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Publication Date: 2016
What Do All Christians Believe?
For many people, words like doctrine and theology cause their eyes to glaze over, or they find them difficult to understand and struggle to see how they are relevant to daily life. But theology is far from boringit is the study of God and should lead to awe and wonder as we better understand who God is and what he has done for us.
In Core Christianity, author, pastor, and theologian Mike Horton tackles the essential and basic beliefs that all Christians share. What is "core" to the Christian faith? In addition to unpacking these beliefs in a way that is easy to understand, Horton shows why they matter to our lives today.
This introduction to the basic doctrines of Christianity is a helpful guide by a respected theologian and a popular author, and it includes discussion questions for individual or group use. Core Christianity is perfect for those who are new to the faith, as well as those who have an interest in deepening in their understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
Michael Horton (PhD, DD) is Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. Author of many books, including The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way, he also hosts the White Horse Inn radio program. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and four children in Escondido, California.
JessicaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent resourceMay 20, 2016JessicaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Many people turn away from words like doctrine or theology. They seem like things only pastors and scholars should care about, but theology is simply the study of God and His word. In Core Christianity, Michael Horton discusses the central beliefs that all Christians share, why we believe them, and why it is important for us to understand why we believe.
At less than 200 pages, this little book is filled with important information, but its not a difficult read. Horton explains clearly, and with a style of writing that, for a professor, reads very little like a textbook. Horton is a professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, and its easy to see both aspects in this book.
The chapters are well organized, and the book as a whole has a great flow from one topic to the next. This book will serve its purpose equally well for both the layman and the Christian who already has some background in theology. It will also help to equip people to answer questions about what Christians believe and why.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook in return for an honest review.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Readable systematic theologyApril 22, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Do you know what you believe about God, life, the world and why? Horton wants to make sure you do.
This book is sort of a very readable exploration of general systematic theology. He explores the story of Jesus, the meaning of the trinity (heresies and creeds), God's attributes, the Bible as God's Word, man's condition (radical depravity), how to understand the Old Testament, the future, and our calling now.
Horton writes from a distinctively Reformed view. He emphasizes that God speaks to us through his Word and those called by God to study and proclaim his Word. (70) He emphasizes the complete fulfillment of the land promises based on Joshua 23:14. (109) In fact, Horton writes, ...God kept his promise to Adam and Eve, Abraham, and David. (114) He discounts all after-death experiences. ...[T]hey are not reliable sources of information about life and death. (148-9)
Horton tackles some serious questions. He does not give any pat answers, saying that some of these issues are beyond our ability to comprehend. (64) For example, of the problem of a good God and evil in the world, he writes, ...there's no philosophical resolution to the problem of evil from our vantage point here and now... (66) He acknowledges that there are some issues Christians will just have to continue to face. (62)
I recommend this book to those who are interested in knowing what they (should) believe and why but have not read much in the way of theology. This is a very readable book and would not scare off those new to understanding the concept of theology. Horton does a good job of explaining why it is important to read books like this one. He writes, ...to know what you believe and why lies at the heart of your Christian experience, worship, and everyday living. (21)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
TimIllinoisAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5Core ChristianityMarch 30, 2016TimIllinoisAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story" is a new book by Michael Horton which I have had the opportunity to review. According to the publisher, "This introduction to the basic doctrines of Christianity is a helpful guide by a respected theologian and a popular author, and it includes discussion questions for individual or group use. Core Christianity is perfect for those who are new to the faith, as well as those who have an interest in deepening in their understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ."
I find this book to do pretty much what the publisher purports it to do. It introduces basic doctrines, but does not delve into any type of a systematic theology. The author does not try to build his case by starting with the typical "How do we know God exists" question, nor does he ask "Is the Bible the inspired word of God". Instead he begins with those suppositions to help clarify beliefs in God, Jesus, the Trinity, etc.
People from various denominational slants will obviously find some statements with which they see various topics differently than the author. The importance of this book lies not in a comprehensive, definitive study in theology, for it does not do this. The details of faith are pared down to the essential core beliefs of orthodox Christianity though. I do not find a lot of theological bias, because the topics covered in the book are not at a denominational or doctrinal level. Topically the book covers a brief development of orthodox positions on matters, essentially supported by most denominations. It does so in a readable, non-threatening manner. This is a very usable reference for new believers as well as small group study.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers for review purposes in exchange for a fair and honest review of the material contained. A positive review was not required and all thoughts on the book are my own.
Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Basic Beginners TheologyMarch 24, 2016Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4Core Christianity is a brief introduction to Christian theology. Beginning with a discussion of the importance of doctrine, it moves onto an explanation of the Trinity, the nature of God, and His promised Messiah. Two chapters out of 12 are devoted to the person and work of Jesus Christ. The author concludes by focusing on how God will bring it altogether along with a challenge to ask what our role, our calling, will be as we wait for Christs return.
The book is Biblical, practical, and brief. Aimed at a lay audience or newer believers just starting their journey toward understanding God and His work. One reviewer compares it favorably to John Stotts Basic Christianity. I would compare it to Gordon Lewiss Decide for Yourself, except this book provides the answers.
Included are clear explanations, sidebars with additional details, and two indexes (a subject index and a Scripture index). Missing are suggested references for future study or links to other works. At just under 200 pages, this book is not as complete as the two or three volume theologies used in seminary, but for the lay person or college student it may be just the introduction needed before diving into one of the more complete works.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.