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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, 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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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, 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.

30 review for The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jared Totten

    The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way by Michael Horton is not your average systematic theology. It's not broken up into simple chapters ending in "-ology" like Christology, hamaritology, ecclesiology, and the like. Instead, Michael Horton means to tell a story because the doctrines of Scripture arise out of the drama of Scripture. Or as he puts it, "The Christian faith is, first and foremost, and unfolding drama . . . The great doctrines of the Christian faith arise The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way by Michael Horton is not your average systematic theology. It's not broken up into simple chapters ending in "-ology" like Christology, hamaritology, ecclesiology, and the like. Instead, Michael Horton means to tell a story because the doctrines of Scripture arise out of the drama of Scripture. Or as he puts it, "The Christian faith is, first and foremost, and unfolding drama . . . The great doctrines of the Christian faith arise out of this dramatic plot". For these reasons, The Christian Faith isn't primarily a catalog to reference all the topics that make up your typical systematic theology. Rather, Michael Horton tells the story of God, from beginning to end. After an opening section covering the presuppositions of theology called "Knowing God", Horton shapes his systematic theology in a more narrative-like fashion around the following "chapters" of history: 1. God Who Lives 2. God Who Creates 3. God Who Rescues 4. God Who Reigns in Grace 5. God Who Reigns in Glory The benefit of an approach like this is that The Christian Faith doesn't read like a dry systematic theology. Instead, the very words that Horton uses to describe biblical doctrine and theology—words like "drama", "story", and "narrative"—are also perfectly fitting words to describe Horton's book. He also includes a lot of the history of theology, and does so in an equally engaging way. Names like Augustine, Barth, Berkhof, and Schleiermacher need not necessitate a dull read, and Horton soundly makes this point. One caution: this book can be an intimidating read on a few different levels. The size itself (just under 1,000 pages) may keep more than a few from cracking the cover. And Horton is a scholar of not only theology but history and philosophy, so the novice may want to keep a dictionary (and a smart friend) nearby. With those cautions in mind, I cannot recommend this book more highly. If you want a systematic theology that deals with each topic in its biblical, philosophical, historical context, Horton's The Christian Faith is first rate. While this book may not be the top choice for introductory theology, this book is like the best theological jawbreaker. Try and take it fast and it will break you. But take your time on it, savor it, and it will deliver a sweet payoff in the end.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    In Tolkien’s Two Towers Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas attack a while-clad old man, thinking him Saruman. Realizing their error, they apologize to Gandalf saying, “We thought you were Saruman.” Gandalf says, “I am Saruman, or rather Saruman as he should have been.” We may say with this work that Michael Horton is Karl Barth (or NT Wright; insert your favorite villain) as he should have been. Horton has given us the first presentation of a systematic theology derived along dramatic categories. Other In Tolkien’s Two Towers Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas attack a while-clad old man, thinking him Saruman. Realizing their error, they apologize to Gandalf saying, “We thought you were Saruman.” Gandalf says, “I am Saruman, or rather Saruman as he should have been.” We may say with this work that Michael Horton is Karl Barth (or NT Wright; insert your favorite villain) as he should have been. Horton has given us the first presentation of a systematic theology derived along dramatic categories. Other treatises capture the drama of Scripture or its historical unfolding, but Horton sees the historical unfolding of God’s plan as a drama. Narrative and systematics need each other. The narrative keeps theology from becoming abstract, and systematics shows “crucial implications of that plot and the inner connections between its various sequences” (Horton 21). The narrative structure also helps one’s epistemology. Horton skillfully interacts with recent postmodern challenges and notes that many of the challenges simply miss the Christian story. With Jean-Francois Lyotard, we agree that metanarratives are dangerous. Horton simply denies the Christian story is a metanarrative in the sense that modernity is. Horton’s section on ontology is quite fine. He gives a summary of his “Overcoming Estrangement” essays and suggests that one’s epistemology follows one’s ontology. If one sees the body as simply a prison of the soul, then epistemology will be a kind of “seeing the Forms” or “getting beyond sense experience” (47). But if one holds to an ontology of covenantal embodiment or finitude as a divine gift, pace Plato, then the primary metaphors for knowledge will be “oral/aural” (49). This is the real strength of Horton’s project. He is able to show (with admirable skill) how non-Reformed and non-covenantal views simply default to a pagan metaphysics. Horton is consistent in applying the speech-act theory. God’s speech-acts, understood in a Trinitarian manner, rooted in Triadology, ground our understanding of inspiration. The Father’s speaking is the locutionary act; the Son is the content or illocutionary act that is performed by the speaking, and the Spirit’s work is the perlocutionary effect (157). As Horton notes, this keeps the model from being too “”mechanical (simply the Father’s speaking) or a canon-within-a-canon (as some Christomonic models intimitate) or enthusiam per hyper-Spirit models. Horton gives us a brilliant review of Christology. He takes the key gains from Wright et al and reworks them around a Reformed covenantal approach--all the while maintaining the Chalcedonian and Nicene values. His review of historical Christology is good, though he didn’t address all of the tensions created by Chalcedon. He (and I) rightly affirm Chalcedon, but Chalcedon’s other commitments to deification-soteriology and substance-metaphysics would prove troublesome for later thinkers. I refer to Bruce McCormack’s fine essay on this point. Criticisms and Concerns To his credit, Horton is aware of Barth’s challenge to the term “person” in the modern world. If person means something like “center of reflective self-consciousness” (which is usually how people today, Christian or otherwise, use the term), then it is obvious we cannot apply it to God. In God, so reasons classical theism, there is one mind, will, and unity of operation. The modern usage of the word “person” would imply at least three minds. That is polytheism. Horton says we can save the term person by using it analogically of God (295ff). This is certainly true. The Father-Son relationship is the model from which we conceive of earthly father-son relationships. But still, it is not clear how far analogical predication helps on the definition of person. Even if we grant there is not a univocal relationship between the idea as it applies to God and man, it is still true that the definition as it applies to God (whatever it is, it cannot mean three centers of self-consciousness) and man (a center of self-consciousness) is, quite frankly, different. On the other hand, despite Barth’s earlier usage of “huparchos tropos” in CD I/1 (which itself has a respectable Patristic pedigree and does not have the same problems as “person”), in later volumes he seems to have no problem using “Person” as it is used in traditional dogmatics (CD II/1: 284). Horton’s most problematic area is where he thinks he is using the Eastern Essence/energies distinction. On surface level it sounds good: we can’t know God in his essence but only in his energies (operations towards us). Fair enough. He also says this is what the East believed. Well, it depends on which Eastern father at which time. As it metastaized in Gregory Palamas, the energies of God were the only way God could interact with the world. For the post-Palamas East, nature and persons were hyper-ousia. This means, among other things, that you can’t have a personal relationship with Jesus because he is beyond being; this is the precise critique that Orthodox writer Vladimir Moss made of John Romanides). Horton is using “energies” as God’s covenantal speech-acts. I like that. It is really good. It is simply the opposite of what the East means by it. As Orthodox philosopher David Bradshaw points out, the energies are the peri ton theon, things around God. And contrary to Horton’s earlier (and good) criticisms, you approach these peri ton theon by means of apophatic negation and the ascent of the mind (shades of Origen!). Eastern monks, as documented by John Meyendorrf, are very clear on this point. I also disagree with Horton on the millennium, but I won’t go into it here. Evaluation Criticisms aside, this book is magnificent. While it cannot replace Berkhof, Horton admirably deals with current challenges to traditional protestantism. Few Reformed folk can really go toe-to-toe with neo-Hegelians like John Milbank. Horton meets him head on and wins. Horton also responds to recent Roman (Ratzinger), Eastern (Zizioulas), and Anabaptist (Volf) models with much skill. His true value, however, is using Vosian covenantal insights to structure systematic theology.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I tried reading this book a few years ago, but gave up before reaching 200 page mark. However, I decided to go back and start it again (I have been off work for a few weeks and thought that I should try and read a couple of STs during that time). I have to say that it is in many ways an excellent book, and that it reads really well as a Reformed theodrama. Michael Horton generally avoids the pitfalls that various modern Calvinists fall into in relation to divine impassibility and erroneous views I tried reading this book a few years ago, but gave up before reaching 200 page mark. However, I decided to go back and start it again (I have been off work for a few weeks and thought that I should try and read a couple of STs during that time). I have to say that it is in many ways an excellent book, and that it reads really well as a Reformed theodrama. Michael Horton generally avoids the pitfalls that various modern Calvinists fall into in relation to divine impassibility and erroneous views of eternal generation. He also argues strongly for Reformed sacramentology and Presbyterian ecclesiology. Obviously, there are some downsides, especially the Klinean covenantalism, repeated Neo-2k rhetoric [the branding of Constantianism as "heresy" was especially disgraceful], and his denial that the imprecatory psalms are to be used during the era of common grace. Yet, in a 1000-page book, these points were relatively minor blemishes. And I should add that he was a bit more generous to post-millennialism than I expected him to be, and he seems to hold to an in-gathering of the Jews prior to Christ's return. I still maintain, however, that the book does not exactly "work" as a systematic theology; rather, it should be seen as a survey of Reformed theology written in the form of a theological novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    G Walker

    Mike Horton (and his colleagues at Westminster West) with their pop-calvinism and quasi-Lutheranism, make me tired. I don't know what else to say other than this volume was not produced out of a genuine need, conversely somehow it was even (admittedly)rushed to the presses (which in turn left out key aspects within reformed dogmatics that were not addressed like the Decalogue (amongst others)... or maybe it was because he didn't really want his law-gospel dichotomy squarely/clearly in print... I Mike Horton (and his colleagues at Westminster West) with their pop-calvinism and quasi-Lutheranism, make me tired. I don't know what else to say other than this volume was not produced out of a genuine need, conversely somehow it was even (admittedly)rushed to the presses (which in turn left out key aspects within reformed dogmatics that were not addressed like the Decalogue (amongst others)... or maybe it was because he didn't really want his law-gospel dichotomy squarely/clearly in print... I don't know and quite frankly, I have stopped caring. Overall, this massive tome won't really help. It didn't draw me closer to God (at least not intentionally, several times by way of reaction I was "apophatically" drawn to God), it didn't help me to cultivate a healthy view of culture... its just a hipster version of a Calvinistic Lutheranism with a dash of self-righteous confessionalism. In the end, it was a waste of money in buying, it takes up valuable space on one's bookshelves and it is too big, requiring too much time to engage at any serious level. Look somewhere else. I mean that. From Barth and Torrance on the one hand to Frame or Kelly on the other... SOOO many good options out there. Save your money, your time and your mind.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Todd Miles

    Horton's systematic theology is everything that I expected. It is too long to review each individual part, but here are some summary observations: The volume would serve as an excellent companion to other evangelical systematic theologies, such as those by Grudem or Erickson, especially if one wanted a more specifically Reformed perspective (without organizing the theology around the Westminster Catechism). The strongest doctrine in the book was the prolegomena section. Given Horton's prior writi Horton's systematic theology is everything that I expected. It is too long to review each individual part, but here are some summary observations: The volume would serve as an excellent companion to other evangelical systematic theologies, such as those by Grudem or Erickson, especially if one wanted a more specifically Reformed perspective (without organizing the theology around the Westminster Catechism). The strongest doctrine in the book was the prolegomena section. Given Horton's prior writings, this is not surprising, but Horton surely did not disappoint. Much of his thinking on the Doctrine of Revelation and Scripture centered upon the Speech Acts of God, and his insights were remarkable. His soteriology section was equally strong. Surprisingly, I felt the doctrine of God chapters were the weakest (though this is certainly relative). Horton's treatment of the Kingdom also wove its way through the entire volume, including ecclesiology, soteriology, eschatology and the doctrine of Christ. I had not read a Systematic Theology that has dealt with the implications of the inaugurated Kingdom to such a degree. The book is worth reading for these insights alone. As expected, the Covenants of Grace and Works were central throughout. Horton's explanation of paedobaptism was clear and helpful (though not persuasive, at least to me). One troubling aspect is his leaving the door ajar, however slightly, to the possibility of salvation apart from conscience faith in Christ. Interestingly, this was justified through appeal to the children of the covenant. A small frustration that I experienced as I read through the eschatology section was Horton's use of classic dispensationalism as a foil for his position, with frequent references to Chafer, Ryrie, Walvoord, and even Scofield. Is Chafer really still the spokesperson for the majority dispensationalist view? Why not interact with progressive dispensationalism and scholars such as Blaising or Bock? But in the grand scheme, these are small frustrations. This was an excellent work and much of what I read will make it into my Theology lectures.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pastoralmusings

    Michael Horton's Christian Faith, subtitled "A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on The Way", is a huge tome. It can be quite intimidating to approach a volume this big, so with some trepidation I set out to read it. Having pored over 75% of the book, I can say that this is more than a systematic theology; it is a huge survey of theology. When I say that "The Christian Fait"h is a huge survey of theology, I mean that it is more than a systematic theology. Horton deals with this from a very differe Michael Horton's Christian Faith, subtitled "A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on The Way", is a huge tome. It can be quite intimidating to approach a volume this big, so with some trepidation I set out to read it. Having pored over 75% of the book, I can say that this is more than a systematic theology; it is a huge survey of theology. When I say that "The Christian Fait"h is a huge survey of theology, I mean that it is more than a systematic theology. Horton deals with this from a very different perspective than most theologies. His approach is to show that the Christian faith is about God reconciling man to himself. Though the book is not a thematic survey, it does see great themes in Scripture and shows how they apply to theology and practice. Not only is that so, but Horton surveys theological thought, so in that sense this is a historical theology as well as a systematic theology. Horton also seeks to integrate theology with life, so this is also a practical theology. I tend to think that Grudem is a little easier to read, but I also think that Horton's approach takes one a little further than Grudem. While I don't prefer one above the other (as both have their respective niche), I tend to think that Horton will be found to be a little more profitable for those who seek to minister to others. The way he has of bringing theology to everyday life simply resonates with me, and I appreciate that. Another thing that I appreciate is the fact that the author is fair to those with whom he disagrees. This is not a polemic, but a positive book that states what theology is, and how is affects us. In the end, I give this four out of five stars, and recommend it to all who study theology. Thanks to Andrew Rogers of Zondervan for providing this review copy freely and with no expectation or demand of a positive review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Love this one. Although I am a Lutheran, I find Horton's approach to theology refreshing and honest. Love this one. Although I am a Lutheran, I find Horton's approach to theology refreshing and honest.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Reagan

    Mark this systematic theology down as one that tries to unite deep theological thinking with living the Christian life. The Christian Faith by Michael Horton provides another viewpoint and presentation for those doing systematic theological study. The volume truly has its own voice and in no way regurgitates what other major systematic theologies have to say. Be sure to check out the introductory chapter that lays out both his ideas of doctrine and theology as well as a description of what he wil Mark this systematic theology down as one that tries to unite deep theological thinking with living the Christian life. The Christian Faith by Michael Horton provides another viewpoint and presentation for those doing systematic theological study. The volume truly has its own voice and in no way regurgitates what other major systematic theologies have to say. Be sure to check out the introductory chapter that lays out both his ideas of doctrine and theology as well as a description of what he will attempt to do in this volume. He states that he is “writing from the perspective of a reformed Christian living in North America”. He admits that he doesn’t speak for all Christians but hopes to speak to all Christians in this book. While sticking to his own perspective, he also emphasizes that the Christian faith is one faith. Part One is five chapters on knowing God where he discusses the presuppositions of theology and covers the doctrine of the Scriptures. Part Two is about the God who lives and in three chapters he discusses the doctrine of God and the Holy Trinity. Part Three is five chapters on the God who creates which will discuss his view of predestination, creation, providence, as well as the doctrine of man. Part Four is three chapters on the God who rescues which covers the doctrine of Christ. Part Five is 10 chapters on the God who reigns in grace that covers the doctrines of salvation and the church. The final part discusses in three chapters the God who reigns in glory which is a look at eschatology. As you can see, he organizes the material of systematic theology in a different fashion that I’ve seen others do. I’m glad to have this volume on my shelves. It may not be the first systematic theology that I will pull out when I’m studying a particular doctrine, but it is one I plan to consult in any detailed study of theology that I’m digging into. It’s a boon to a Bible student to have an asset like this volume that approaches the subject from a different angle. You will see listed in the book an impressive array of respected theologians who highly recommend this book. It’s one that you will want to check out! I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    There have been many Systematic Theology works produced over the last few centuries. Some stand the test of time such as John Calvin's, Institutes of the Christian Religion, or Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology (3 Volumes), or even Louis Berkhoff's Systematic Theology. Some however quickly fade into relative obscurity. It is a rarity that a thorough, orthodox, and useful Systematic Theology work appears, yet one has popped up in recent years that will not only be useful is committed to the ref There have been many Systematic Theology works produced over the last few centuries. Some stand the test of time such as John Calvin's, Institutes of the Christian Religion, or Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology (3 Volumes), or even Louis Berkhoff's Systematic Theology. Some however quickly fade into relative obscurity. It is a rarity that a thorough, orthodox, and useful Systematic Theology work appears, yet one has popped up in recent years that will not only be useful is committed to the reformed orthodox and is quite through this is, Michael Horton's, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology For Pilgrims On The Way. Horton is a distinguished Systematic Theology professor at Westminster Seminary California. His attention to detail and his pastoral tone make this work not only a good Systematic Theology but one that will take its place among the best Systematic Theology ever produced. Furthermore the usefulness of this work is that only for the pastor or scholar, but for the Lehman as well. This work while its size may be intimidating is a wonderful explanation of the doctrines contained in Holy Scripture and how they apply to those in the Covenant. I cannot under sell this book for it is one of the greatest reads I have had in recent memory and will be using it for the foreseeable future in my Ministry. I highly recommend it for anyone who seeks to grow in the grace of God through the study of his word and the application of his word to their lives. This book was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan Academic Publishers in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Osvaldo

    Michael Horton's The Christian Faith is a thoroughly Reformed systematic theology. Horton engages with modern and contemporary issues and theologians as well as other traditions and historical eras. He is both critical and receptive of doctrines and concepts from various schools of thought and traditions, demonstrating a robust synthesis of ideas without compromising Sola Scriptura. He balances his systematic approach with themes from biblical theology, which serve to both temper and expand his Michael Horton's The Christian Faith is a thoroughly Reformed systematic theology. Horton engages with modern and contemporary issues and theologians as well as other traditions and historical eras. He is both critical and receptive of doctrines and concepts from various schools of thought and traditions, demonstrating a robust synthesis of ideas without compromising Sola Scriptura. He balances his systematic approach with themes from biblical theology, which serve to both temper and expand his conclusions. His theological prolegomena is extremely helpful with regard to epistemology and the covenantal theme that is both exemplified by and unifies the Scripture, allowing for a coherent interpretation of the canon of Scripture. As a whole, it is well written, but at times the organization of the material seemed like it could be improved. In a few sections, the discussion was difficult to follow. I suspect that the editing process left some parts deficient in terms of the flow of thought, or it just may need to be rewritten. In conclusion, this is a robust systematic theology for those wishing to understand a contemporary formulation of the Reformed tradition, and, like Erickson and Grudem, there is plenty of well-thought out, cogent, and well-articulated treatments of various topics that would be helpful for students from various Christian traditions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Owens

    Horton's "The Christian Faith" is my go-to systematic theology. The text is a brilliantly articulated and well researched exposition of the Reformed Faith which engages seriously with Scripture as well as the history and traditions of orthodox Christianity. One of the biggest draws for me personally was Horton's chapter on Word and Sacrament, which offers a compelling take on Calvin's understanding of real presence. Furthermore, Horton is one of the only systematic theologians in the evangelical Horton's "The Christian Faith" is my go-to systematic theology. The text is a brilliantly articulated and well researched exposition of the Reformed Faith which engages seriously with Scripture as well as the history and traditions of orthodox Christianity. One of the biggest draws for me personally was Horton's chapter on Word and Sacrament, which offers a compelling take on Calvin's understanding of real presence. Furthermore, Horton is one of the only systematic theologians in the evangelical tradition I know who is competent enough to engage with Eastern Orthodox thought, pushing beyond the Roman Catholic-Protestant dichotomy to paint a broader and more accurate picture of Christian theology and its development over the last two thousand years. Aside from these wonderful, new contributions, readers will be familiar with Horton's approach, which generally stands in the tradition of Reformed scholastics like Berkhof and Hodge, though with a much deeper sensitivity to the Patristic tradition.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Good Reformed systematic theology. Interacts throughout with a number of modern theologians from different traditions based on a framework of divine drama (or, alternatively, story) and performative speech leading to doctrine, leading to doxology and discipleship. Another theme developed throughout the book is that of the covenantal ontology of "meeting a stranger" (considered against the alternative ontologies of "overcoming estrangement" and "the stranger we never meet." This systematic theolog Good Reformed systematic theology. Interacts throughout with a number of modern theologians from different traditions based on a framework of divine drama (or, alternatively, story) and performative speech leading to doctrine, leading to doxology and discipleship. Another theme developed throughout the book is that of the covenantal ontology of "meeting a stranger" (considered against the alternative ontologies of "overcoming estrangement" and "the stranger we never meet." This systematic theology is also a somewhat simplified version of Horton's long-term project to articulate a consistently covenantal theology (developed more fully in his for volume "Covenant and Eschatology" series). All in all, this is a worthy contribution, a modern, yet orthodox, Reformed theology which interacts respectfully with a range of alternative views, and which does so using a well-defined framework which gives continuity and coherence to the overall work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark Trigsted

    I did not finish this massive work, that being said I got such a wonderful taste in my mouth about it that I can not recommend it enough. Having read several Reformed Systematic Theologies cover to cover (Berkhoff, Hodge, etc.) Im not sure doctrinally there is anything new here as far as the truth is concerned, but how Dr. Horton uses unique sources and his excellent knowledge base of Historical and Biblical Theology make things fresh and provide many "Aha" moments. What is new is the meta narrat I did not finish this massive work, that being said I got such a wonderful taste in my mouth about it that I can not recommend it enough. Having read several Reformed Systematic Theologies cover to cover (Berkhoff, Hodge, etc.) Im not sure doctrinally there is anything new here as far as the truth is concerned, but how Dr. Horton uses unique sources and his excellent knowledge base of Historical and Biblical Theology make things fresh and provide many "Aha" moments. What is new is the meta narrative and "Pilgrim" aspect that Dr. Horton weaves through each section. I particularly love the Sacrament section. I plan on using this volume every time I teach on any major section of doctrine at church. For example... If I am teaching on the Lords Supper a review of Michaels sections will give me a nice overview to help weave new players and fresh quotes to my listeners.... Botton line Dr. Horton is one of the writers that has influence me the most... This work is a treasure!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott aka Prison Preacher

    I'm taking on a one on one discipleship, I'm the disciple, and the curriculum will be you guessed it this monstrosity. Actually I'm very excited my mentor originally was thinking doing the abridged version but after I mentioned I already had the monster version, it was decided we go with the monster. I've not read any books by Michael Horton, (I have two others, on my to read shelf), but I have heard Michael Horton many times on 'White Horse Inn' astute on his theology. This no doubt will be on m I'm taking on a one on one discipleship, I'm the disciple, and the curriculum will be you guessed it this monstrosity. Actually I'm very excited my mentor originally was thinking doing the abridged version but after I mentioned I already had the monster version, it was decided we go with the monster. I've not read any books by Michael Horton, (I have two others, on my to read shelf), but I have heard Michael Horton many times on 'White Horse Inn' astute on his theology. This no doubt will be on my 'Currently Reading' shelf for a long time but it has been a passion of mine to be mentored by a individual who is seen by his peers as, passionate about God's Word, solid on his theology, a great teacher and a rock solid man of God. So let the discipling begin!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Todd Wilhelm

    After one year I have finished this book! I struggled through the first 13 chapters, whether to my spiritual condition, unfamiliarity with the authors style, difficulty to understand or a combination of all three I do not know. I set the book aside for long periods and made headway very slowly. Then I came to chapter 14, "The Person of Christ" and the book came alive to me. Reading was a joy and I quickly progressed through the final 15 chapters. I am glad I stuck with it! After one year I have finished this book! I struggled through the first 13 chapters, whether to my spiritual condition, unfamiliarity with the authors style, difficulty to understand or a combination of all three I do not know. I set the book aside for long periods and made headway very slowly. Then I came to chapter 14, "The Person of Christ" and the book came alive to me. Reading was a joy and I quickly progressed through the final 15 chapters. I am glad I stuck with it!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Bradburn

    Excellent. Classically Reformed treatment of Systematic Theology. Aside from my disagreements with him on creationism, baptism, church government, and the way he understands exlusivism, this book is a masterpiece from one of the brightest theologians of our day. It is a bit tedious at times-- and I do wish that he would have interacted more with Scripture at certain points-- but overall it is a substantial work that is highly recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peter Boeve

    Wonderful bringing together much Biblical material in a way that reveals meaning and purpose. I enjoyed the extensive effort to bring together Old and New Testament materials to demonstrate how the Bible makes sense. 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. Wonderful bringing together much Biblical material in a way that reveals meaning and purpose. I enjoyed the extensive effort to bring together Old and New Testament materials to demonstrate how the Bible makes sense. 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eric Molicki

    This is an excellent current systematic theology that is strongly influenced by Horton's redemptive-historical lens. It addresses many current issues in a thorough and understandable fashion. Should become a standard in pastor's libraries. This is an excellent current systematic theology that is strongly influenced by Horton's redemptive-historical lens. It addresses many current issues in a thorough and understandable fashion. Should become a standard in pastor's libraries.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    My go-to book for all things theological. So nice to have an intelligent reference that can be trusted whereas matters of doctrine are concerned. You have to really want to read it, but if you invest the time, you'll come out the winner. My go-to book for all things theological. So nice to have an intelligent reference that can be trusted whereas matters of doctrine are concerned. You have to really want to read it, but if you invest the time, you'll come out the winner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael Rachel

    Helpful insights especially in light of his overarching paradigm. At the same time, this paradigm may be Horton's undoing. Certainly not a replacement for Berkhof, but the level of scholarly engagement is impressive, helpful, and great. Helpful insights especially in light of his overarching paradigm. At the same time, this paradigm may be Horton's undoing. Certainly not a replacement for Berkhof, but the level of scholarly engagement is impressive, helpful, and great.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kurtz

    I really like most of what I have read from Michael Horton and I would probably give this book a better rating if I understood more of it. Much of the book was just too academic for me. Too much of it was over my head for me to give it a better rating.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Blake Harris

    A great Reformed Systematic, that interacts with a breadth of Christian traditions in a meaningful way. Even if one disagrees with Horton, one will be unable to say he presented opposing views unfairly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Rindels

    Michelle, yes, this is a seminary textbook...but so relevant that I would daresay I'd read it on my own. I hereby give my justification for listing it on Goodreads. :) Michelle, yes, this is a seminary textbook...but so relevant that I would daresay I'd read it on my own. I hereby give my justification for listing it on Goodreads. :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Binkley

    excellent read. made me rethink all the theology I had read before.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Klute

    Readable systematic theology written from a reformed theology perspective.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wyatt Houtz

    Excellent. Misses a few topics, but still very very good.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Cox

    By far one of my favorite books to refer back to.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dane Jöhannsson

    A helpful and thorough overview from a modern reformed perspective. Horton engages many modern theologians, liberal and conservative, as well a drawing from the rich heritage of the past.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brian Whittaker

    A very good, modern systematic theology. I often consult it and dip into it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josh Maurer

    Excellent systematic theology book from a classic reformed perspective!

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