Book Review: The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton

Title: The Gospel-Driven Life
Author: Michael Horton
Publisher: Baker Books

In Christless Christianity, Michael Horton confronted readers with the danger of a gospel assumed. In The Gospel-Driven Life, Horton moves from the problem to the solution: Recovering a robust understanding of the cross and reorienting the church’s purpose toward the good news of the gospel.

It’s Not About Me

“We have to reverse the focus from a human-centered to a God-centered way of thinking. The gospel witnesses not to an inner light within the self, but to the Light that came into the world, shining in the darkness and overpowering it (John 1:4-9),” writes Horton (p. 26). Throughout the first six chapters of the book, he examines this reality in detail.

While seems obvious, it’s very easy to go through life as though it’s a story about me. God is here to help me. To change me. To bless me. I don’t sin, I make mistakes. I’m not a sinner, I’m a “somewhat dysfunctional but well-meaning victim who needs to be ‘empowered'” (p. 50).

And that’s the problem. [Read more...]

If This is Dull, Then What is Worth Being Called Exciting?

"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power..."

While reading The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton, I came across a provocative quote from Dorothy Sayers, the late English playwright, mystery novelist, poet and essayist. Sayers writes,

Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as “a bad press.” We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine—”dull dogma,” as people call it. The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man—the drama is the dogma. . . . This is the dogma we find so dull—this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and the hero. If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worth being called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore—on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certifying Him “meek and mild,” and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. . . .

That God should play the tyrant over man is the dismal story of unrelieved oppression; that man should play the tyrant over man is the usual dreary record of human futility; but that man should play the tyrant over God and find Him a better man than himself is an astonishing drama indeed. Now we may call that doctrine exhilarating or we may call it devastating; we may call it revelation or we may call it rubbish; but if we call it dull, then words have no meaning at all.

Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos, as quoted in The Gospel Driven Life by Michael Horton, pp. 63-64

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