of Grace
24. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
25. The Attributes of the Church: Unity, Catholicity, and Holiness
Part 6 - God Who Reigns in Glory
27. A Dwelling Place
28. The Return of Christ and the Last Judgment
29. The Last Battle and Life Everlasting
No book is perfect and The Christian Faith is no exception, so I will first address what Horton does well in his book and then some of the things he doesn’t do well. Horton does an excellent job at defining complex terms from ancient languages to support the ideas behind big theological concepts that have been prevalent in the church for ages. Horton addresses different views on individual doctrines well. It is clear that Horton has really done his research and studied up a lot on differing views on lots of different concepts.
My favorite concepts that Horton addresses in this book are God’s speech act, sanctification, and the paradigms for knowing God. The overarching themes of covenantal relationship and “already/not yet” tie the book together really well. These two themes have had the most impact on my theology out of this entire book.
The length of this book could probably be cut down to about six hundred pages, rather than one thousand. There is a lot of repetition and just over-emphasis on a lot of individual concepts both throughout the entire book and in individual chapters. This book has a lot of history in it that is not particularly necessary to get across the main ideas and concepts that really make this book effective.
This book goes into specifics of doctrines, incorporates broad themes, analyzes church history, and evaluates opposing claims very well, but perhaps the context in which I read this book prevented me from getting the most from the book. Maybe a sort of abridged version would be better for a high school theology class. Besides that, though, I recommend this book for anyone willing to invest in diving deeper into their theology.
Top reviews from other countries
Excelente acabamento quanto a capa,folhas e letras.
Indicamos a Pastores,Teólogos e estudiosos em geral.