A Misuse of the Bible

The Bible is not a collection of timeless principles offering a gentle thought for the day.  It is not a resource for our self-improvement.  Rather, it is a dramatic story that unfolds from promise to fulfillment, with Christ at the center.  It’s focus is God and his action.  God is not a supporting actor in our drama;  it is the other way around.  God does not exist to make sure that we are happy and fulfilled.  Rather, we exist to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 26

Nihilism’s True Meaning

Nihilism (literally, “nothing-ism”) does not mean that there is no point to life, but that there is no point to life I that I don’t create for myself.  Only the individual’s will is sovereign.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 25

This Is the Only Unique Thing that the Church has to Offer the World

The only thing that the church can provide to the world that is truly unique is the gospel.  Only the gospel brings a new creation into this present age of sin and death.  That is the basic message of this book.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 22

These, Though Perfect, Are Not the Gospel

However, as crucial as the law remains as the revelation of God’s moral will, it is different from the revelation of God’s saving will.  We are called to love God and neighbor, but that is not the gospel.  Christ need not have died on a cross for us to know that we should be better people.  It is not that moral exhortations are wrong, but they do not have any power to bring about the kind of world that they command.  These exhortations and directions may be good.  If they come from the Word of God, they are in fact perfect.  But they are not the gospel.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 20

A Severe Case of Spiritual Scoliosis

Picking up on a phrase from Augustine, the Protestant Reformers said that as fallen sinners we are all “curved in on ourselves.”  Born with a severe case of spiritual scoliosis, our spines are twisted so that all we can see are our own immediate felt needs, desires, wants and momentary gratifications  But the gospel makes us stand erect , looking up to God in faith and out to the word and our neighbors in love and service.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 20

The Proper Study of the Christian is the Godhead

But the incomprehensibility of the divine nature is not a reason why we should desist from reverent iniquity and prayerful strivings to apprehend what He has so graciously revealed of Himself in His word.  Because we are unable to acquire perfect knowledge, it would be folly to say we will therefore make no efforts to attain to any degree of it.  It has been well said: Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout , earnest, continued, investigation of the great subject of the Deity.  The most excellent study for expanding the soul is the science of Christ and Him crucified and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.  The proper study of the Christian is the Godhead.  the highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can engage the attention of a child of God is the name, the nature, the person, the doings, and the existence of the great God which he calls his Father.

C.H. Spurgeon

as quoted by Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 88

Make Certain!

Then “flee” my reader, flee to Christ; “flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7) ere it be too late.  Do not, we earnestly beseech you, suppose that this message is intended for somebody else.  It is to you!  Do not be contented by thinking you already have already fled to Christ.  Make certain!  Beg the Lord to search your heart and show you yourself.

Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 86