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