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The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World (2009)

by Michael Horton

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The Gospel-Driven Life is not an easy read, but it's worth the effort. This is Horton's follow-up from Christless Christianity in which he moves from diagnosis to prescription. Horton is one of those writers who says a lot with every sentence. That makes for slow but rich reading. ( )
  bartbox | Jun 15, 2017 |
When the news is big enough it changes our lives. Consider the news in 1945 of victory in Europe: perfect strangers embraced and danced in the streets at the news that the War in Europe had ended. InThe Gospel-Driven Life Michael Horton reminds us that the Gospel is really “Good news”, the greatest news in fact. But it is news that does not begin with us and is not primarily about what we have done. In contrast to the self-centered society we live in where even the news is served up as entertainment, the Gospel is objective news about God that drives us to look outside ourselves. Michael Horton begins by reminding us that Christianity is news: an historical claim about a man name Jesus who was crucified on a Roman cross and who rose again from the dead. It is news, in that it is a proclamation from God namely, that He justifies the ungodly while they are yet sinners, something we otherwise would not have known. It begins with God; it is His drama that is unfolding and He has condescended to make us supporting actors in His story. Horton writes, “It is not Christian orthodoxy but moralistic liberalism that reduces the surprising news of the gospel to the bland repetition of what people already know” The Gospel-Driven Life moves on to remind us what the gospel is and what it is not. He comments on popular misconceptions of the gospel such as “A personal relationship with God” or“Asking Jesus into your heart.” He explains how the drama of salvation, leads to doctrine; “We need the story to interpret the doctrine but we need the doctrine to interpret the story.” The drama and the doctrine lead to doxology or thanksgiving. At this point, he contrasts a Gospel driven life with a purpose driven life. He says, “Christ lived the purpose driven life so that we would inherit His righteousness and be promise-driven people in a purpose-driven world.” The Christian life then, is not so much about becoming better people but rather rejoicing that we have been made recipients of the promise in Christ. We are called to proclaim the good news to others! He spends the balance of the book explaining how this good news creates a truly cross-cultural community that is weekly rebuilt by the preaching of the word. This community meets together not to have a “worship experience” but to feast at the Lord ’s Table: to recognize again our savior, His body and His blood, in the breaking of bread and the pouring out of the wine. He concludes by reminding us that the triumphant church is yet a church in exile. “Even now, His kingdom is present, advancing amid the rubble of this passing evil age. Nevertheless, He is presently reigning ingrace, not yet in glory. His kingdom is visible now in ways that the world does not recognize: in the proclamation of the gospel, which the world considers foolish; in baptizing, teaching, administering communion, prayer, the spiritual and physical care of elders and deacons, and the fellowship of the saints.” The Gospel-Driven Life is a reminder to us of the Good News of the gospel presented in the humble elements of preaching, baptism and the Lord’s supper. It encourages us to become promise driven people transformed by this great news!
  GospelofGraceChurch | Aug 16, 2014 |
Synopsis:
An in-depth explanation of the Christian gospel, intended to teach believers what they believe and why the believe it.

Review:
The Gospel-Driven Life is a companion piece to Michael Horton’s paradigm-shifting Christless Christianity. Where the latter offers a critique of the sorry state of nominally Christian churches, The Gospel-Driven Life gives believers the meat and potatoes of real, saving faith in Christ.

I deeply heart Michael Horton. I am an obsessive listener of his podcast, The White Horse Inn, and just subscribed to his magazine, Modern Reformation. He and his colleagues are doing good work teaching Christians that the good news is not “Jesus lives in my heart and makes me a better person,” but that God intervened in history to provide a way of salvation through the life and death of Christ. I would go into more detail but fear I would end up just typing out the whole book for you. I dogeared so many great passages! I’ll be coming back to this book many times in my life. ( )
  superfastreader | Mar 8, 2010 |
An anonymous benefactor sent this book to me from my Amazon wishlist. Whoever it was should know that they made a tremendous investment in the studies and thought-processes of this missionary. Content from The Gospel Driven Life has found its way into messages, Sunday School lessons and counseling sessions since the day I started reading it.

The subtitle--Being Good News People in a Bad News World--is an apt summary of the content of the book. Author Michael Horton is concerned that "the Good News [has] become just good advice". His main purpose in this work (which he says naturally follows his previous Christless Christianity) is to show how the Good News is central to every aspect of the believer's life--not simply at the moment of salvation. For this reason it is important that we "get it right" when it comes to describing what the Gospel actually is.

For me one of the most valuable parts of the book is where Horton expounds on the Biblical progression of Drama (God's vast redemptive plan throughout history) to Doctrine (belief in the objective facts that make up the Gospel) to Doxology (the natural worship that flows from an understanding of those facts) to Discipleship (grateful service as a natural outworking of said worship).

Not a particularly easy read, the The Gospel Driven Life is worth the effort. It should be noted that Horton is quite reformed, which means that Baptists such as myself have to discount the parts of the book where he refers to the ordinances as sacraments (and defends calling them such), the section where he claims that the sons and daughters of believers are "children of the covenant", and, of course, the obligatory disparagin of "premillenialism" (to which he offers no real alternative).

Where his subject is the Gospel and it's fruit in our lives, the book truly soars. If you want to renew a stagnated Christian walk by focusing on Christ and His Gospel, my I humbly suggest The Gospel-Driven Life as a good place to start.

www.comingstobrazil.com ( )
1 vote brazilnut72 | Jan 9, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
For me one of the most valuable parts of the book is where Horton expounds on the Biblical progression of Drama (God's vast redemptive plan throughout history) to Doctrine (belief in the objective facts that make up the Gospel) to Doxology (the natural worship that flows from an understanding of those facts) to Discipleship (grateful service as a natural outworking of said worship).
 
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To Lisa, for her partnership in the gospel-driven life.
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Judging by the success of twenty-four-hour reporting, we are news junkies these days.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0801013194, Hardcover)

In his well-received Christless Christianity Michael Horton offered a prophetic wake-up call for a self-centered American church. With The Gospel-Driven Life he turns from the crisis to the solutions, offering his recommendations for a new reformation in the faith, practice, and witness of contemporary Christianity. This insightful book will guide readers in reorienting their faith and the church's purpose toward the good news of the gospel. The first six chapters explore that breaking news from heaven, while the rest of the book focuses on the kind of community that the gospel generates and the surprising ways in which God is at work in the world. Here is fresh news for Christians who are burned out on hype and are looking for hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In his well-received Christless Christianity Michael Horton offered a prophetic wake-up call for a self-centered American church. With The Gospel-Driven Life he turns from the crisis to the solutions, offering his recommendations for a new reformation in the faith, practice, and witness of contemporary Christianity. This insightful book will guide readers in reorienting their faith and the church's purpose toward the good news of the gospel. The first six chapters explore that breaking news from heaven, while the rest of the book focuses on the kind of community that the gospel generates and the surprising ways in which God is at work in the world. Here is fresh news for Christians who are burned out on hype and are looking for hope.… (more)

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