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2 Stars Out Of 5
A Complicated "Introduction"
September 6, 2016
Dr. Horton offers his book as, "Introducing Covenant Theology." The prospective reader may reasonably assume that the aim of the book is to present Covenant Theology in a way that it will be grasped and understood easily. This aim would be facilitated by simple language and clear reasoning. Unfortunately, this book reads as if it was the intention of the author to obscure and complicate his meaning. In some places, I would humbly suggest, the syntax and style are so convoluted, I would say it is poorly written. I got the feeling the writing was intentionally complex in order to prove it was scholarly stuff. In that sense, it came off unnecessarily pretentious and elitist. I think it would have been possible to communicate everything in this book in a simpler, more organized way, making it a true introduction.
It is impossible to read a Michael Horton book quickly. He tackles difficult theological challenges from a deeply-imbedded Reformed position and it is easy to get lost in his logic. With that understood, he should be read by truth-seeking believers. This book in particular is an excellent exposition of thought regarding God's covenant dealings with with His creation. Horton starts slowly, but of necessity, by explaining the nature of covenants in the ancient Middle East and demonstrates how the basic structure of those covenants can be used to shed light on the biblical covenants. Unless the reader has an historical bent, this part of the book is laborious. I caution you, however, to not abandon your journey through this material too quickly. For the one who "perseveres to the end" (Reformed reference intentional), that endurance will be rewarded. The book has many strengths to commend it. Horton gives comprehensive treatment to the differentiation and correlation between the covenants of law and promise. His explanation of the New Testament believer's responsibility to Old Testament law is a fitting conclusion. Although this book is not what I expected, Horton's work is well worth the investment of time and effort to read and digest.