Skip to main content

Core Christianity

Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by Michael Horton

Popular author and theologian Michael Horton has written another timely book on the impact of Christian theology for the life of every Christian.  Beginning with the 4 D’s; drama, doctrine, doxology, and discipleship, Michael charts a way that integrates knowing the Christian faith, experiencing that same faith, and acting it out in the culture in which we live.  In turn, what you have in this book is a sort of apologetic of how and why theology makes sense for all of life, not just in some cerebral narrow sense.  This new book, Core Christianity, is an examination of the crucial doctrines of the Christian faith for the purpose of bringing God glory and his creatures obedience to Him.

Uniquely, Horton starts his book out with a chapter on the deity of Jesus Christ.  Drawing on the testimony of Jesus’ words, his death, the empty tomb, and eyewitness testimony about Him, Horton finishes the chapter with the question of Jesus to us, ‘Who do you say that I am (37)?’  With an adept number of historical references (Josephus and ancient Christological heresies) and drawing on the liar, lord, or lunatic argument set forth by C.S. Lewis, Horton draws us into the impossibility of taking Jesus as some quasi moral teacher but calling us to consider his claims.  While I’m not generally sure why a book on finding on story starts with the deity of Jesus Christ, I’m glad that he started there for none other than the reason that without Jesus the story makes no sense at all.

One of the most beautiful and careful handling of Scripture comes in chapter 4 (God speaks).  After cataloging how various strands of believer’s use the Bible, Horton writes, “The scope of Scripture therefore is God’s commands and promises – law and gospel – centering on this unfolding plan in Jesus Christ…Instead we must allow Scripture itself to identify its scope and purpose (77).”  How does Scripture direct us?  For one, we must look at the natural sense of each passage, discerning its genre (poetry, apocalyptic, historical narrative, etc.) and then look at the covenants, whether they are promise based covenants or not.  This canonical approach to Scripture sets limits on our interpretation but also challenges us to see the God of Scripture rather than simply daily nuggets of joy for today.

With characteristic wit and wisdom, Michael Horton gives us an account of the breadth and scope of redemption, the final judgments, the sacrifice of Christ in connection to OT sacrifices and finally helps us understand how these pieces of the puzzle fit together.  Though you won’t find any necessarily novel or new in these pages, you will find a rich theology that one can preach but also that one live out in the created world we live in.

Thanks to Zondervan and BookLookBloggers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…