Quotes from The Christian Faith by Michael Horton

“A mystery is inexhaustible, but a contradiction is nonsense.  For example, to say that God is one in essence and three in persons is indeed a mystery, but it is not a contradiction.  Believers revel in the paradox of the God who became flesh, but divine and human natures united in one person is not a contradiction.  It is not reason that recoils before such miracles as ex nihilo creation, the exodus, or the virginal conception, atoning death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather, it is the fallen heart of reasoners that refuses to entertain even the possibility of a world in which divine acts occur” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, 101).

“Faithful reasoning neither enthrones nor avoids human questioning.  Rather, it presupposes a humble submission to the way things actually are, not the way we expect them to be.  Faithful reasoning anticipates surprise, because it is genuinely open to reality.  If reality is always exactly what we assumed, then the chances are good that we have enclosed ourselves in a safe cocoon of subjective assertions.  Unbelief is its own form of fideism, a close-mindedness whose a priori, untested, and unproven commitments have already restricted the horizon of possible interpretations” (Horton, The Christian Faith, 102).

“Ethical imperatives are extrapolated from gospel indicatives.  The gospel of free justification liberates us to embrace the very law that once condemned us” (Ibid., 640).

“In the Greek language we must differentiate between the indicative mood, which is declarative (simply describing a certain state of affairs), and the imperative mood, which sets forth commands).  For example, in Romans Paul first explains who believers were in Adam and their new status in Christ (justification) and then reasons from this indicative to the imperatives as a logical conclusion:  ‘Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life…’ (Ro 6:13).  He concludes with another imperative (command), but this time it is really an indicative: ‘For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace’ (v.14)” (Ibid., 649).

“Where most people think that the goal of religion is to get people to become something that they are not, the Scriptures call believers to become more and more what they already are in Christ” (Ibid., 652).

“Although we cannot work for our own salvation, we can and must work out that salvation in all areas of our daily practice. When God calls, ‘Adam, where are you?’ the Spirit leads us to answer, ‘In Christ’ (Ibid., 662).

“It is crucial to remind ourselves that in this daily human act of turning, we are always turning not only from sin but toward Christ rather than toward our own experience or piety” (Ibid., 663).

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