Tag Archives: Michael Horton

A SWOT analysis of Calvinism today

Michael Horton’s presentation Chapter 8 of Michael Horton’s For Calvinism offers a SWOT analysis of Calvinism today, that is, an examination of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, according to his assessment. Strengths and Weaknesses The first thing that Horton considers a strength of Calvinism these days is its intellectual boldness. Early in the rise of Reformed churches, the catechizing of members was given a high priority among the activities of pastors. They were instrumental in … Continue reading

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Calvinism and Christian Missions

Michael Horton’s presentation Michael Horton devotes chapter 7 of For Calvinism,  to an inspiring defense of Calvinism against the charge that its doctrines discourage missionary activity and prayer for it. History Horton begins with a historical survey of missionary work by Reformed churches. In the Reformation era, both Lutheran and Reformed churches were landlocked and needed time to develop the missionary personnel which Roman Catholic monastic orders had already been raising for centuries. But Calvin … Continue reading

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On being Evangelical, Reformed and Baptist

Michael Horton’s presentation Michael Horton begins chapter 6 of For Calvinism,  by explaining why the Calvinist view of the Christian life is neither an antinomian nor a legalist perspective, despite its often being charged with both of these errors. “New covenant saints are still obligated to obey the moral law” (124), and we do not bring our works to God to satisfy his holiness, but because of our faith and love. Consequently, Calvinism fosters both … Continue reading

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Horton on effectual calling and perseverance

Michael Horton’s presentation In chapter 5, Michael Horton takes up the fourth and fifth points of  “TULIP,” which he places in covenant context. He distinguishes the Sinaitic covenant of law from the Abrahamic covenant of promise/grace, and he then unpacks the new covenant doctrines of effectual calling and perseverance. The overarching truth which Horton unfolds in this chapter is the conviction that “all that Christ has won for us, outside of us in history, is … Continue reading

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Horton on the Atonement

Michael Horton’s presentation In chapter 4, Michael Horton addresses the third point of  “TULIP,” which he prefers to call “particular redemption”` rather than “limited atonement,” arguing that it is “specific or definite in its intention and scope” (80.) He begins with a discussion of “the nature and effects of Christ’s work on the cross,” positing that “penal substitution has always been at the heart of Reformed (as other) accounts of Christ’s redemptive work” (81). But … Continue reading

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Horton on election

Michael Horton’s presentation  In chapter 3, treating election (which is to be “loved before time”), Horton begins by asserting that unconditional election was not a doctrine originated by Calvin and his heirs. It is found in the writings of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, and Thomas Aquinas (54). But the doctrine had become “obscured by a focus on human ability,” which is why “all of the Reformers—Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer and … Continue reading

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On the essence of Calvinism, and on the condition of fallen humanity

Having worked our way through Roger Olson’s Against Calvinism, I’m now reading Michael Horton’s For Calvinism. As I read this book, I want to hear Horton’s presentation in its own right, recognizing that neither of these two books was written as a response to the other; they were written simultaneously. At the same time, Roger’s challenges are fresh in my mind, so I will be looking for ways in which Horton’s independent work speaks to … Continue reading

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