When did the Good News become just good advice?

That is the subtitle of Michael Horton’s most recent book The Gospel-Driven Life.  In this book, Horton attempts to “reorient our faith and practice as Christians and churches toward the gospel”.

This book is fantastic and it covers so much ground.  Christ and culture, word and sacrament, law and gospel, niche demographic ministry, common misconceptions of the gospel, narcissism, discipleship “programs”, spiritual disciplines…etc.  This is a follow up to a previous book called Christless Christianity. In that first book he makes the case that the evangelical landscape today, from liberal to conservative, is looking more and more like a Christianity with no Jesus.  It’s filled with agendas (political, social, moral…etc.) but often void of any good NEWS about what God has done.  He says that even though many would agree on the fundamentals of the Christian faith when asked, it’s just not seen as that important.  The gospel is assumed.  Or the gospel is just something we need to get “in”.

Here is a short 4 minute video about that first book.  I would strongly recommend both of these books.  If it were possible for me to tie you down in a chair and force you to read them, I would.  🙂  Especially for those on the mission field.  In my opinion the problems addressed in Christless Christianity are even more pronounced on the mission field where the focus is so often all on doing, and so the remedy prescribed in The Gospel-Driven Life is so very helpful.

http://www.whitehorseinn.org/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewvideo&Itemid=48&video_id=10

The Christless Christianity website below allows you to read the first chapter of the book for free online.

http://christlesschristianity.org/

If you’re interested to hear more about the book Gospel-Driven Life before you decide to buy it.  Or if you don’t want to buy it but just want to hear a summary.  This is a link to a short and very to the point interview with the author that gives a good summary of it’s contents.

Interview on Gospel Driven Life

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5 Solas of the Reformation (Sola Gratia)

Sola Gratia: The Erosion of The Gospel

Unwarranted confidence in human ability is a product of fallen human nature. This false confidence now fills the evangelical world; from the self-esteem gospel, to the health and wealth gospel, from those who have transformed the gospel into a product to be sold and sinners into consumers who want to buy, to others who treat Christian faith as being true simply because it works. This silences the doctrine of justification regardless of the official commitments of our churches.

God’s grace in Christ is not merely necessary but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. We confess that human beings are born spiritually dead and are incapable even of cooperating with regenerating grace.

Thesis Three: Sola Gratia
We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life.
We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.

From The Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.