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The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way Hardcover – February 1, 2011
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“The most authoritative systematic theologies must possess a range of qualities: a firm grasp of the overall shape and proportions of Christian teaching; an eye for its fine details; deep biblical and historical learning; conceptual prowess matched by descriptive power; a sense of cultural occasion---all animated by humble delight in the inexhaustibility of God and the gospel. Michael Horton’s presentation exhibits all these excellences. This is a work of outstanding theological and spiritual cogency and will command wide attention.” -- John Webster
“The Christian Faith is impressively deep, immensely practical, and infinitely hopeful for us pilgrims on the Way. Michael Horton will sculpt your appreciation for theology and enhance your love for Christ crucified. Anyone wanting to impact this world effectively---pastors, missionaries, evangelists, church planters, lay leaders, and all other wayfarers---must read this book.” -- Pastor Fikret Bocek
“This is a remarkable volume. Lucid, insightful, learned, and faithful, The Christian Faith is that rare book that substantially contributes to and helpfully introduces Christian theology. I highly recommend it.” -- Kevin W. Hector
“The Christian Faith offers a fine, comprehensive companion to a number of recent systematic theologies. Crisply written, scripturally informed throughout, distinctively evangelical and Reformed, conversant with classic as well as contemporary Christian authors---Horton’s study is an outstanding contribution that will richly nourish Christian pilgrims on their way toward the consummation of Christ’s kingdom.” -- Cornelis P. Venema, President
“The Christian Faith is a remarkable accomplishment---the most significant single-volume systematic theology to be written in decades! This book is written for the sake of the church, yet it also reflects a fresh engagement with a broad range of biblical and theological scholarship. The Christian Faith is an excellent resource for all who wish to engage classical Christian theology in a Reformed key.” -- J. Todd Billings, Associate Professor
“Michael Horton has done the Protestant church a profound service by bringing the theology of the Reformation forward to the twenty-first century. For decades, there has been a need for Reformed dogmatists to tackle new questions in theology, philosophy, and culture. Horton’s well-researched volume brings a rich, theological heritage into conversation with ideas and thinkers that are shaping the future of our world. This volume demonstrates that Protestant orthodoxy is alive and active. Horton’s precision is sure to initiate a new series of theological refinement in light of new global realities.” -- Anthony B. Bradley, Associate Professor
“Horton’s Christian Faith has the great merit of never letting the reader forget that doctrine is for disciples who want to walk the way of Jesus Christ. Horton knows that the best systematic theology is a practical theology---one that helps us understand the ways of God, make sense of life, and give direction for God-glorifying living. He also knows that the best systematic theologies draw on biblical and historical theology. May many readers, therefore, take up this book, read, and walk!” -- Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Professor of Theology
“There has been a renaissance of theological writing in our day, but no one writes as carefully, cogently, and thoughtfully in the grand tradition of Protestant systematic theology as does Michael Horton. This work is a powerful reminder that theology ought to grow first from the soil of the biblical text; then, in conversation with the church across the ages, it ought to clarify conceptually the great truths of the gospel. Theology, as Horton has written it here in The Christian Faith, must always be cognizant of the challenges of the contemporary world, but it must finally belong to the church, which gives it voice in the first place. There is no one better at this task in our day than Michael Horton.” -- Richard Lints, Professor of Theology
“A crisp, clear, and forceful new theology that is at once biblical and reverent, historical and contemporary, learned but accessible. What a great gift this is to the church!” -- David F. Wells, Distinguished Research Professor
“In this impressive volume, Michael Horton takes the movement of confessing evangelicals to a new level. He remits and rethinks the greatness of seventeenth-century Reformed theology and makes it accessible for readers today. Even those who cannot go along with some of his central positions will find them to be challenging and formidable. It is well worth grappling with Horton’s up-to-date work.” -- George Hunsinger, Professor of Systematic Theology
“Michael Horton has hit a home run: a narrative-shaped, comprehensive, one-volume systematic theology that is biblically-grounded, warmly evangelical, confessionally Reformed in its angularity while catholic in its tone, and freshly contemporary. In the spirit of the Westminster Catechism, Horton directs readers to the glory of God and the joy of doing theology.” -- John Bolt, Professor of Systematic Theology
“Dr. Horton has produced a remarkable work. His approach to systematic theology is fresh and critically needed in our time. Every pilgrim will profit from this work.” -- R.C. Sproul, Chairman and President
“This ‘pilgrim’ systematic theology, thoroughly impressive for its architectonic design and sweeping scope and the wide reading it reflects, provides a major restatement of Christian truth for today. Its overall plan is to explore the interaction between four key factors: the historically reliable narrative drama of Scripture that gives rise to doctrine, culminates in doxology, and results in discipleship. The author carries this plan through in a fresh and stimulating fashion out of a deep commitment to Reformation and post-Reformation orthodoxy. He enriches his discussion by using the subsequent redemptive-historical insights of Geerhardus Vos and others and interacts substantially with other traditions, both sympathetic and critical. One may have reservations about the author’s ‘forensic ontology’ and aspects of his use of speech act theory yet benefit greatly from his able and biblically sound treatment of numerous theological topics.” -- Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology
“Michael Horton’s new systematic theology has been long-awaited and does not disappoint. Here is classic, deep, orthodox Reformed theology, written in a way that is thoughtful and engaged. The author draws deeply on his tradition, but also interacts fruitfully with insights from contemporary scholarship in a way that communicates clearly but does not sacrifice depth for the sake of simplicity. Each of the classic loci is addressed with exegetical and systematic insight, and old doctrines are once again brought to life on the page. Great truths are defended, but not in a defensive manner; and the glory of the gospel shines through in sharp relief. For those who think one must make a choice between guarding the faith and being thoughtfully relevant, think again: this book both teaches theology and is an example of how theology should be done. The reader who is undaunted by the number of pages will be richly rewarded; and the pastor, elder, discussion leader, and church member who wants to know more will not be disappointed.” -- Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church Hist
From the Back Cover
Michael Horton's highly anticipated The Christian Faith represents his magnum opus and will be viewed as one of--if not the--most important systematic theologies since Louis Berkhof wrote his in 1932.
A prolific, award-winning author and theologian, Professor Horton views this volume as doctrine that can be preached, experienced, and lived, as well as understood, clarified, and articulated. It is written for a growing cast of pilgrims making their way together and will be especially welcomed by professors, pastors, students, and armchair theologians.
Features of this volume include: (1) a brief synopsis of biblical passages that inform a particular doctrine; (2) surveys of past and current theologies with contemporary emphasis on exegetical, philosophical, practical, and theological questions; (3) substantial interaction with various Christian movements within the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodoxy traditions, as well as the hermeneutical issues raised by postmodernity; and (4) charts, sidebars, questions for discussion, and an extensive bibliography, divided into different entry levels and topics.
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I thought that sometimes I was wading through molasses to get the author's point of view. Heavy slogging!
Recommended: to those seeking a grand vision of a remarkable author who knows his Bible.
After a 3rd reading I still think this is a masterpiece. It always provokes new thoughts on the new thing the Lord has done.
He displays a firm grasp of Christian teaching with a deep historical and biblical learning as well as being able to make his message simple enough for the entry level theology student. His focus is on a practical theology, one that helps us to understand ourselves, God, and His purpose in our lives. Accessibility alongside accuracy with an obvious depth and breadth of understanding Christian theology makes this volume enlightening and delightful for those who agree with his central positions.
Even for all of these praises, the book still does have its downfalls. His bias against certain sects of Christianity is glaringly obvious at times, lumping Armenians in alongside heretics and spending pages describing Reformed thought while giving a few sentences explaining the Catholic point of view. Naturally a systematic theology text written from a Reformed writer would have some Reformed bias in it; however it would be nice to see other points of view have their thoughts expressed clearly instead of having a sort of straw man being set up at times.
Overall, Horton clearly addresses the major topics of God, His nature and His energies, humanity, our broken state and our redemption, and the church, its mission in the world and its place in God’s kingdom. Through these main topics and several others, Michael Horton carefully, thoughtfully, and most importantly, successfully has crafted this text of systematic theology that is a highly recommended read for anyone wanting to impact the world for Christ or learn more about God and his purpose for the world.