Because Christ Was Born, We Can “Put on Christ” and Become “Firstborn Sons”
’Tis the season to reflect upon the majesty and mystery of the incarnation of Christ. But why not also reflect upon another aspect of his person and work: the imputation of his righteousness to sinners?
Although the Lenten season is still a few months away, Christmas still affords us the opportunity to consider his gift of righteousness through his death on the cross—given that Christ’s birth is an obvious prelude to his vicarious substitution, which paved the way for our justification and the “great exchange.”
Michael Horton opens his new two-volume theological project, Justification (Volume 1 and Volume 2) with this motif from the ancient church—a work in which he helps readers encounter the remarkable biblical texts on justification and places them in conversation with provocative proposals…
What Does Justification Mean? 7 Things You Need to Know
When we reflect on the meaning of salvation—and on our piety, mission, and life together—our thought necessarily engages the doctrine of justification. But what does justification mean? In many ways, this question has always sat at the heart of the Christian faith. However, at various junctures in the church’s history the question has taken on greater urgency—and debate. We live in such a time.
Michael Horton explores the meaning of justification in a key chapter of his new book Justification, Volume 2, one half of the new two-volume theological project on justification (also including Volume 1).
This post overviews seven of the many insights Horton unearths about the meaning of justification in chapter seven of Justification, Volume 2, where Horton outlines the historical, lexical, exegetical, and theological contours…
3 Reasons Why You Should (Re)consider the Doctrine of Justification
When we reflect on the meaning of salvation—and on our piety, mission, and life together—our thought necessarily engages the doctrine of justification. Michael Horton aims to help scholars, students, pastors, and interested Christians alike (re)engage this vital doctrine in his new two-volume theological project, Justification (Volume 1 and Volume 2).
In Justification, Horton helps the reader encounter the remarkable biblical texts on justification, and places those texts in conversation with provocative proposals that have reignited contemporary debates around justification.
“I write this book,” explains Horton, “with the conviction that it is always relevant to proclaim the justification of the ungodly, although we have a long way to go to explore what that means . . . It is always the right time to tell the…
How Does the Holy Spirit Operate in the Believer’s Life?
Which is why Michael Horton offers an entire chapter on “How the Spirit Gives” in his new book Rediscovering the Holy Spirit.
I’m glad he does. Because as a former pastor I’ve found Horton’s view to be true: people struggle to understand how the Spirit ordinarily operates in their life. After explaining the relationship between the Spirit and the means of grace, Horton helps us understand how the Spirit gives by getting specific:
Hearing Christ preached, being baptized, and taking Communion are not substitutes for faith but are the means through which the Spirit gives us faith and confirms our faith to the…
How the Spirit Gives – An Excerpt from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit
In today’s excerpt from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, author, pastor, and theologian Michael Horton reveals that the work of God’s Spirit is far more ordinary and common than we realize. Horton argues that we need to take a step back every now and again to focus on the Spirit himself—his person and work—so that we can gain a fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.
Along with exploring the distinctness of the Spirit’s person and operations in the external works of the Trinity, my goal in this study has been to highlight the ways in which the Holy Spirit is identified in Scripture with not only—or even primarily—that which is extraordinary, spontaneous, and…
One Concern with Renewed Interest in the Holy Spirit: Depersonalization
In Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, Michael Horton encourages us to refocus on the person and work of the Spirit, in order to recognize him as someone other than Jesus or ourselves—or as something in creation.
Although the Holy Spirit has made something of a comeback in recent years, Horton bears a word of caution:
As with the revival of interest in the Trinity, renewed interest in the Spirit does not always mean clarity or consistency with respect to historic Christian teaching. It is not to be assumed that the Spirit whom people have in mind is the Spirit identified in Scripture. (20)
Horton has one particular concern in mind: the Spirit’s depersonalization.
His concern arises from both the culture and the church. Horton explores why, in order to help us rediscover the…
[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 was a vowel: Jesus is of the same…
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,…