In his well-received Christless Christianity, Michael Horton offered a prophetic wake-up call for a self-centered American church. With The Gospel-Driven Life he turns from the crisis to the solutions, offering his recommendations for a new reformation in the faith, practice, and witness of contemporary Christianity. This insightful book will guide readers in reorienting their faith and the church's purpose toward the Good News of the gospel. The first six chapters explore that breaking news from heaven, while the rest of the book focuses on the kind of community that the gospel generates and the surprising ways in which God is at work in the world. Here is fresh news for Christians who are burned out on hype and are looking for hope.
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Review 1 for The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World
The author, Michael Horton, is Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. It appears that this book may be a timely response to the more popular The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. Horton's book is a core text in the current wave of books arousing the Church to understand and reclaim the centrality of the Gospel to true Christianity.
Horton's book is no easy read. It is a hardback of over 250 pages, with smaller-than-average font. Horton's reasoning, like some other good writers, is not the easiest to follow. The book, however is worth the time and trouble the average educated reader can invest.
The message of Horton's book is clear: "The simple message that God has done everything he requires to reconcile sinners to himself is not just the church's slogan, but its lifeblood." In the spirit of the Reformation, Horton hammers home this point in ten lengthy chapters. He challenges heresies that have slipped into the thought of the modern professing Christian, and exposes their error with a clarion call to return to the sufficiency of Calvary. Horton declares with fervor that our lives should be "promise-driven" rather than "purpose-driven" (133), summarizing his message in simple terms: "It is always 'in view of God's mercies' that we can offer ourselves as 'a living sacrifice' (Rom. 12:1-2)." (133)
Horton's writing is marked by conviction: his faithfulness to the law of God, and its binding on all of mankind, gives backbone and credibility to his love for the Gospel. One example is his section entitled: "Recovering the Lord's Day." With a directness lacking in much evangelical writing, Horton declares that "The Christian faith is not only a story. Nor is it just a system of doctrines. It includes concrete practices through which our lives are actually shaped by the reality of the new creation. But we have to break away from the powers of this fading age to be renewed by the powers of the age to come." (216)
Fresh, orthodox, and intensely practical...Horton's book is a rarity. The true saint who purchases this book will not be disappointed.
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Review 2 for The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World