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Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel Paperback – October 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Stand in amazement at God's incredible grace
"The gospel is a very specific announcement," says Michael Horton. "It's a message delivered from God to people in a precarious and hazardous spot--that is, to people like you and me." But what exactly is that message? What does it mean to be "saved by grace"?
Now revised and updated, Putting Amazing Back into Grace reminds us of the Reformation's radical view of God and his saving grace, the liberating yet humbling truth that we contribute nothing to our salvation. Horton lays out the scriptural basis for this doctrine and its implications for a vibrant evangelical faith.
"With all our technological expertise and intellectual arrogance, we have become the cleverest fools in world history. Mike Horton has seen through all the excuses and appreciates that true and timeless wisdom is found in the paths of the Christian gospel. Putting Amazing Back into Grace expresses the thrill of his soul--and mine--as we gaze upon the triumph of God's almighty grace."--from the foreword by J. I. Packer
Michael Horton (PhD, University of Coventry and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) is J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. He hosts The White Horse Inn radio broadcast and is editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He is the author/editor of more than twenty books, including Christless Christianity, The Gospel-Driven Life, and The Gospel Commission.
About the Author
Michael Horton (PhD, University of Coventry and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) is J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. He hosts The White Horse Inn radio broadcast and is editor-in-chief of Modern
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Top customer reviews
It is a slow, methodical process and one would think that reading a chapter more than once before moving on would get monotonous, but not so. This is my favorite way to read anything of substance.
When an author presents something radical and new to me, I pour over it and look at the evidence given. I consult other works that I trust and ask questions of those whose opinions I have learned to respect. I also look to these sources for objections. When I was told about the Doctrine of Grace, my first thought was, "Of course one is saved by grace as soon as he takes the necessary steps toward grace." Trusted brothers in Christ patiently presented a grace to me that was much more amazing than what I had believed before.
The radical idea that I don't have to jump through any hoops! The belief that God is active at every level of our being, including the important parts! The concept that the atonement was not even a partial failure! These are the kinds of things I wrestled with until this doctrine was presented to me.
I read and learned, but had some nagging questions about it all. And then came a book review by Tim Challies. I immediately decided to purchase this title.
After one quick reading of this book, it all began to really make sense to me. The Reformed faith is not some legalistic holier-than-thou faith, contrary to the way that some practice it. On the contrary, it is a faith that despises legalism as the very reason the Reformers broke from the church was for their concerns with rules being added to the word of God. The Doctrines of Grace are nothing if you don't recognize the fact that sin is not found in the world per se, but within yourself. In light of much of today's teaching that humans are basically good people who have a myriad of options toward redemption (assuming the need for redemption is expressed), the doctrine of a self who is tainted by sin, both original and personal, is one that humbles all. Nobody has the right to act pious, as if their outward showing could fool God!
This book is the straw that broke the camel's back and caused me to turn away from self-redemption. I came to realize that no measure of retribution to God could begin to pay my debt. I also came to understand that an outwardly pious attitude is an affront to our Lord and Savior who did not leave any debt for me to pay.
This book offers so many reasons for my recommendation that I cannot list them all here. If you have questions about any of the major doctrines of the Reformed faith, this book brings the doctrines of the Reformation down to the lower shelf where anyone can understand their logic.
However, I ended up reading the book over time. Michael Horton does a wonderful job laying out the predestination doctrinal belief: he doesn't use fluffy words or high language that the readers can't understand. He's very conversational and breaks down the doctrine into a language in which all the readers can understand.
But I liked this book more than that. This book gave me insight into what belief I had been raised up: one thing that I have learned as a Christian is that my parents' faith couldn't be my faith. I had to personally believe and take on my own faith. In the same way, I had to do the same with the doctrine of predestination. This doctrine is hard to grasp at times but when you look at your own personal life, it all makes sense. Horton clearly says that God chooses us because we would have never chosen Him because of our hearts. Our hearts are always striving to do evil and evil takes place in the dark which means we don't want to be exposed and we don't want to go to God because He will expose us for who we really are. The book states this but then goes on to say that Jesus simply takes us: He personally works in our hearts to accept Him.
Other Christians think that this view is just horrible: they wonder why God would do such a thing? Why would He predestine some people to heaven and some to hell? Horton answers this question by saying that God is God and to have Him just simply choose some of us is AMAZING GRACE. We as humans don't deserve anything but hell but He has chosen some of us to save. This isn't cruel; this really is AMAZING GRACE. At the end of the book are a lists of Bible verses relating to this doctrine which I find helpful.
This book is really awesome. It helped me look back at my life and see how God simply chose me. It gave me insight about never losing my salvation and how sovereign God is and how much He is in control of this whole world. Overall, it benefited me.