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Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel [Paperback]

By Michael Horton (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 6.8" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2002
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801064007  
EAN  9780801064005  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
What does it mean to be "saved by grace"? Many believers are confused and intimidated by the doctrine of salvation, and as a result are missing out on the freedom of God's grace. Michael Horton reminds us of the Reformation's radical view of God and his saving grace, the liberating yet humbling truth that we contribute nothing to our salvation. This book clearly lays out the Scriptural basis for this important doctrine and the implications of this message for a vibrant evangelical faith. Horton's accessible treatment of who does what in salvation will inspire a fresh amazement at God's grace.

Publishers Description
What does it mean to be "saved by grace"? Many believers are confused and intimidated by the doctrine of salvation, and as a result are missing out on the freedom of God's grace. Michael Horton reminds us of the Reformation's radical view of God and his saving grace, the liberating yet humbling truth that we contribute nothing to our salvation.Putting Amazing Back into Grace clearly lays out the Scriptural basis for this important doctrine and the implications of this message for a vibrant evangelical faith. Horton's accessible treatment of who does what in salvation will inspire a fresh amazement at God's grace.

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More About Michael Horton

Michael Horton Michael Horton (PhD, University of Coventry and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) is J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. He hosts The White Horse Inn radio broadcast and is editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He is the author/editor of more than twenty books, including Christless Christianity, The Gospel-Driven Life, and The Gospel Commission.

Michael Horton has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 9marks: Building Healthy Churches
  2. Emergent Ys (Paperback)
  3. Theologians on the Christian Life

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Well-Written, Understandable Introduction to Reformed Theology  Apr 2, 2006
Michael Horton's Putting Amazing Back into Grace has many strengths to commend it. Horton writes relatively simply and primarily for his own generation, Generation X. (The book originally was published in 1991 and includes several pop culture references familiar to members of that generation.) He covers a lot of theology, making J.I. Packer's summary of the book as a serious workout apt. And while opinionated, Horton is generally genial when he discusses opposing positions. The greatest strength of the book is seen in how Horton begins his discussion with humanity's creation and then moves on to give the big Scriptural picture from there.

Nonetheless, if you're not of a Reformed persuasion, this book may fail to convince you. At times, particularly in the section "Christian Liberty," Horton drives his arguments from Reformers' beliefs rather than, strictly speaking, Scripture per se. (More than one wag has said before that Reformers tend to use Scripture to interpret the Reformers rather than the other way around.) Horton's appendix of Scripture references and quotes from Christians throughout history is the book's weakest part: Far too many times, Horton cites verses favorable or seemingly favorable to the Reformed position, only to leave out text that seemingly points in a non-Reformed position just a few verses away. The quotes from Christians throughout the centuries contain few from the Middle Ages, and, worse, often clearly show that the authors do not totally agree with Reformed views. (Quite a few give humanity more freedom in their choices than Reformers do.) Furthermore, many of the quotes are so short that you cannot really be sure that the author meant what Horton says he meant in context.

Nonetheless, Putting Amazing Back into Grace helped me understand Reformed theology a good deal more; Horton's discussion of the atonement in Chapter 7 was particularly helpful in this regard. For a good, general overview of Reformed theology, I cannot imagine a better book.
The Right Book and the Right Time  Jul 6, 2005
I have been re-re-reading "Putting Amazing Back into Grace" by Michael Horton and am stunned once again! Any book that can capture your thoughts the third time around and make you expand on those thoughts is a book that you can really enjoy over and over until the binding wears out. The way I'm reading the book this time is reminiscent of the way I read "Desiring God" by John Piper about a year ago, chapter by chapter.

It is a slow, methodical process and one would think that reading a chapter more than once before moving on would get monotonous, but not so. This is my favorite way to read anything of substance.

When an author presents something radical and new to me, I pour over it and look at the evidence given. I consult other works that I trust and ask questions of those whose opinions I have learned to respect. I also look to these sources for objections. When I was told about the Doctrine of Grace, my first thought was, "Of course one is saved by grace as soon as he takes the necessary steps toward grace." Trusted brothers in Christ patiently presented a grace to me that was much more amazing than what I had believed before.

The radical idea that I don't have to jump through any hoops! The belief that God is active at every level of our being, including the important parts! The concept that the atonement was not even a partial failure! These are the kinds of things I wrestled with until this doctrine was presented to me.

I read and learned, but had some nagging questions about it all. And then came a book review by Tim Challies. I immediately decided to purchase this title.

After one quick reading of this book, it all began to really make sense to me. The Reformed faith is not some legalistic holier-than-thou faith, contrary to the way that some practice it. On the contrary, it is a faith that despises legalism as the very reason the Reformers broke from the church was for their concerns with rules being added to the word of God. The Doctrines of Grace are nothing if you don't recognize the fact that sin is not found in the world per se, but within yourself. In light of much of today's teaching that humans are basically good people who have a myriad of options toward redemption (assuming the need for redemption is expressed), the doctrine of a self who is tainted by sin, both original and personal, is one that humbles all. Nobody has the right to act pious, as if their outward showing could fool God!

This book is the straw that broke the camel's back and caused me to turn away from self-redemption. I came to realize that no measure of retribution to God could begin to pay my debt. I also came to understand that an outwardly pious attitude is an affront to our Lord and Savior who did not leave any debt for me to pay.

This book offers so many reasons for my recommendation that I cannot list them all here. If you have questions about any of the major doctrines of the Reformed faith, this book brings the doctrines of the Reformation down to the lower shelf where anyone can understand their logic.
Putting Amazing Back into Predestination  Jan 22, 2005
God is sovereign. Sin is an act, thought, or behavior against the will of God. God demands righteousness. God exacts harsh punishment to man for his rebellion against God's will. God has provided a means for some to avoid eternal punishment. Putting Amazing Back into Grace is a defense of the doctrine of predestination that many know as Calvinism. Horton's arguments do not include quotes from Calvin. This work uses biblical explanations and arguments about man's sinful predicament, his unwillingness to accept God's sovereignty and provision for forgiveness. Only through the Holy Spirit can repent for going against the will of God, seek to learn God's will, believe the word of God and have faith. Each chapter has discussion questions at the end.

Also included are two appendixes. The first one provides bible references to doctrines: Man's choice for disobedience, man left alone will not receive God's word, the initiative rest with God not man, Who God chooses does not rest on the comparative character of each particular man, The atonement of the cross will not go unanswered, and salvation is sealed by God not based on man's obedience or goodness.

The second appendix are the arguments of Christian scholars concurrent and post biblical writings. He quotes from Clement, Barnabas Ignatius, Justin Martyr, William Tydale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Bucer, Knox, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Hieronymus{Jerome},Irenaeus,Tertullian, and Charles Spurgeon.

The author then uses quotes from the creeds; Council of Orange, Council of Valence(855),The Ten Conclusion of Berne (1528), Ausburg Confession of the Luthern Church, Westminster Confession (1646), Confession Dosithus Helvinic Consensus formula, The London confession,Abstract Priciples (1859) and the New Hampshire Confession of Baptists in America.
Don't Miss This One  Sep 25, 2004
Putting Amazing Back Into Grace is the first book I have read by Michael Horton. It will certainly not be my last. On the cover of the book J.I. Packer declares the book "a breaktaking workout" and his praise is justified. This book points us back to the Reformation and ultimately to the Bible itself as the source of an amazing grace that much of modern Christianity seems to have lost. He presents timeless truths as being as relevant to us today as they were when they were first discovered.

Horton redraws the standard TULIP acronym using modern terms. Total Depravity becomes Rebels Without A Cause, Unconditional Election becomes Grace Before Time, Limited Atonement becomes Mission Accomplished, Irresistible Grace becomes Intoxicating Grace and Perseverance of The Saints becomes No Lost Causes. While the terms may have changed, the truth behind each is defended and, perhaps best of all, made relevant to life. More than a theological treatise, this book contains an element of intense practicality where Horton shows how these doctrines are relevant to everyday life.

Among the other topics Horton covers are dispensationalism which he bravely attacks and the sacraments which he describes as being two keys to spiritual growth. I found the chapter of sacraments the weakest part of the book. While he has given me some food for thought, I do have to take issue with some of his statements. He takes a firm stance for paedo-baptism as well as a sacramental view of the "ordinances", so be prepared for that. His comments about evangelical churches adding extra sacraments (ie recommitment) are well-taken.

Perhaps my greatest praise is that this book challenges so many assumptions and so many of the words and phrases Christians use all the time. Horton traces the evolution of many of these phrases and shows how they are unbiblical at best, and heretical at worst. Some examples of this are "let go and let God" and "the Spirit's leading." Common phrases, but ones we use without really examining their underlying theological implications.

I do not use the term life-changing easily, but I do not believe it would be unfair to say that this book can change a life. It is a stunning portrayal of the doctrines of grace and one I know I will return to often. I give it my wholehearted recommendation for all believers. If you do not know the doctrines of grace, read this book and discover them for yourself. If you do, read this book to rediscover their greatness. This book will leave you in awe before the greatness of our God.
Gospel Antidote to Cultural Inanity  May 26, 2004
What St. Horton Really Said

Yes, I am basing my title off an N T Wright book (I borrowed the title, I am not critiquing or applauding Wright). I really get annoyed at having to write reviews that are both explanatory of the book and refuting what some anti-Horton apologist wrote. I am speaking particularly of the reader from Portland, OR. I will not spend too much time refuting him, he does a good job of it himself. My aim in this review is to speak of the book, refute the attacking reviewer, and explain how one is to write a review.

Horton attempts several things in this book: 1) present historic, reformed Christianity in a popular fashion, and 2) offer this new-found protestantism as an antidote to the self-help psychology group. Since many in the debate are familiar with the five points of Calvinism, I will forego them, sufficing to say that Horton gives them new (and better) names, killing the acronym. Instead of Total Depravity--Rebels without a Cause; Unconditional Election--Grace before Time; Limited Atonement--Mission Accomplished; Irresistable Grace--Intoxicating Grace; Perseverance of the Saints--No Lost Causes. Fear not, Calvinists, these are the same doctrines always taught, just renamed.

Horton does several challenging things with this gospel: 1) after affirming that God is Soveriegn, he then critiques Dispensationalism and charges it with affirming that God has lost control over creation. His second to last chapter is on keys to spiritual growth (think: sacraments). I have to disagree with him on baptism, although it is a well-defended chapter. I disagree with Horton on two points: Baptism and his representation of postmillennialism. I know he is aware of the differences between theonomic postmillennialism and pietistic postmillennialism, he tends to blur the lines a few times

How Not to write a Review:
The above mentioned reviewer claimed that Calvinists always used Augustine as their prime spokesman; that is only half-true. Calvinists find Augustine has a powerful ally against the Pelagians; however, his views on the sacraments helped plunge the Middle Age Church into darkness. Kevonic is attributing to Horton what the history has revealed about Augustine. Even if his historical analysis were true (which I doubt), that would be totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. HORTON DID NOT EVEN ONCE QUOTE AUGUSTINE, NOR DID HE NEED TO!!!!!! That leads me to infer that the reviewer DID NOT EVEN READ THE BOOK!. And what is the deal with bringing up Tom Oden. Every one knows that Oden is an Arminian. Furthermore, we all welcome Oden restoring the Church Fathers to our reading lists, and we applaud his heroic attacks on liberalism. Does not Mr Kevonic know that Oden appeared as a special guest in Horton's magazine, MODERN REFORMATION? And contrasting Oden with Packer? They have co-authored at least one book, ONE FAITH, I think it is. I know they have thier theological differences. Furthermore, most Calvinists know the difference between a semi-Pelagian (which is what the Evangelical Church is today) and an Arminian. For a difference, of which Horton is aware being that he was a contributor to the book, see FOUR VIEWS ON ETERNAL SECURITY, which has Calvinist, Arminian, and Semi-Pelagian views. In fact, I will quote Horton from that book, "Stephen Ashby's (an Arminian) contribution represents a much-needed correction of the caricatures of Arminius's views" (Four Views, 188). Does that sound like Horton is unaware of the distinction?

How to write a Review"
Briefly explain the review, express, with examples, your areas of disagreement/agreement. Correct caricatures made of the book; recommend other books.


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