More than a Prophet

Jesus not only leads the way; He is the destination.
He not only teaches; He is the subject.
He not only shows us how to live; He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Jesus not only proclaims God’s promises; He is the one in whom they are all fulfilled (2 Cor. 1:20).
He not only brings Gods Word; He is God’s Word incarnate (John 1:1,14).

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 184

Common Grace

Out of of the lavishness displayed in the marvelous variety and richness of creation itself, God continues to pour out his common blessings on all people. . . . He is an inexhaustible fountain of loving generosity. Therefore, we neither hoard possessions as if God’s gifts were scarce nor deny ourselves good pleasures as if God were stingy.

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 114

A Covenantal God

It’s not just in a few doctrines here or there where biblical faith differs from its rivals; rather, biblical faith springs from a radically different paradigm. In addition to providing a different understanding of God and the God-world relationship generally, a covenantal paradigm grounds a fundamentally different view of human personhood. We do not meet God in the inner realm of our spirit or at sacred rivers, trees, or mountains. Rather, God hallows common places as historical venues of His discourse. Places are special (holy) in biblical faith because God met with His people there and spoke to His covenant word.

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 123-24

The Neglected Trinity (6)

One of the reasons that many Christians have found little practical relevance of this doctrine for their lives is that our public worship—and therefore private piety—has become increasingly emptied of Trinitarian references. . . . In addition to the New Testament formulas for baptism and benedictions, ancient prayers and hymns planted the Trinitarian faith deep in the hearts of Christian people across many times and places. . . .  Many forms of worship today, however, have dispensed with these rich resources without replacing them with equally Trinitarian elements. . . . To the extent that our experience is not Trinitarian, it is not properly Christian.

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 103-4

The Neglected Trinity (5)

The Trinity is not one doctrine among others, but gives distinctive shape to Christian faith and practice. . . . The Father, the Son, and the Spirit stride across the chapters of redemptive history toward the goal whose origin lies in an eternal pact between them. We worship, pray, confess, and sing our laments and praises to the Father, in the Son, by the Spirit. . . . We are adopted as children, not of a unipersonal God, but of the Father, as coheirs with His Son as mediator, united to the Son and His ecclesial body by the Spirit.

Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples103

The Centrality of the Gospel (3)

When people call for “deeds, not creeds,” asking, “What Would Jesus Do?” without much interest in the query, “What has Jesus done?” identifying themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” they are asking for the law without the gospel.

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 40

Far and Near

The prophets and the apostles believe more deeply in God’s transcendence of and independence from the world than the most ardent deists and more deeply in God’s immanence than the most ardent pantheists. No religion faces, welcomes, and proclaims this paradox as does the Christian faith. No religion is more convinced simultaneously of God’s radical difference from creatures and God’s radical identification with them.

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 30

The Centrality of the Gospel

The gospel is not something you can just tack on to another worldview. On the contrary, it makes you rethink everything from the ground up, from the center out. Only when we start with the gospel—the most controversial point of the Christian faith—are we ready to talk about who God is and how we know Him.

—Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, 20

REFORMATION 500: Christ Alone

Johann von Staupitz, Luther’s mentor, asked him once, “Luther, what happens if all this works, if you have your Reformation. What happens to the devotions, and to the pilgrimages, and to the relics, and to all the wonderful things of the Church; and to the marvelous, majestic liturgy, with all of its pomp and ceremony; all these things that we’ve grown up with and that we love so dearly and that are so close to our hearts? What will be left when you’re through?”

And Luther said, “Christ.”

—cited by Michael Horton