Michael Horton has influenced my life for the good in so many ways that if I could meet him in the flesh I would most probably just want to shake the man’s hand off of him or embrace him with a brotherly hug (for all you wise-guys out there you can save the gay jokes for now!!). His radio show “The White Horse Inn” has taught me so much this past year and the Modern Reformation magazine has also opened my eyes to things that I just didn’t see/understand in the previously. I have read Horton’s book “Putting Amazing Back into Grace” and it is simply sensational. Half way through I distinctly remember having to simply put the book down and go “Wow…..thank you God for your grace. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus for what you accomplished through your sacrifice on the cross”
Dr. Michael S. Horton is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California and author of numerous books, including Putting Amazing Back into Grace (Baker), A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of Christ-Centered Worship (Baker), God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology (Baker, 2006) and Too Good to Be True: Finding Hope in a World of Hype (Zondervan, 2006). According to Christianity Today (January 2006), Dr. Horton is “one of the leading voices in the contemporary revitalization of the Reformed tradition in America.”
In his latest book “Christless Christianity” Horton sets out to reveal the major problem of Americanised Christianity. He focuses on the American evangelical scene, however, any Christian will profit from reading this fantastic piece of work. Christianity in the West is “much of a muchness” whether it be England, Australia or the United States. Whilst Americans are much more extravagant and dramatic in the way they do things compared to us in the United Kingdom, we share much of the same attributes- namely we are fallen human sinners. Thus we suffer from the same issues such as changing the message to a narcissistic, self-help, moralism rather than the preaching of the cross and a risen Saviour who has done it all. Horton notes that the ancient heresy of Pelagianism is on the rise, if not an epidemic in the Church already. The modern revivalist of Pelagianism of course was Charles G. Finney, who denied original sin, denied the imputed righteousness of Christ, and denied that one was saved by grace through faith alone. As a result many Christian churches focus on the “us” rather than focusing on “the Christ who died for us”. Easter messages have become “Rolling the stone of defeat away from your life” and “Overcoming your giants”. Yet Christianity is not about us, it is about Him.From experience, I have found that those who fall away from the faith tend to do so because they can’t get over themselves. They think God owes them something and when He doesn’t deliver they jump ship and are prepared to drown themselves in the world, which of course offers them the fulfillment of every fleshly desire. Many churches and pastors mine the Bible for “relevant” quotes but fail to preach Christ. Christ-centred teaching on the other hand is pushed to the side. Yet when we take Christ out of our teaching are we really left with anything at all?
Christians have always had their differences, but never in church history have there been so many statistics that indicate that many Christians today are practicing what can only be described as “Christless Christianity.” Michael Horton insightfully explores the ways in which consumerism and market values have influenced contemporary Christian thought and practice.
I highly recommend this book to you as a must read for anyone who is serious about the Gospel and who has a genuine love for Jesus Christ and a concern for His church. I really hope and pray God uses this book to awaken us from our slumber.
To read the first chapter of Christless Christianity click on the book below.