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Mike Horton in USA Today

When USA Today wants to know "where is Christ in Christmas?" they know who to ask!

"Horton blames Christians themselves for taking the Christ out of Christmas. `Secularism cannot be blamed on the secularists, many of whom were raised in the church. We are the problem,' he says."

To read the article, Click here: Where is Christ in Christmas? -

Reader Comments (9)

Interestingly, I just finished reading a copy of "Our Heavenly Father," at the recommendation of a friend. This work is a compilation of sermons delivered to the German people living around Stuttgart by Confessing Church pastor Helmut Thielicke during the waning months of WWII. His sermons during that time were based on each petition of the Lord's Prayer, finishing with the doxology.

It's sobering material which every Christian should read. Indeed, Thielicke makes no bones about the fact that the Germans were lured into the promise of prosperity (daily bread) by the Third Reich under conditions that were too good to be true (lead us not into temptation), following which they had to deal with the sobering reality of a country left in shambles (deliver us from evil) at the hands of the Allied Forces.

If we're facing tough economic times and are heading for the churches (as the article in the previous post implies) we ought to be very careful what it is that we expect when we get there. Thielicke can tell us that in a very enlightened manner. Unfortunately, his book is long out of print, but copies can usually be secured through various inter-library-loan requests.
December 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
The part about Michael Horton telling his kids that "Santa works for Jesus" was funny.

There is nothing to be happy about during Christmas if the second person of the Holy Trinity didn't enter space and time as a child in the womb of Mary. If he has not come, then we should not be joyful and giving gifts, we should be in despair and despising our existence. But since he has come, we can celebrate his birth, and the unbeliever should be in despair because Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead.
December 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto
That same USA Today article mentions Rick Warren and his latest book "The Purpose of Christmas" which obscures the true gospel as does his "Purpose Driven Life" book. Tim Challies says; "Though Warren shares the gospel, he also shares a lot of non-gospel."* I say, Rick Warren shares bits and pieces of a watered down gospel along with a lot of non-gospel. Rick Warren will often say publicly that 'Jesus is the way' (the way to what?) but will not quote the verse in full (John 14:6) and will not stress the fact that NO ONE comes to the Father except through the LORD Jesus Christ. Rick Warren does not expound thoroughly upon that portion of Scripture and what it really entails, what it truly means. He does not stress the need for the fact that there is a great cost involved in being a disciple of the LORD Jesus Christ. That there will be much suffering, many trial and tribulations in the Christian life. That being a Christian is NOT all a bed of roses. That is too offensive to Rick Warren's listeners. Rick Warren wants to be well thought of by everyone. He is a man pleaser rather than a God pleaser. The world loves Rick Warren if he scratches their itching ears. Many today want the easy believism gospel that comes at no great personal cost or self denial, they want a God who wants them to be healthy, wealthy, wise and other enticing doctrines to lean upon.

Rick Warren is a major cause for Christ less Christianity in the church today. The Purpose Driven Life gospel is now the alternative default gospel of not only the American Church but of just about every other church in the western world. God loves you and has a great purpose for your life. Rick Warren is EVERYWHERE. And who gets all the glory? Rick Warren or God? Whenever Rick Warren is being mentioned who is the focus on? Rick Warren or the LORD Jesus Christ? Who is the focus on when Rick Warren proclaims all the good deeds he does? Rick Warren or God alone?

On that same page of the above mentioned USA Today article there is ANOTHER link to Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven Movement. He is all over the place. The world just loves Rick Warren because he removes most of the hard sayings of Scripture when he preaches his messages and not only that he twists the Scriptures as well. Should that make Christians angry or not? Does it make God angry or not? Or does God turn a blind eye, just winks at Rick Warren's sins and there will be no judgment from on high?

December 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDouglas
One of the things I always appreciate about Michael Horton is how irenic and kind he is even when telling tough truths.

I hope his book will be widely read and have great impact on Christianity at large instead of just those of us who are in the choir.

I was surprised to see Michael say he told his kids that Santa worked for Jesus. I told my kids that Santa worked for the stores helping them sell things. I told them that Christmas was about God giving his Son Jesus to us for our salvation. My kids immediately got it and saw the difference between the two. Santa is all about the secular celebration of Christmas and Christ is about the true meaning of Christmas.

Also, our family never thought Santa was the same as Saint Nicholas either, so we never confused the two. Santa was PURE commercialism and still is in my mind.
December 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSjB
Wow, a lot of self-righteous anger. Warren while not a paragon of reformed theology is not that bad a public figure for evangelicalism to the secular world. He is way better than Osteen (who I agree is reprehensible) . Also he isn't mean spirited angry like other self-proclaimed spokespeople for evangelicalism. Your post made me think of this paraphrase: God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this purveyor of a watered down Gospel.

I would not pick Warren's church as a church for me. I have read his book and would agree it is Christianity-lite. I have also read Christless Christianity and agree with it in the main. I just think we need to be a little more charitable in our judgments of those who are not perfect and fall short of the ideal. I think that describes most of us.

I apologize if I have misread the intent of your post.
December 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterreg
If USA Today knows there's a problem and the church doesn't...well, do the math, as they say.
December 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
"God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this purveyor of a watered down Gospel."

I am an ex-bike gang member and ex prison inmate and a radically corrupt, wicked, sinful man worthy of nothing else except to die and be cast into the lake of fire forever. God help me. God please keep me from twisting your holy word, I tremble at the thought of doing so.

"Are you persuaded you see more clearly than me? It is not unlikely that you may. Then treat me as you would desire to treated yourself upon a change of circumstances. Point me out a better way than I have yet known. Show me it is so by plain proof of Scripture. And if I linger in the path that I have been accustomed to tread, and am therefore unwilling to leave, labour with me a little, take me by the hand and lead me as I am able to bear. But be not displeased if I entreat you not to beat me down in order to quicken my pace. I can go but feebly and slowly at best - then I should not be able to go at all. May I not request of you, farther, not to give me hard names in order to bring me into the right way? Suppose I was ever so much in the wrong, I doubt this would not set me right. Rather it would make me run so much the farther from you - and so get more and more out of the way." - John Wesley

Does Rick Warren twist God's word or not? Does Rick Warren water down the biblical Gospel or not? Does Rick Warren proclaim a Christless Christianity or not? Has Rick Warren redefined Christianity or not?

Redefining Christianity (15-Part MP3 Series)
Bob DeWaay and Brian Flynn

Is this article true or not?

The Purpose Driven Church (a critique)

Is what John MacArthur say about the Purpose Driven Life in here true or not?

Apostates, Be Warned, Pt. 2

Is John MacArthur mean spirited, not irenic and unkind when he is telling tough truths. Were the LORD Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul always kind and irenic when telling tough truths? They did not say a harsh, sharp rebuking, forceful word to anyone? When they spoke, flowers always surrounded their words? All lovey dovey? She'll be right mate?
December 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDouglas
I like this quote from PT Forsyth:

"The miracle of the Incarnation is not the Word made flesh but the Holy made sin for us."
December 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPhil B
This is what I like about the Riddleblog- there are a number of different cultural groups represented in the comments; many of whom we may not be comfortable with. I am sure Paul was not the most approachable of fellows early in his ministry. But there is much evidence in the epistles and the book of Acts that reveal to us that he was able to relate to a wide range and variety of people. He only wished to know about Christ and Him crucified in those whom he was only slightly acquainted with. I am supposing that he probably broadened his topics of conversation to those whom he spent a lot of time with.
December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

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