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Michael Horton Interviewed by CBN News

Reader Comments (37)

Very good interview. Horton addresses the false perceptions that people have on what the Christian life is like.

Also, if we really want to see what type of life the Christian is called on to live, read Luther's commentary on Romans.

In Acts 9:16, Christ says what type of life St. Paul is about to encounter, "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." It is far from the "victorious Christian life" that many folks believe that a Christian will live.

Luther points out repeatedly in his commentary, that when we are going through the absolute worst of times, we should rejoice, because God loves us so much, that he puts us through these situations.

That, my friends, is the theology of the Cross.
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
When's the followup book to Christless Christianity due out?
June 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
I agree with Horton...and loved this book.

He seemed to be holding back in the interview. I know these sound byte interviews are hard, but for someone who interviews people regularly on the White Horse Inn I expected him to be much more polished.
June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJR
CBN! Mike has FINALLY made the big time! When does he go for gold--i.e. get interviewed by Paul and Jan Crouch on TBN?
June 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRichard
I disagree with two comments already made.

He was not polished? Oh yes he was. That's the clearest message CBN has gotten out of a guest in a long, long time.

The sarcasm over what's next TBN? I sure hope it is. Should he go on TBN as would compromisers and pretend he's just one of the bunch of merry-makers? No and he's proven by the CBN interview that he wouldn't. Should he go on TBN and confront some of the aberrations of their programming with the truth of God's Word? Of course.

How do we reason with one another if we're afraid to show up??? We're not going to win any converts to Christ that way.
June 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJackie Alnor
I am guessing that Horton probably agreed not to bash Arminianism in securing the interview. Horton is much more versed than his interview indicated. At least he got his book pinched and maybe some Arminians will read it.
June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Grabau
Heard on radio:

Calvinists are the only christians who are proud of being
"Totaly Depraived"
June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue
I love the restraint in Michael's answer to the question prefaced with "And those of who consider ourselves evangelicals..." Knowing what Michael thinks about evangelicalism makes the interview that much more fun to hear.
June 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClay Smith
TBN would never have Horton or anyone of his (great) ilk on their show. They wouldn't have a clue as to what he is saying.
June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt
GOOoo, Hort!!!

Finally, we get to speak to the idiocy of American "Christianity" on camera.

We should all learn from Michael's winsome fierocity in defending the Gospel.

May God keep you, Reverend Horton, and protect the men who are not cowards for the Faith.


June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
Horton was great. He did not mention any one church but got to the heart of the issue.
Our lack of understanding of the Bible and that life is not going to be easy as Joel Osteen and others preach. Like the lack of understanding of biblical truths like justification. New audience has heard about Horton’s new book lets see if it wakes up some people who may never have thought about it or have and not understood it.
June 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertiminator
I just got back from spending two months among dispensational premillenialists at a place called Keswick Colony of Mercy in Whiting, New Jersey. It was quite a eye opening experience. The person who ran the place for many years (he died last July) was a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. I went there armed with Keith Mathison's book about dispensationalism and Kim's book on Amillenialism. While there I read Michael Hortons Christless Christianity, Robert Godfrey's new book on John Calvin, John Kleinig's new book Grace upon Grace on Lutheran spirituality, Michael Horton's God of Promise and referred frequently to Luther's Commentary on Galatians and his Bondage of the Will. I came to the conclusion that what they teach at this place is very close to the Galatian heresy. There is an element of pride in their "working out their salvation in fear and trembling (a phase frequently repeated their). Their motto was "a place where God changes hearts and transforms lives." These are very committed and "sincere" people who have changed many people's lives who were "dead in their trespasses and sins." It probably was the best that dispensationalism has to offer. They have a long history of helping people out of crisis situations in their lives. It was a fascinating place.

I also found that the confessional movement is making inroads into the dispensational camp and causing a bit of a stir among the faithful dispensationalists. I ran into many people who went to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelpha (Whiting is an hour and a half from Philly) and a few Lutheran's also. I found varying degrees of understanding about the differences in theological systems. The problem and confusion seems to lie in the role of the will in regeneration and the sanctification process. Or, where the power comes from in coming to the fatih and our growth in the faith. Our human pride still wants to take some credit for this.

They also disregard the Law of God (we are not in that dispensation now) as a means of bringing people to repentance and driving them to Christ. I ended up having a severe disagreement with one of the "Chaplains" (he had about three years of in house training and three years of preaching experience) who kept pounding the listeners with a vague sense of their not living up to what Christ wanted them to be doing in their lives. He frequently referred to Oswald Chambers and A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of Holiness. The subject of his particular sermon was "Holiness." He used the scripture "be ye perfect as you heavenly father is perfect" numerous times through out the sermon.

I ended up asking him in a rather challenging tone that what I gathered he was saying that he who has the strongest will to do God's will is the one who is "doing" what he was trying to communicate to us. He referred to I, me and mine about 300 times throughout the sermon (my roomate who was a former Baptist preacher and was heavily into Charles Spurgeon got in the habit of jotting down how many times he referred to himself whenever he spoke). He came across as being "God's great gift to Christianity." It is this subtle form of Christless Christianity which is so hard for those who do not agree with us confessional types to see. They want to retain an element of their own glory in their growth in grace. When you try to push the envelope they refer to your lack of pursuit of the holy in your life (ie., you read too much). Whereas, I believe that they fail to see that we pursue holiness with a completely different mentality than they do.

Good luck trying to break these folks out of their theological presuppositions. They are a very willful group of individuals. I would enjoy hearing others experiences with the dispy's.
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
You are so right about that the"problem and confusion seems to lie in the role of the will in regeneration and the sanctification process. Or, where the power comes from in coming to the fatih and our growth in the faith." I have had so many samll group discussions with brothers who insist, "yes, but you have to decide for Christ or to walk in his way." I got blue in the face saying we play no part in that, that it is all Spirit driven. I always assumed the differing views were in part experiential. Having come to faith in my mid 40s it was clear to me that I did so in spite of myself, kicking and screaming all the way, and that I was called by God, not vice versa. I kind of assumed that those who were believers from very young did not recall this "ex nihilo" experience and simply focused on an altar call response or the like.

BTW- I have always found Oswald Chambers unbearable to read. I have been in small groups where others rhapsodized about how "challenging" and "inspiring" they found him. I read him with a sense of utter oppression, finding him joyless, almost painful to read. I take it I am not the only one who does not like him.
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterreg
John Yeazel:

Great to have you back on the web site!

You mention in your post; "Or, where the power comes from in coming to the faith and our growth in the faith. Our human pride still wants to take some credit for this."

Our pastor in his sermon yesterday, did a classic law and Gospel, and a huge sprinkling of Luther's "The bondage of the Will." In his sermon, he rhetorically keeps asking the question of "who gets the credit?" He preached about God calling his elect through the proclamation of the Gospel, and then giving us the faith to believe. He then slammed much of the teaching in a lot of the Christian churches today. Our pastor addressed many of the issues that you brought up.

Luther's book, "The bondage of the Will", was the best book of the entire reformation era, and certainly among the best books ever.

It is a sad, sad fact, that the Erasmus teaching is all over the place. It is on Christian radio, and in churches all over America. There is so much confusion about the law and the Gospel among the pastor's today, that if Luther was alive, he would certainly have another reformation.
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

Thanks for welcoming me back!! It is good to be among Lutheran and Reformed people again. I do not appreciate it enough but my experience at this place made it much easier to be grateful. The dispy's are very zealous for the things of God but without a proper understanding of how to interpret the scriptures properly (of course, this is what they claim about us too). They fight by proving that we do not "do" the Gospel like they do. It becomes a battle of the wills and it gets ugly.

I now approach God as a beggar who gladly eats the crumbs that fall from my masters table. I have no legitimate claim for any of God's blessings in my life. I deserve God's wrath and his Law shows me that constantly. The dispy's way of coming to this conclusion lies in the fact that they are not doing enough and they realize it. Instead of accepting this truth they try harder and get condescending towards those who do not seem to be grateful to God enough. Who are not showing it enough by what they are doing. They look at us Calvinists and Lutherans with great misunderstanding due to their theological convictions. They even call themselves "moderate Calvinists" at times. But, of course, doctrine is not given top priority- doing is though. It is a vague sense of doing which is ill-defined. Even though they claim certaintly of salvation they are never satisfied with their level of performance. There is little trusting in the Word of God to do its work in people's lives. They always want to see more fruiit in your life. It gets to be a whirlwind of confusion and dissatisfaction.

They hate Obama and what the government is doing (not that many of us do too). But they do it without distinguishing between the two kingdoms. Their faulty theologiy comes back and bites them from behind. It is a vicous circle that gets them nowhere but confused and angry with everything that is going on around them. They become angry zealots against the world and the culture around them. I can relate to this but should we not trust that God in his providence will take care of those things which are much biggger and complicated then we can deal with and understand? Do we constantly have to be battling? I am tired of battling in my own will power- I will stand with Luther when he say "I simply talked about, wrote about and preached God's word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I drank Wittenberg beer (hopefully, not too frequently which got to be a problem for me) with my friends Phillip and Amsdorf the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no emperor ever inflicted such loses upon it. I did nothing, the Word did everything." We gain God's power as we interpret and align ourselves underneath his Word. Our wills are a weak instrument to fight the world, our flesh and the devil with. If only our human pride could see this more clearly. We need to understand the scriptures better not do the will of God in our own fleshly power. There is a big difference here and many of the dispy's just do not get this yet. To God be all the glory.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y

If the "Dipsy's" think that Lutherans are weak in the teaching and the living out the third use of the law, they should read, and study Luther's commentary on Romans.

My brother in California is currently in a Bible study with a group of other Christians. One gentleman is from Calvary Chapel. This poor fellow is constantly doubting his salvation and he is always wondering if he is doing enough for God. My brother told him that he needed to go to a Lutheran or a Reformed church, so that he would be able to undertand the love and the grace of God.

I always think back to the slogan of Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, in talking about his church, "where there is grace, even for the Christian."
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

What these aggressive dispy's need is a huge dose of God's Law, expounded in the proper manner, to get them off their high horse. It has to be pounded into them with a hammer so they get the fact that they are not living the Christian life in their own power. They are not bruised reeds they are borderline self-righteous bigots who think they are doing God's will with their own resources. This is what they teach but when you confront them with it they deny it. Only God can break them free from this mentality when correct doctrine is accurately taught. When correct doctrine is taught forcefully. powerfully and in complete confidence that God is able to do his work through it then we will begin getting somewhere. It is us and our thinking that we can do it our way that causes all the problems. This gets confused in people minds when they are interpreting the scriptures wrongly. They then try to do God's will in the power of the flesh. Some eventually turn into Pharisees while others drop out in despair. Those bruised reeds who drop out in despair are the ones who need to hear the Good News of God's grace in the Gospel. There are legions of these folks and the harvest is there for the asking. Let us do our part to gather them in and shower them with God's grace and love. They, and we, have been beaten up for far too long. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes. It is my only hope.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
One last point- it is only when we come to repentance and faith (both are God's gifts to us) that we are able to make small strides in doing God's will as revealed in His Law. Our pride and confidence in ourselves is what we need to resist. No two people understood this better than Calvin and Luther. And they taught it with a passion that needs to be ours again. Calvinists and Lutherans who have complete confidence in the working of God's word are the most dangerous foes to the world, our flesh and the devil. May God grant us this confidence again and may we use it in a way that brings his purposes to pass.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y

Great remark about Oswald Chambers- "I read him with a sense of utter oppression, finding him joyless, almost painful to read." This guy who I was talking about it in my earlier post would read from his devotional every time he spoke. And people would remark how inspiring and challenging he was. I would gag and have to hold my tongue. It is this type of self-sanctification which people turn to when being taught faulty scriptural interpretations. But I kept getting reminded that doctrine is not as important as responding to the Gospel in strict obedience. This is where we have to be very careful. We do have to respond to the Gospel in obedience but not in the sense they are talking about. First of all, they do not get the Gospel right and secondly they do not use the Law of God at all to prepare people for the Gospel. So, people end up getting confused and having to pretend an obedience in the power of their flesh. It certainly leads to a joyless form of obedience that only those with fairly strong wills will fall prey to. We call these types the beautiful people in the Chicago area- I think Paul called them super Apostles. How about narcississtic egomaniacs with talents the devil uses to lead people astray. I believe it is today's form of the Galatian heresy. No one is ever going to take the liberty I have in Christ away from me. It is then my responsibilty to use this freedom to glorfy Christ. The dispy's do not come from this angle- as I have said about 5 times now they would rather retain some glory for themselves- it strokes their ego's.
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
One last point again- besides, our obedience is nothing we should be bragging about. It is weak and beggarly- and should never lead us to self-righteousness. It should drive us back to Church each Sunday to plead for God's mercy. Perhaps then the Lord's supper would be more greatly appreciated and offered to us every week. Perhaps then we would be more tolerant of others struggles, failures and sins. How can we not forgive others when God has done so much for us. We ususally get this turned around- we do not tolerate sinners but do tolerate the self-righteous. I think we should concentrate more on getting the self-righteous out of our Church's and forgiving the bruised reeds who keep getting beat up. As long as the bruised reeds come with repentance and faith we cannot do anything but forgive them. Are not all of us bruised reeds to one extent or the other?
June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y

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