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.
How Do You Live a Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World? — An Excerpt from Michael Horton’s “Ordinary”
Transformative. Impactful. Life-Changing.
Emergent. Alternative. Innovative.
The Next Big Thing.
Sound familiar? They should. Because as Michael Horton explains in his new book Ordinary, they are influencing a “frantic search for ‘something more’” in the Christian life. (125)
At root in our quest for The Next Big Thing is “a basic discontent with God’s Word. We begin to look for programs and personalities that will make us winners in a sprint, instead of running the long-distance race with the assurance that Christ has already won the prize for us.” (125-126)
What’s a Christian to do?
In the excerpt below Horton argues we need to turn to an unlikely source in order…
Michael Horton Says We’ve Got a Problem: The Problem of Everydayness
Several years ago when I was still safely a young adult (I’m 34 now), I briefly entertained the idea of forming a New Monastic community in the heart of Grand Rapids. Having read popular evangelical books that encouraged radical, revolutionary living, a few friends of mine and I were inspired to live an alternative, extreme, impactful life for Christ and His kingdom.
To live radically, as those books encouraged us to live.
But what if living a radical life isn’t what Christ desires for us? What if He’s far more interested in how we approach the mundane, the everydayness of life?
That’s the premise of Michael Horton’s balancing new book Ordinary: Sustaining Faith in a Radical, Restless World. Horton believes we need to question “false values, expectations, and habits that we have absorbed,…
New Releases Today — Ordinary, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Mark, and Scripture & Counseling
This fall sees the release of several informative, engaging, challenging titles that will enhance and equip your teaching and ministry.
Four of those titles release today. Here’s a quick overview:
In recent years several books have urged Christians to live a radical, crazy, transformative faith. But what if the Christian life was more mundane and…ordinary? That’s the premise of Michael Horton’s new book. He believes that our attempts to measure our spiritual growth by our experiences, constantly seeking after the next big breakthrough, have left many Christians disillusioned and disappointed. Far from a call to low expectations and passivity, Horton invites readers to recover their sense of joy in the ordinary. This book is your people’s guide to a sustainable discipleship that happens over the long haul—not a quick fix that leaves them empty with unfulfilled promises. Using this book in…
Free Resource Roundup for Michael Horton’s Pilgrim Theology
We're excited to present these 3 free resources for Michael Horton's book Pilgrim Theology! Each will help you integrate your doctrinal reflection with your knowledge of scripture and your daily life and worship.
Also, for a limited time the Pilgrim Theology eBook is on sale for $7.99 (the normal price is $27.99). Sale ends Monday, April 22. Get the deal on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook.com, and other retailers.
1. Infographic: 4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines, Part One
Renew your understanding of key doctrines by exploring them through Horton's four "coordinates" of Drama, Doctrine, Doxology, and Discipleship. Doctrines in part one include:
- God's Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes
- The Person and Works of Christ
Download the infographic (PDF, 968K)
Free Resource: “Pilgrim Theology” Study Guide
We're pleased to present this free 82-page Study and Discussion Guide designed for use with Michael Horton's Pilgrim Theology.
The free Study Guide will help you discover vital connections among what God has revealed, what you know, and how you can live and worship in response. This is a guide for your journey to know God and be transformed by him.
(PDF, 3.6MB. This may take a few seconds to download fully. Thank you for your patience!)
What is "Pilgrim" Theology?
Here's an excerpt from the Study Guide:
'Pilgrim' theology is the relentless pursuit of reality.
"Pilgrim" theology is the relentless pursuit of reality. This journey of understanding must begin with the central claim of all Scripture, which is the gospel — the good news of Jesus Christ. The gospel does not just tell us that God exists. The gospel tells us what God is like, how he has acted in history, and where we stand in relationship to him…
Theology…is a pursuit of radical transformation.
Theology drives us to believe in the particular God who is revealedin the Scripture and is known in Jesus Christ. Studying theology is not simply a pursuit of information; rather, it is a pursuit of radical transformation…
Theology should connect to practical living. The Bible does not set truth and experience and our head and our heart against each other. Pilgrim Theology and this Study Guide are both written to help us integrate our faith and practice, what we know and what we do. "Theology is the lived, social, and embodied integration of drama, doctrine, doxology, and discipleship" (The Christian Faith, 70).
What's in the study guide?
[Part 2] Infographic – Michael Horton’s Pilgrim Theology: 4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines
We’re excited to unveil part two of “4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines,” the infographic inspired by Michael Horton’s new book, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples.
In part two, Michael Horton explores nine more key Christian teachings through the four “coordinates” of Drama, Doctrine, Doxology, and Discipleship. The teachings include:
Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification Baptism and the Lord’s Supper The Visible and Invisible Church Last Things and Everlasting Life
This infographic will renew how you understand these truths, plus how you live and worship in response to God’s work.
Michael Horton’s Pilgrim Theology: 4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines, Part 1 [Infographic]
We're excited to share this new infographic – Michael Horton's Pilgrim Theology: 4 Coordinates of Key Doctrines, Part 1.
The infographic displays some groundbreaking work from Michael Horton's new theology book, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples.
In part one of the infographic you will view nine key Christian teachings as seen through four "coordinates" – Drama, Doctrine, Doxology, and Discipleship. The teachings in part one include God's Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes, Creation, the Person and Works of Christ, and more. Download part one today, and come back this Thursday for part two!
Download the full infographic (PDF, 968K. The file may take a few seconds to load — thank you for your patience!)
Know someone who would like this infographic? Share this link with your friends: http://zndr.vn/15NrPhX
Horton on Creation and Humanity
"The origins of creation cannot properly be understood apart from their eschatological aim. If we understand creation (including ourselves) only in terms of an origin (protology) rather than also as a destiny (eschatology), we will miss the crucial point that creation – including humanity – is in an important sense unfinished.
Strikingly, Descartes arrived at his concept of the autonomous res cogitans (thinking thing) by abstracting himself from the world and his mind from his body in contemplative solitude, while the biblical concept of the self emerged in constant interaction with God and other creatures in a particular history of covenantal relatedness.”
– Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way.
Michael Wittmer interviewed on “The White Horse Inn”
Listen to the podcast of Dr. Michael E. Wittmer on Michael Horton's "The White Horse Inn" as they discuss Wittmer's book, Don't Stop Believing: Why Living Like Jesus is Not Enough.
Some postmodern Christians have begun to argue that what we believe is not as important as what we do, and that Christianity is primarily about "living like Jesus." But are good works enough? Don't we have to believe something?