Michael Horton’s New Systematic Theology

Michael Horton’s long-awaited systematic theology, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Amazon | WTS Books), is due out very soon. Zondervan’s website says it’s “coming January 2011.” Amazon says “January 25, 2011.” WTS Books says “February 2011.”

Systematic theologies are one of my favorite categories of books, so I’m really looking forward to picking this one up and adding it to my library.

The Christian Faith

Details

The Christian Faith runs 1,052 pages (which is the last numbered page according to Zondervan’s “Browse Inside” feature).1 It has a list price of $49.99, but the Westminster Bookstore has will be selling it for $30.99, and Amazon has it available for pre-order for $31.17 (or $30.99 for Kindle).


The back cover says,

Features of this volume include: (1) a brief synopsis of biblical passages that inform a particular doctrine; (2) surveys of past and current theologies with contemporary emphasis on exegetical, philosophical, practical, and theological questions; (3) substantial interaction with various Christian movements within the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodoxy traditions, as well as the hermeneutical issues raised by postmodernity; and (4) charts, sidebars, questions for discussion, and an extensive bibliography, divided into different entry levels and topics.

It also includes a 13-page glossary of important theological terms as well as Scripture, subject, name, and confession indexes.

Description

Granted, this is marketing copy, but the descriptions set the bar pretty high. (Bold is mine.)

WTS Books:

The most important systematic theology since Louis Berkhof’s 1932 magum [sic] opus. Interacting with movements within the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions, award-winning scholar Horton offers a brief synopsis of biblical passages that inform a particular doctrine; and surveys current and past works with contemporary emphasis on exegetical, philosophical, practical, and theological questions. Includes an extensive bibliography.

Zondervan:

A prolific, award-winning author and theologian, professor 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 in the past fifty years. A must read for professors, pastors, students, and armchair theologians.

Amazon:

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, and articulated.” It is written for a growing cast of pilgrims making their way together and will be especially welcomed by professors, pastors, students, and armchair theologians.

Endorsements

Horton’s work receives praise from a wide spectrum of scholars and leaders.

George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary:

In this impressive volume Michael Horton . . . remints and rethinks the greatness of seventeenth-century Reformed theology and makes it accessible for readers today.

John Webster, King’s College, University of Aberdeen:

This is a work of outstanding theological and spiritual cogency and will command wide attention.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Wheaton College and Graduate School:

The Christian Faith has the great merit of never letting the reader forget that doctrine is for disciples who want to walk the way of Jesus Christ . . . take up this book, read, and walk!

Kevin W. Hector, The University of Chicago Divinity School:

This is a remarkable volume: lucid, insightful, learned, and faithful, The Christian Faith is that rare book that substantially contributes to and helpfully introduces Christian theology.

J. Todd Billings, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, MI:

A remarkable accomplishment—the most significant single-volume systematic theology to be written in decades!

David F. Wells, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary:

A crisp, clear, and forceful new theology that is at once biblical and reverent, historical and contemporary, learned but accessible.

Anthony B. Bradley, The King’s College:

Protestant orthodoxy is alive and active. Horton’s precision is sure to initiate a new series of theological refinement in light of new global realities.

Bryan Chapell, Covenant Theological Seminary:

This book is one of the most significant voices to be heard in framing a systematic theology for this generation of the Reformed movement.

R. C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries:

A remarkable work. Horton’s approach to systematic theology is fresh and critically needed in our time.

Contents

You can browse inside and see portions of each of the chapters or download and read the first part of chapter 1 as a PDF.

Here’s how Horton organizes his material.

Introduction: The Dogma Is the Drama: A Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

Part 1: Knowing God: The Presuppositions of Theology

1 Dissonant Dramas: Paradigms for Knowing God and the World

2 The Character of Theology: A Theoretical or a Practical Science?

3 The Source of Theology: Revelation

4 Scripture as Covenant Canon

5 The Bible and the Church: From Scripture to System

Part 2: God Who Lives

6 God: The Incommunicable Attributes

7 God: The Communicable Attributes

8 The Holy Trinity

Part 3: God Who Creates

9 The Decree: Trinity and Predestination

10 Creation: God’s Time for Us

11 Providence: God’s Care for All He Has Made

12 Being Human

13 The Fall of Humanity

Part 4: God Who Rescues

14 The Person of Christ

15 The State of Humiliation: Christ’s Threefold Office

16 The State of Exaltation: The Servant Who Is Lord

Part 5: God Who Reigns in Grace

17 Called to Be Saints: Christ’s Presence in the Spirit

18 Union with Christ

19 Forensic Aspects of Union with Christ: Justification and Adoption

20 The Way Forward in Grade: Sanctification and Perseverance

21 The Hope of Glory: “Those Whom He Justified He Also Glorified” (Ro 8:30)

22 The Kingdom of Grace and the New Covenant Church

23 Word and Sacrament: The Means of Grace

24 Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

25 The Attributes of the Church: Unity, Catholicity, and Holiness

26 Apostolicity: A Fellowship of Receivers and Deliverers

Part 6: God Who Reigns in Glory

27 A Dwelling Place

28 The Return of Christ and the Last Judgment

29 The Last Battle and Life Everlasting

Interview

Horton was interviewed recently about his new book, and here’s what he had to say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rZV9XhFRLY

What are your thoughts on Horton’s forthcoming book?

Footnotes

  1. WTS Books incorrectly lists 960 pages, and Zondervan and Amazon say 1056, perhaps including ads or blank pages at the end.

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14 Responses to Michael Horton’s New Systematic Theology

  1. Alan January 13, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Phil,
    When can we expect this in Logos?

    • Phil Gons January 13, 2011 at 7:29 am #

      Good question. We have a good relationship with Zondervan, so it seems likely that we could offer it in the near future.

  2. Dan Phillips January 13, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Why “the most important” since Berkhof, I wonder? What’s Reymond, Culver, even Grudem? Chopped liver?

    • Phil Gons January 13, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      That’s what I was thinking. It’ll be interesting to see if it lives up to the hype.

  3. Jim January 13, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Any idea on when it will be available in Logos?

    • Phil Gons January 13, 2011 at 8:14 am #

      I’ll look into it today.

      • Whix January 18, 2011 at 9:22 am #

        Any word from Logos?

        • Phil Gons January 27, 2011 at 11:31 am #

          It’s on our next list to request from Zondervan. No time frame on when we’ll get it.

      • Jerry January 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

        Heard anything, Phil?

  4. R. Graham January 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Were you aware that the ebook version is alreaady available? I have been reading this on my kindle, and so far, it is very interesting. Like he said in the video, his writing approach is not just technical facts but very literary if that makes sense. His descriptiions bring to life the details. It very interesting. Your vocabulary must certainly grow even beyond just theological terms.

    if and when available in Logos, I would get this.

    It’s not just another Systematic, that is for sure.

    • Phil Gons January 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      I wasn’t. Thanks for the tip, though I pretty much stick to Logos digital books and print. And thanks for sharing your initial impressions.

  5. Ted Hans January 14, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    I was going to ask the obvious but since others have I will not. I have been waiting for this for a long time.

    The most important since Berkhof hmm …. Thanks to Amazon as soon as it is released I will get to read it. Well since it is written by Horton there will be little to disagree on from me. I hope so:-) Horton writes well.

  6. noname999 September 10, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Has anyone heard about the condensed 300 page version and when that might be coming out?

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  1. Michael Horton’s New Systematic | A Man from Issachar - January 13, 2011

    [...] pages (which is the last numbered page according to Zondervan’s “Browse Inside” feature).1 It has a list price of $49.99, but the Westminster Bookstore will be selling it for $30.99, and [...]

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