Dr. Michael Horton- White Horse Inn
Beyond Culture Wars: A Critique of Michael Horton's Wrong DoctrineFor since the insolence of the wicked is so great, and their iniquity so obstinate that it can scarcely be restrained by all the severity of the laws, what may we expect they would do, if they found themselves at liberty to perpetrate crimes with impunity, whose outrages even the arm of secular power cannot altogether prevent? John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion. Book IV.xx.1
I would also disagree with Horton when he says that, "Now one might argue that one's position on abortion must be consistent with his profession of faith, and I do believe that every Christian ought to seek the end of this worldwide holocaust, but abortion is not in the Apostle's Creed! It is not an article of Christian faith!" And this is precisely where Horton is absolutely and unequivocally WRONG. Abortion falls into the category of moral law; the moral law is NOT optional for the truly converted Christian. Abortion is not in the Apostles' Creed but it IS in the Decalogue!
I would further argue that Horton misses the point. While Christians are not under the law as a means of justification before God, they ARE obligated to live a Christian life as guided by the moral law. This is a fruit of true conversion, though not the basis for our justification before God. One would think that someone as educated as Horton would be able to avoid non sequiturs like suggesting that because "some" Christian leaders who live immoral lives in contradiction to their outwardly confessed convictions and theological positions somehow makes it wrong for all Christians to try to influence the morality which is legislated in this country. While it is true that the law of the land cannot force anyone to be converted or to have a change of heart, Calvin himself said that the civil laws of the nation restrain the wicked so that there is not total anarchy and so that society is not as wicked as it might be. Therefore, it is not only anti-Christian to oppose the legislation of Christian morality but it is also anti-Reformed! Both Luther and Calvin would have rejected our modern views on separation of church and state and would be appalled that Horton apparently takes the Anabaptist position where Christians should not be involved in politics.
Horton is so wrong on this position that it makes him look foolish to say the least. It is more than obvious to me that Horton's commitment to liberal politics has caused him to try to influence Christians away from the Christian Right and more in the direction of the civil religion of the liberal left. A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for the civil religion of theological liberalism where sin is openly institutionalized, approved, and endorsed--all in the name of God. While I would not say that God is on the side of the Republicans, I can without a doubt say that God is on the side of the unborn!
Michael S. Horton - Westminster SeminaryIt appears that Michael Horton has the theological goal of pushing the liberal agenda and making the Presbyterian Church is America more like that of the Presbyterian USA Church. Bashing the religious right and silencing the church on moral issues is fundamental to his theology. Michael appears to be the token liberal at Westminster Seminary.
Horton is also inconsistent with Reformed theology when he says that AIDS is not part of God's judgment against homosexuals. Horton does not want to offend homosexuals with any idea of God's wrath against them or their sin. While I might agree that AIDS is not directed only against homosexuals, I disagree that it is not part of God's judgment against sin. All diseases in this current world are a result of God's judgment against mankind because of Adam and Eve's rebellion. Furthermore, AIDS is a judgment against those who practice sexual immorality whether they be heterosexual or homosexual. Sexually transmitted diseases are a punishment for the violation of God's moral law. And those who contract the disease as a result of drug abuse are likewise suffering judgment for their sins. As for those who get the disease by no fault of their own, they suffer God's judgment because of the sins of others. To suppose that sin does not affect others, our neighbors and our relatives is not only naive, it is ignorant. Horton seems to imply a deistic approach where God is not providentially or sovereignty in control and stuff just happens.
As a further indictment of Horton's theology, I would have to say that his concerns about how we persuade the homosexual to conversion is misguided. How will we persuade dead men to repent unless God first raises them from the dead? How does trying to influence public policy confuse the moral law? Whether we preach the law in church or whether we try to change public laws which go against the moral law, we are still preaching the law, without which there can be no Gospel! The law and the Gospel go hand in hand and without the law there can be no conviction or revelation of sin. If society approves, institutionalizes, and endorses sin it makes the job of preaching the gospel even harder because no there is no public shame for sins otherwise universally seen as sinful! By observing the secularization of the European countries we can see the results of secularization and a rejection of moral law. Horton is utilizing wishful thinking if he thinks withdrawing from the cultural war is somehow an advantage to preaching the Gospel! And Horton seems to ignore the doctrine of total depravity. Moral persuasion cannot work with homosexuals. So why is he worried that changing the criminal and civic laws will offend them? They are wicked and unsaved. So what if the moral law offends them? Is it right to give in to sin just because sinners protest? Of course not! This is the silliest argument I have ever seen Horton make. If that be the case, we should give up preaching the Gospel because the Gospel offends as well as the law offends. Without the law there is no understanding of sin. Both the law and the Gospel offends the lost sinner. This has absolutely nothing to do with making the laws of our nation more in line with the "general equity" understanding espoused by Calvin himself!
In his book, Beyond Culture Wars, Horton makes the statement about his organization, "We don't have a position on gays in the military". His position is based on human logic not on scripture.
Mike HortonMichael Mike S. Horton is a well known speaker and known for pushing the neo conservative agenda at Modern Reformation Magazine. I am wondering as well how Mike Horton can say that abortion is not a heresy? Horton says in his conclusion, "Being pro-choice I believe is morally wrong, but it is not heretical." To the contrary, the Apostle Paul clearly says that sound doctrine is necessary for true Christianity to exist and more to the point, Paul says this in the context of morality! Therefore, to promote institutionalized immorality IS a heresy since Paul says:
1 Timothy 1:8-11 (ESV)
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,
10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
It seems to me that Horton's real concern here is not civil religion or the compromise of the Gospel with political agendas. Rather, Horton is trying to sneak in his own politically liberal views couched in the hidden language of Reformed theology, which really is not Reformed at all! Horton is guilty of trying influence Christians away from fighting the culture war and to surrender to an evil and wicked generation. But Paul and the original apostles turned the world upside down for the cause of Christ. Christianity did not compartmentalize its theology but sought to reform the whole world according to the law of God. Does he believe in the Ten Commandments?
Michael S. Horton - Modern Reformation MagazineThe Rev. Dr. Michael S. Horton is the J. Graham Machen professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Westminster Seminary California (www.wscal.edu) . He is the main host of The White Horse Inn radio broadcast and editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He received his M.A. from Westminster Seminary California, his Ph.D. from Wycliff Hall, Oxford and the University of Coventry, and also completed a Research Fellowship at Yale University Divinity School. Michael's teaching clearly reflect his education and PH.D. work at Oxford and Yale. Because of this, he enjoys the praise of the main stream media and the theologians of Oxford and Yale.
Michael S. Horton White Horse Inn
Links related to the liberal theology of Michael Scott Horton and the White Horse Inn
One of the best articles analyzing the theology of Michael Horton - The Michael Horton
A conservative reproof of the techniques of Michael Horton White Horse Inn: Michael Horton http://itodyaso.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/michael-horton-slouching-towards-gomorrah-or-risky-business/
Michael Horton, Christless Christianity
Michael Horton http://www.covenantnews.com/frame060420.htm and
There are many who feel that Dr. Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary, has a tendency to mis quote or mis represent the sources he quotes. For example, Horton's quotes of J. Graham Machen makes it appear that Dr. Horton and J. Graham Machen are in agreement. But that is far from the truth, J. Graham Machen was a right wing extremist in his day, while Dr. Horton clear fits in the crowd of those promoting the liberal agenda.
More misquotes examples at:
The Ten Commandments - Foundation of our FaithAs Jesus made it clear in Matthew 19, and as Moses explained in Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments are foundational to the Christian faith. The moral law is fully applicable today as they were in the time they were written by Moses. Michael Horton is in disagreement with the Westminster Confession of Faith, when in his book, The Perfect Law of Liberty, Horton provides his neo-evangial teaching by teaching that the moral law and Ten Commandments are not fully applicable to today. Ten Commandments of Moses ,, The Ten Commandments