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The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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From the Inside Flap
If the news is big enough, it can change your world.
Think of the news stories that have rocked our nation. Men on the moon. Victory in war. Celebrity deaths. These are nothing compared to the magnitude of the news of what God did in Jesus Christ.
Distinguished from all religions and philosophies of life, the Christian faith is, at its heart, "good news." The church originates, flourishes, and fulfills its mission as that part of God's world that has been redeemed and redefined by this strange announcement that seems foolish and powerless to the rest of the world.
This book explores the greatest story ever told and the surprising ways in which God is at work, gathering a people for his feast in a fast-food world.
From the Back Cover
When did the good news become just good advice?
Christianity doesn't work as just a moral philosophy or code of ethics. It makes sense only when it is built upon the foundation of the gospel, the good news. The simple message that God has done everything he requires to reconcile sinners to himself is not just the church's slogan, but its lifeblood.
In this candid and hopeful book, Michael Horton challenges us to reorient our faith and our practice toward the transformative, Christ-centered gospel--both in the church and in the world.
"Mike Horton has once again hit the nail on the head. With engaging clarity he demonstrates that the gospel is not just for non-Christians; it's for Christians too. In compelling ways he shows that the gospel doesn't just ignite the Christian life; it's the fuel that keeps Christians going every day. Horton's book is a flavorsome reminder that in order for Christians to make a difference in this world, we must be driven by something otherworldly--namely, the gospel."--Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and author of Unfashionable
"In this timely and refreshing work Michael Horton invites Christians to step off the treadmills we have fashioned and to rest fully in the gospel, which announces what God has graciously granted in the person and work of his son, Jesus Christ our Savior."--Ken Jones, pastor, Greater Union Baptist Church, Compton, California
"Michael Horton is one who understands the time. In Christless Christianity, Horton diagnosed the evangelical dilemma. In The Gospel-Driven Life he provides the solution. More than a fad, a twelve step program, or a forty-day challenge, Horton reminds us that the gospel is the everyday brick and mortar of a life built on the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Before you read another book, read this one."--Anthony Carter, lead pastor, East Point Church, East Point, Georgia, and author of On Being Black and Reformed
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Top Customer Reviews
Horton says up front that his goal in The Gospel Driven Life is "to reorient our faith and practice as Christians and churches toward the gospel: that is, the announcement of God's victory over sin and death in his Son, Jesus Christ" (p. 11).
The book is split up into two main categories: the "breaking news" from heaven, the gospel that creates the Christian/church, and the second half which focuses on the Christian/church that the gospel creates. Of course Horton keeps the reader focused on the work of the Triune God for sinners, the historical event of the resurrection - and in doing so, he continually reminds the reader (against the grain of the American culture) that the gospel is outside of us. "We don't find the truth about God, ourselves, or the world by looking within, but by being drawn outside of ourselves" (p. 12).
The Gospel Driven Life is sort of Augustine, Luther and Calvin mixed in with the Reformation confessions married to biblical theology applied to our Christian/church situation today. He's not calling us back to doing things the exact way our great-grandfathers did them, but he is calling us to keep the truths of Scripture front and center - to keep the Scripture as the thing that directs us in our practice, piety, and worship.
I enjoyed the book quite a bit. It challenged me, prodded me, comforted me, and taught me. To be sure, it is a thick book, a solid 266 pages of theological reading. There's a lot going on in the book! I'm pretty sure most laypeople who are "readers" will be able to handle it quite well, but you may not want to give this to a new Christian or someone who isn't familiar with the main truths of the Christian faith. In other words, I wouldn't use it for a High School church class, but I would use it for a college discussion group. I was annoyed that Baker didn't include a topical index or a scriptural index, but that doesn't affect the content, just the "ease" of "using" the book for study.
In summary, for those of you who are serious about Church, Christianity, and the gospel, I highly recommend this book. If you're looking for something a bit easier to read first, check out Horton's "Putting Amazing Back Into Grace" or Boice's "Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?" or even Sproul's "Grace Unknown." I also encourage you to give this book as a gift to your pastor or elders!
This is important book which seeks to right the ship of American Christianity, which is taking on too much water of a market driven, pleasure seeking, self-help culture whose love for God and truth is waning. Being a student and follower of the Reformation, Horton sees in this the reestablishment of the domination of the Gospel in all its purity and power along with the proper speaking of the law to repentance which is also necessary.
Tired of the enthusiasm the church expends on compromising with the culture, Horton suggests we get back to the real Good News proclaimers we are in the means of grace. He almost sounds Lutheran, except when he gets to the Sacraments, he sounds a little guarded. This is but minor concern when posed against the wonderful effort he provides with such good illustrations and phraseology to get the church back on the straight and narrow path.
"The fear of God must become greater than the fear of boredom" he writes. How true this has become. We are bombarded with new and innovative technology that seeks to rule us and sour our appetite for reality. When playing a fake cooking game replaces time actually cooking, when playing sports activities replaces kids playing sports and exercise ... you get the gist. When just playing at spirituality without reality of the power of God to save and keep saved in the pure gospel, this is Horton's concern and it is a valid and well presented one.
This book demands and deserves to have a wide reading and prayerful consideration. May it bring many to heed its wisdom and gospel based encouragement. One of the most significant books published in sometime.