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Here’s the good news: Michael Horton’s long-awaited systematic theology has now been published. Here’s the bad news (well, at one level): Zondervan is already sold out of it and the book is heading back to the printers.

WTS Books is out of stock, but if you order it from them by January 27, you’ll get a special 45% discount. But the book may not come until late February.

Amazon doesn’t release their books until the official publication date (January 24), so it’s hard to know if they have sold out of their initial order.

[Update: Of course one can’t run out of the eBook version--although Zondervan seems to have price the eBook as the same price as the hardcover!]

I have a copy of the book, and from what I’ve been able to sample thus far, I think it will clearly be the best contemporary systematic theology from a Presbyterian-Reformed perspective.

You can read some sample pages here.

Here’s a description:

The Christian Faith is written for a growing cast of pilgrims making their way together and will be especially welcomed by professors, pastors, students, and armchair theologians. Its features include: (1) a brief synopsis of biblical passages that inform a particular doctrine; (2) surveys of past and current theologies with contemporary emphasis on exegetical, philosophical, practical, and theological questions; (3) substantial interaction with various Christian movements within the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, as well as the hermeneutical issues raised by postmodernity; and (4) charts, sidebars, questions for discussion, and an extensive bibliography, divided into different entry levels and topics.

Here are a few of the endorsements:

“Horton's Christian Faith has the great merit of never letting the reader forget that doctrine is for disciples who want to walk the way of Jesus Christ. Horton knows that the best systematic theology is a practical theology--one that helps us understand the ways of God, makes sense of life, and gives direction for God-glorifying living. He also knows that the best systematic theologies draw on biblical and historical theology. May many readers therefore take up this book, read, and walk!”
– Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College and Graduate School

“Michael Horton's awareness of modern theological and philosophical currents combines with his articulate commitment to historical orthodoxy to make this book one of the most significant voices to be heard in framing a systematic theology for this generation of the Reformed movement.”
– Bryan Chapell, President, Covenant Theological Seminary

“A crisp, clear, and forceful new theology that is at once biblical and reverent, historical and contemporary, learned but accessible. What a great gift this is to the church!”
– David F. Wells, Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The Christian Faith is impressively deep, immensely practical, and infinitely hopeful for us pilgrims on the Way. Michael Horton will sculpt your appreciation for theology and enhance your love for Christ crucified. Anyone wanting to impact this world effectively--pastors, missionaries, evangelists, church planters, lay leaders, and all other wayfarers--must read this book.”
– Pastor Fikret Böcek, The Protestant Church of Smyrna, Izmir-Turkey

“There has been a renaissance of theological writing in our day, but no one writes as carefully, cogently, and thoughtfully in the grand tradition of Protestant systematic theology as does Michael Horton. This work is a powerful reminder that theology ought to grow first from the soil of the biblical text; then, in conversation with the church across the ages, it ought to clarify conceptually the great truths of the gospel. Theology, as Horton has written it here in The Christian Faith, must always be cognizant of the challenges of the contemporary world, but it must finally belong to the church, which gives it voice in the first place. There is no one better at this task in our day than Michael Horton.”
– Richard Lints, Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Dr. Horton has produced a remarkable work. His approach to systematic theology is fresh and critically needed in our time. Every pilgrim will profit from this work.”
– R. C. Sproul, Chairman and President, Ligonier Ministries

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25 thoughts on “Michael Horton’s Systematic Theology”

  1. David Smithey says:

    I bought a copy for my Kindle (I also read it on my iPad).
    I have purchased a copy from WTS too.

    So if you want to read it now and use a Kindle App you can buy a copy.

  2. Michael says:

    Justin, how about some comparison to Grudem’s ST? Pretty please :)

  3. Justin Taylor says:

    I would need to read more to say with more certainty, but at the very least there would be theological differences (on polity, baptism, millennium, miraculous gifts, etc.). Horton would also have more interaction with non-evangelical interpreters and theologians.

    More to say, obviously, but I’d need to read more first.

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  5. Jason D. says:

    Funny you said:

    “I think it will clearly be the best contemporary systematic theology from a Presbyterian-Reformed perspective.”

    Horton’s NOT Presbyterian… DOH! >_<

    Horton is a minister in the United Reformed Churches in North America… that is different than Presbyterian…

    Perhaps you meant to say Paedo? :D

    1. Sheena says:


      As far as I’m aware the URCNA where Horton is ordained is a Presbyterian denomination.

      1. Jason D. says:

        Well, there are Presbyterian roots but they aren’t one and the same.

        1. The URCNA is not strictly speaking a “Presbyterian” denomination, it is a Reformed denomination. However, Reformed churches have presbyterian church governments which are largely similar. Broadly speaking Presbyterian churches have their roots in Scotland and have as their confessional documents the Westminster Standards (1640s). Reformed churches have their roots on the continent (mainly Holland and Germany) and their confessional documents are the Three Forms of Unity (The Belgic Confession-1561, The Heidelberg Catechism-1563, and The Canons of Dort-1618/1619).

          However, both Presbyterians and the Reformed are direct descendants of John Calvin and the other magisterial Reformers. So Justin was correct in saying that this “systematic theology [is] from a Presbyterian-Reformed perspective.”

          Since Dr. Horton teaches at Westminster Seminary California he subscribes to both the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards

          1. Jason D. says:

            Ok ok ok, I won’t wrangle over details… I will just say that Robert Reymond (who is a Presbyterian minister) is also good for a “Presbyterian-Reformed Perspective”

  6. Eric says:

    Perhaps the only copies currently available can be purchased at the Gospel-Centered Conference at Coral Ridge PCA this weekend. You can stop by the White Horse Inn booth to pick them up.

  7. Sean W. says:

    What makes it a better “contemporary systematic theology from a Presbyterian-Reformed perspective” than John Frame’s “Doctrine of God”? His Lordship approach to systematic theology is one of the most compelling approaches I have seen.

    1. Justin Taylor says:

      Sean, Frame’s volume, which I love, only focuses on one aspect of ST. I meant a comprehensive ST.

      1. Jonathan Brack says:

        I wonder what he is going to do with Union and Justification and Two Kingdoms theology.

  8. Rhyne Putman says:

    I’ve had an exam copy for a few months now, and all I can say is this is one impressive, masterful text.

    I may be the most philosophically-sophisticated and apologetically-oriented evangelical systematic theology ever published. It’s certainly the most up-to-date with hot-button biblical studies issues (like justification and the New Perspective). Whereas a text like Grudem’s offers very little consideration to methodological and apologetic issues, this text covers issues like these in great detail. He engages epistemology, worldview studies, postmodernism, the new atheism, etc.

    As a Baptist I have considerable differences of opinion with Horton when it comes to ecclesiological issues, but I still find it to be a remarkably helpful text. It doesn’t hurt that Horton writes with masterful prose–a very unusual quality for systematic texts of any stripe.

    1. Rhyne Putman says:

      It may be the most… not I.

    2. dogfreid says:

      What exactly that you’ve read makes you consider Horton’s ST philosophically-sophisticated?

  9. Dan says:

    I could see the apologetic side to it right from the beginning in the Kindle sample pages. Discussion of worldviews, different forms of theism, etc. I preordered today on Amazon so I can’t wait!

  10. Drewe says:

    I have to say, I am frustrated by the blatant profiteering even in the Christian publishers – than an e-book version which costs ‘nothing’ to print, remains at the same price as one they have to buy materials, print on using multi million dollar machines, then pay to ship and deliver not only to wholesalers, but then to retailers and then to customers.

    If they priced the books more fairly, I for one would buy more – but you give me an e-book which I can’t share, I can’t give away, and yet charge me the same money, sorry.

    Sorry about the rant, it frustrates me, and I would have hoped for better for Christian books. I guess it remains that we are still in this world, and this world is not perfect!

  11. Dan Phillips says:

    Just — “…the best contemporary systematic theology from a Presbyterian-Reformed perspective.”

    Why? How is it better than Reymond’s, for instance, which is pretty darned terrific?

    1. Jason D. says:

      agreed… LOVE REYMONDS!

  12. WoundedEgo says:

    Ugh. More Calvinist drivel. He’ll make a lot of money tickling itchy ears, though…

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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