Theology is the study of God. In recent years, we’ve seen a steady increase of good solid systematic theologies that seek to lay out for readers what the authors think about a variety of theological issues. One of these recent volumes is The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way by Michael Horton. Over the years, I’ve read quite a few systematic theology texts. Where Horton’s effort shines the most is in not just its examination of what the Bible teaches, but its wide coverage across a variety of theological spectrums. The author demonstrates a high degree of knowledge about the topics he discusses from a biblical, historical and theological perspective. Along with this, he engages with various Christian movements from within the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions.
Rather than get into every jot and tittle of this book as it is massive, I want to highlight a few things I appreciated about this book. First, as I noted in the first paragraph, this systematic theology is biblical. Those who are Reformed will appreciate how the author talks in covenantal language. Those who aren’t Reformed will still appreciate the fair manner in which Horton engages the various perspectives on these theological issues. Second, this book is unapologetically written from a Reformed-Presbyterian perspective which means Reformed Baptists will likely not agree with Horton’s view on baptism. Yet, agreeing on every point isn’t needed for one to enjoy this book. What is needed is to consider what Dr. Horton says and to learn from it. If we as Christians are going to engage one another across our various theological perspectives, it is important that we understand what each other believes and why we believe it, especially when it comes to what can be rightly labeled as secondary and third order doctrines. The Christian Faith is systematic theology at its best, biblical, historical, engaging and practical. This explosive trifecta makes this a systematic theology worth picking up, and referencing for years to come.
Author: Michael Horton
Publisher: Zondervan (2011)
I received this for free from Zondervan book review program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”