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The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  794 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Michael Horton’s highly anticipated The Christian Faith represents his magnum opus and will be viewed as one of—if not the—most important systematic theologies since Louis Berkhof wrote his in 1932. A prolific, award-winning author and theologian, Professor Horton views this volume as “doctrine that can be preached, experienced, and lived, as well as understood, clarified, ...more
Hardcover, 1056 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Zondervan Academic (first published December 21st 2010)
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Jared Totten
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way by Michael Horton is not your average systematic theology. It's not broken up into simple chapters ending in "-ology" like Christology, hamaritology, ecclesiology, and the like. Instead, Michael Horton means to tell a story because the doctrines of Scripture arise out of the drama of Scripture. Or as he puts it, "The Christian faith is, first and foremost, and unfolding drama . . . The great doctrines of the Christian faith arise ...more
Jacob Aitken
In Tolkien’s Two Towers Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas attack a while-clad old man, thinking him Saruman. Realizing their error, they apologize to Gandalf saying, “We thought you were Saruman.” Gandalf says, “I am Saruman, or rather Saruman as he should have been.” We may say with this work that Michael Horton is Karl Barth (or NT Wright; insert your favorite villain) as he should have been.

Horton has given us the first presentation of a systematic theology derived along dramatic categories. Other
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
I tried reading this book a few years ago, but gave up before reaching 200 page mark. However, I decided to go back and start it again (I have been off work for a few weeks and thought that I should try and read a couple of STs during that time). I have to say that it is in many ways an excellent book, and that it reads really well as a Reformed theodrama.

Michael Horton generally avoids the pitfalls that various modern Calvinists fall into in relation to divine impassibility and erroneous views
G Walker
Nov 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Mike Horton (and his colleagues at Westminster West) with their pop-calvinism and quasi-Lutheranism, make me tired. I don't know what else to say other than this volume was not produced out of a genuine need, conversely somehow it was even (admittedly)rushed to the presses (which in turn left out key aspects within reformed dogmatics that were not addressed like the Decalogue (amongst others)... or maybe it was because he didn't really want his law-gospel dichotomy squarely/clearly in print... I ...more
Todd Miles
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Horton's systematic theology is everything that I expected. It is too long to review each individual part, but here are some summary observations:
The volume would serve as an excellent companion to other evangelical systematic theologies, such as those by Grudem or Erickson, especially if one wanted a more specifically Reformed perspective (without organizing the theology around the Westminster Catechism).
The strongest doctrine in the book was the prolegomena section. Given Horton's prior
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Michael Horton's Christian Faith, subtitled "A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on The Way", is a huge tome. It can be quite intimidating to approach a volume this big, so with some trepidation I set out to read it. Having pored over 75% of the book, I can say that this is more than a systematic theology; it is a huge survey of theology.

When I say that "The Christian Fait"h is a huge survey of theology, I mean that it is more than a systematic theology. Horton deals with this from a very
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love this one. Although I am a Lutheran, I find Horton's approach to theology refreshing and honest.
Jimmy Reagan
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mark this systematic theology down as one that tries to unite deep theological thinking with living the Christian life. The Christian Faith by Michael Horton provides another viewpoint and presentation for those doing systematic theological study. The volume truly has its own voice and in no way regurgitates what other major systematic theologies have to say.

Be sure to check out the introductory chapter that lays out both his ideas of doctrine and theology as well as a description of what he
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There have been many Systematic Theology works produced over the last few centuries. Some stand the test of time such as John Calvin's, Institutes of the Christian Religion, or Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology (3 Volumes), or even Louis Berkhoff's Systematic Theology. Some however quickly fade into relative obscurity. It is a rarity that a thorough, orthodox, and useful Systematic Theology work appears, yet one has popped up in recent years that will not only be useful is committed to the ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Michael Horton's The Christian Faith is a thoroughly Reformed systematic theology. Horton engages with modern and contemporary issues and theologians as well as other traditions and historical eras. He is both critical and receptive of doctrines and concepts from various schools of thought and traditions, demonstrating a robust synthesis of ideas without compromising Sola Scriptura. He balances his systematic approach with themes from biblical theology, which serve to both temper and expand his ...more
Wesley Owens
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Horton's "The Christian Faith" is my go-to systematic theology. The text is a brilliantly articulated and well researched exposition of the Reformed Faith which engages seriously with Scripture as well as the history and traditions of orthodox Christianity. One of the biggest draws for me personally was Horton's chapter on Word and Sacrament, which offers a compelling take on Calvin's understanding of real presence. Furthermore, Horton is one of the only systematic theologians in the evangelical ...more
Mark Trigsted
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I did not finish this massive work, that being said I got such a wonderful taste in my mouth about it that I can not recommend it enough. Having read several Reformed Systematic Theologies cover to cover (Berkhoff, Hodge, etc.) Im not sure doctrinally there is anything new here as far as the truth is concerned, but how Dr. Horton uses unique sources and his excellent knowledge base of Historical and Biblical Theology make things fresh and provide many "Aha" moments.

What is new is the meta
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good Reformed systematic theology. Interacts throughout with a number of modern theologians from different traditions based on a framework of divine drama (or, alternatively, story) and performative speech leading to doctrine, leading to doxology and discipleship. Another theme developed throughout the book is that of the covenantal ontology of "meeting a stranger" (considered against the alternative ontologies of "overcoming estrangement" and "the stranger we never meet."

This systematic
Scott K
Dec 26, 2011 marked it as theology-curriculum-reference
Shelves: kindle
I'm taking on a one on one discipleship, I'm the disciple, and the curriculum will be you guessed it this monstrosity. Actually I'm very excited my mentor originally was thinking doing the abridged version but after I mentioned I already had the monster version, it was decided we go with the monster.

I've not read any books by Michael Horton, (I have two others, on my to read shelf), but I have heard Michael Horton many times on 'White Horse Inn' astute on his theology. This no doubt will be on
Todd Wilhelm
Apr 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After one year I have finished this book! I struggled through the first 13 chapters, whether to my spiritual condition, unfamiliarity with the authors style, difficulty to understand or a combination of all three I do not know. I set the book aside for long periods and made headway very slowly. Then I came to chapter 14, "The Person of Christ" and the book came alive to me. Reading was a joy and I quickly progressed through the final 15 chapters. I am glad I stuck with it!
Lucas Bradburn
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Classically Reformed treatment of Systematic Theology. Aside from my disagreements with him on creationism, baptism, church government, and the way he understands exlusivism, this book is a masterpiece from one of the brightest theologians of our day. It is a bit tedious at times-- and I do wish that he would have interacted more with Scripture at certain points-- but overall it is a substantial work that is highly recommended.
Peter Boeve
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful bringing together much Biblical material in a way that reveals meaning and purpose.

I enjoyed the extensive effort to bring together Old and New Testament materials to demonstrate how the Bible makes sense.
I thought that sometimes I was wading through molasses to get the author's point of view. Heavy slogging!
Recommended: to those seeking a grand vision of a remarkable author who knows his Bible.
Blake Harris
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great Reformed Systematic, that interacts with a breadth of Christian traditions in a meaningful way. Even if one disagrees with Horton, one will be unable to say he presented opposing views unfairly.
Michael Rachel
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Helpful insights especially in light of his overarching paradigm. At the same time, this paradigm may be Horton's undoing. Certainly not a replacement for Berkhof, but the level of scholarly engagement is impressive, helpful, and great.
Paul Kurtz
I really like most of what I have read from Michael Horton and I would probably give this book a better rating if I understood more of it. Much of the book was just too academic for me. Too much of it was over my head for me to give it a better rating.
Eric Molicki
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This is an excellent current systematic theology that is strongly influenced by Horton's redemptive-historical lens. It addresses many current issues in a thorough and understandable fashion. Should become a standard in pastor's libraries.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone seeking to understand real doctrine
Shelves: theology-books
My go-to book for all things theological. So nice to have an intelligent reference that can be trusted whereas matters of doctrine are concerned. You have to really want to read it, but if you invest the time, you'll come out the winner.
Kyle Klute
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctrine
Readable systematic theology written from a reformed theology perspective.
Ryan Rindels
Oct 11, 2011 is currently reading it
Michelle, yes, this is a seminary textbook...but so relevant that I would daresay I'd read it on my own. I hereby give my justification for listing it on Goodreads. :)
Tyler Cox
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
By far one of my favorite books to refer back to.
Trevor Binkley
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
excellent read. made me rethink all the theology I had read before.
Wyatt Houtz
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Misses a few topics, but still very very good.
Brian Whittaker
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good, modern systematic theology. I often consult it and dip into it.
Michael Rowe
rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2013
Greg Smith
rated it really liked it
Dec 02, 2014
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Dr. Horton has taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California since 1998. In addition to his work at the Seminary, he is the president of White Horse Inn, for which he co-hosts the White Horse Inn, a nationally syndicated, weekly radio talk-show exploring issues of Reformation theology in American Christianity. He is also the editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. ...more
“Doctrine severed from practice is dead; practice severed from doctrine is just another form of self-salvation and self-improvement. A disciple of Christ is a student of theology.” 7 likes
“the biblical faith, which sympathizes more with Nietzsche than with many modern theologians” 0 likes
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