[Common Places] Five Solas: Grace Alone by Michael Horton
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, looking back to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the theological debates kick-started by their posting. The Reformation continues to be lauded, cajoled, and debated in circles of all sorts today. At Common Places we will begin the year by focusing on some of the central principles and most relevant texts that shaped early Reformation theology and that have continued that conversation in the centuries that followed. Each month we will begin with a post related to an ongoing book project from Zondervan Academic that addresses the five solas of Reformation theology.
Referring to the Nicene Creed, Cardinal Newman observed that the Rubicon separating orthodoxy from heresy…
Michael Horton eBook Flash Sale: Core Christian Teachings & Sustainable Faith
Michael Horton’s eBooks are on sale (starting at $1.99) for a brief time. View the deals. Sale ends at 11:59pm ET on March 14, 2017.
In this sale you’ll find eBooks on core Christian teachings, sustainable faith, what to do when tragedy strikes, and more.
Endorsements Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story – “Learn from a master who is not afraid to put things simply and clearly,” writes Kelly M. Kapic. “A book fit for a new generation the way John Stott’s Basic Christianity was for his generation,” adds Scot McKnight. Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World – “Very refreshing,” writes D. A. Carson. Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples – “A stunningly accessible tour of the classic Reformed landscape,” writes Kelly M. Kapic. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way…
What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life? Michael Horton Explains
‘Tis the season for commencement speeches. On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs gave one of the more memorable ones. His advice to the Stanford graduating class? “You’ve got to find what you love.” This is a common answer to the graduate’s question, “What am I supposed to do with my life?”
But what about the Christian? What are we supposed to do with our life? Michael Horton has an answer, one that’s different from Jobs’s.
In his new book Core Christianity, a helpful guide that tackles the core beliefs that all Christians share, Horton directs our attention away from ourselves—finding what we love—and toward God and our neighbor. His advice on calling begins in a unique way, reminding us where we are and where we’re heading:
we are located…
Either Lord or Lunatic – An Excerpt from Core Christianity
One doctrine especially core to Christianity concerns the identity of Christ: Is Jesus God?
As C. S. Lewis suggested over a half century ago, we are faced with the choice that either Jesus is Lord or he was a lunatic. March down through the centuries – from modern day to those who witnessed the life of Jesus – and you will see how the answer to this one question shapes how one views the world. In this excerpt from Core Christianity, Michael Horton walks the reader through the claim, the case and how the skeptics respond.
JESUS IS GOD. We know this because of the clear claims he made concerning himself and the fact that he rose from the dead just as he promised. Knowing that Christianity stands or falls with this claim, skeptics have focused all their critical…
What Happens When You Die, Why Should You Care? Michael Horton Explains
October 5, 2011: the day Steve Jobs died. When I got the news on my iPhone I was sad. Not only because the world lost an ingenious innovator–mostly because, by all accounts, the man didn’t know Jesus.
This seemed to be confirmed by Jobs himself a few years later, in this reflection from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs:
“I’d like to think that something survives after you die…that maybe your consciousness endures.”
He fell silent for a very long time. “But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch,” he said. “Click! And you’re gone.” (571)
Is that what happens when Death comes knocking? And why should we care what happens when it does?
Enter Michael Horton’s new book Core Christianity, a readable, engaging exploration of the essence of…
What Is the Bible’s Drama, Why Should I Care? Michael Horton Explains
In his new book Core Christianity, Michael Horton describes a childhood church experience similar to my own. Like his church, we loved the Bible, took Sunday School seriously, and trained in Bible knowledge. Yet I had a problem similar to Horton:
with all of this knowledge of the Bible, I never knew how it all fit together. There were lots of interesting (and some not so interesting) stories. But I never heard the big story that moves with dramatic force from Genesis to Revelation. For the most part the Old Testament was alien to me,…
What is “Core Christianity” & Why Should I Care? Michael Horton Explains
“Because,” as Michael Horton points out, “you believe…”
You believe this world didn’t just happen; it was created on purpose and with purpose.
You believe everything is sustained by a Creator who steps into our drama and acts on our behalf.
And you believe things about this Creator: God is good, all-powerful, holy, just, and loving.
That one act of praying reveals more than meets the eye: you have a specific worldview, which arises out of a particular story. It’s that worldview and story that Horton explores and illuminates in his new book Core Christianity.
Yes, his book covers what Christians believe about…
How Do You Raise Ordinary Children in an Extra-Ordinary World?
(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)
What tips do you have for raising children to be OK with ordinary—when the world and church only celebrate extremes?
What parent doesn’t believe their child is special, unique, extra-ordinary? Yet in his new book Ordinary, Horton cautions Christians against making the extraordinary an idol. In our video he gets specific to us parents.
“The joke is parents are living their lives through their children.” Horton says we should want our kids to find and live God’s calling—whether it’s being a janitor or surgeon—rather than our own unfulfilled ones.
Watch Horton’s video…
If the Early Church Was Extraordinary, Why Should We Be Ordinary?
(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)
This is the language of the modern church. Some connect such language to the early church. They wonder, Why should we strive for ordinary when it seems like they didn’t?
Recently through Twitter this question was posed to Michael Horton, author of Ordinary. In the above video he suggests the times when the Church has been most effective has been when it’s been most ordinary.
Horton explores two ordinary ways of early Christians:
Everyday Living: “They were set apart by their godliness, their devotion to their family, their unwillingness to participate in pagan rites.” Christian Living: “They gathered regularly on the Lord’s Day for the Word of God, preaching, prayers, singing the Psalms,…
A Good Crucifixion? (Excerpt from A Place For Weakness by Michael Horton)
As we reflect on the death of Christ this Holy Saturday, let us consider this selection from A Place For Weakness by Michael Horton.
A Good Crucifixion?
If we ever question — and if you haven’t yet, you will — the reliability of that famous assurance that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), we have before us a dilemma. How could the incarnation, suffering, humiliation, and eventual death of the Son of God be explained in anything but tragic terms? Who among us was least deserving of his lot in life? And yet, unlike most instances of our suffering in the world, in this case we know not only that, but how and why all things worked together for our good in…
There’s a Difference Between Frenetic Activism & Faithful Activity — An Excerpt from Michael Horton’s “Ordinary”
Last month Michael Horton released a new book inviting readers to recover their sense of joy in the ordinary. Ordinary is your guide to a sustainable discipleship that happens over the long haul.
Yet Horton makes it clear that “ordinary” doesn’t mean passive—as if we’re called to trade in our activism, campaigns, and movements for a quiet life on the sidelines. Instead, we need to ask ourselves what kind of action are we called to take, why are we to take it, and to what end?
“There is a difference between frenetic activism and faithful activity in the daily struggles of and joys of life.” (39)
In the excerpt below Horton turns our attention to the gospel to…
5 Reasons Why “Christ Transforming Culture” Is a Problem
Sixty years ago H. Richard Niebuhr addressed what he called Christianity’s “enduring problem”: the two “complex realities” of Christ and culture. He insisted “an infinite dialogue must develop in the Christian conscience and the Christian community” regarding their interplay. (Christ and Culture, 39)
To foster such dialogue, Niebuhr suggested five possible answers: Christ against, of, above, transforming, and in tension with culture. He argued Christians tended to fit into one of these five categories when engaging our world.
According to Michael Horton, at least one of these categories is to blame for our current fascination with living radical, revolutionary lives at the expense of ordinary callings.
In his new book Ordinary: Sustaining Faith in a Radical, Restless World, Horton makes a compelling, convincing case that recent movements to transform culture for Christ are a problem.