Friday, November 13, 2009

Michael Horton did What now?

I am surprised and disappointed by this report regarding Michael Horton (link).

27 comments:

PuritanReformed said...

My sentiments likewise.

Jennie said...

Even Michael Horton is in on the action:

“Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict’s teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.” Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California.


I don't even know who Michael Horton is, but apparently he ought to know better. The pope is the head of a false church, and he also prays with Muslims, asserting that they worship the same God as Christians do (though maybe the pope and the muslims DO worship the same god), and before Benedict XVI became pope he made this statement in the document "The Jewish People and Holy Scriptures in the Christian Bible":
"Jewish messianic expectation is not in vain. It can become for us Christians a powerful stimulant to keep alive the eschatological dimension of our faith. Like them, we too live in expectation. The difference is that for us the One who is to come will have the traits of the Jesus who has already come and is already present and active among us."
Sounds like he doesn't believe the second coming will be the same person as the first coming. Even Satan knows the Bible, so it shouldn't surprise people that someone can seem to know alot of theology but still be a false teacher.

Lockheed said...

all Horton said was that hahn's book was useful in understanding Benny's teaching and views... is that so wrong to say? Sheesh... its no like he said "I kiss the ring."

Jennie said...

"An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.”

Sounds like ring-kissing to me, Lockheed. (By the way, I'm thinking of possibly changing the name of my blog to 'Crossing the Skubalon'. What do you think?)

Jennie said...

Speaking of crossing the Skubalon, I mean Rubicon, I hope Michael Horton hasn't crossed the Rubicon on his way to Rome, like Caesar did, unless of course, like Caesar, he is going to war against it.
(I don't know if Lockheed remembers it, but he referred to one of my comments as 'skubalon' in a conversation on my blog; I only remember it because my husband and I had so much fun thinking of ways to incorporate the word into the name of my blog; 'Crossing the Skubalon' had us rolling :D) By the way, not being a Greek scholar, I had to look up the word to see what it meant, though I had a good idea it wasn't complementary :) But I'm not mad about it; we have more in common than not.

Anonymous said...

The Protestants will promote our books with which we will hook them. (Slight takeoff on Lenin's famous lines about capitalism..rope..hang.)
Sad day for Protestants...

my3sons said...

Sounds like Horton could be well on his way to crossing the Tiber. Look at what happened to Frank Beckwith.

Lockheed said...

Michael Horton is not crossing the Tiber nor kissing the ring. Perhaps he used less than the antagonistic language we're used to as Protestants and post-protestants, but seriously, all he's said is that the book has good insights into Benny's views. I'm still surprised folks are up in arms about this.

Where were you when Catholics endorsed Dr. White's books???

Andrew Suttles said...

Why would Scott Hahn seek out Horton's endorsement? So that weak minded Protestants might read the book and be drawn into Satan's deadly net, perhaps? Do not the Scriptures tell us that Satan can transform himself into the appearance of an angel of light?

I don't think Horton is swimming the Tiber, he is helping to drain it

Andrew Suttles
http://abrahamsseed.wordpress.com/

Coram Deo said...

As Spurgeon well said:

"Essence of lies, and quintessence of blasphemy, as the religion of Rome is, it nevertheless fascinates a certain order of Protestants, of whom we fear it may be truly said that they have received a strong delusion to believe a lie, that they may be damned."

Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Sword and the Trowel,” Jan. 1873

In Christ,
CD

Jennie said...

Anonymous,
The Protestants will promote our books with which we will hook them. (Slight takeoff on Lenin's famous lines about capitalism..rope..hang.)
Sad day for Protestants...

____________________________

If you're a protestant, I understand your comparing hooking Protestants to hanging capitalists; however, if you are a Roman Catholic, it has an unfortunately negative connotation. Therefore I'm assuming you are a protestant.

Jennie said...

But Lockheed, Horton is endorsing a RC book AND calling Benedict an important theologian, both of which give credibility to Hahn and Benedict. Why should he have anything positive to say publicly about this work? It makes false teaching appear in a good light.

natamllc said...

I do not know? But from now that I sit and see, I say the horns of a dilemma exist perhaps?

Horton: "....“Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection....".

Paul the Apostle, albeit in other contexts, wrote:


"....2Co 2:11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs....".

"....Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you....".

Ok, which is it, "know" the schemes of the devils or "think about these things" or "both"??

Oh Dear Lord, not one of us has a place within without You within!

Psa 130:1 A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
Psa 130:2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
Psa 130:3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
Psa 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
Psa 130:6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
Psa 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
Psa 130:8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Strong Tower said...

I hope Michael Horton hasn't crossed the Rubicon on his way to Rome, like Caesar did, unless of course, like Caesar, he is going to war against it.

I don't even know who Michael Horton is, but apparently he ought to know better.

That just about sums it up. Anyone who has listened or read Horton's works does know that he wouldn't in anyway endorse the Magiterium or any other pronouncements of the RCC that are contrary to Scripture.

all Horton said was that hahn's book was useful in understanding Benny's teaching and views... is that so wrong to say? Sheesh...

I'll see that sheesh and raise it two sheeshes.

Endorsements are not sought by the author's, typically. Take some time and look at the endorsements on the backs of any number of books. It is amazing who will endorse what is produced by Publishers. Often their personal beliefs are in direct contradiction to the work between the covers. Makes one wonder.


That said, I am going to wait for Horton's response to your accusations. In the mean time Jennie get yourself alone with the works of MH and see if your assessment of him fits the facts.

Turretinfan has just finished a critique of some of what WLCraig has written and said. My guess is that he would recommend, i.e. "endorse" many of WLC books on philosophical discourse while not agreeing in total about what Williboy has produced, especially concerning the heresy of Molinism. The same might be said about Wright's works or any number of currently popular theologians.

Indeed, writting a blurb for the back of a book is dangerous because it may be for many weak-minded persons an endorsement. I wouldn't over-generalize the term and make devils out of saints just because they have been solicited by a Publisher. For instance on the back of Grudem's Systematic Theology the blurbs that by some would be seen as endorsements lists: Chuck Colson, Paige Patterson, and Jack Hayford.

Can you dig it? These men do not agree, in one part or another, with much of what Grudem writes. To wit Patterson: "...thorough text in systematic theology-the best I have seen in recent year in...clearity, and a willingness to tackle the more salient issues of the day. This is an admirable blending of the scholarly and devotional elements seldom achieved in academic books." Or Colson: "...our faith rooted in historic Christian truth..." Or Hayford: "Grudem...permit(s) the Holy Spiriti to infuse soundly biblical, clearheaded evangelical theology with new life and power."

Not one of these three would permit Grudem's Calvinism to hold sway in their own circle. Patterson is one of the most virulent opponents of Calvinism among those who hate the Reformed faith (a special pox be on them if they are charismatic).

Strong Tower said...

All this to say, you can't trust the blurbs to reflect a true sentiments, exhaustively, of the work contained between the covers. And, I have to agree with Lockheed, and the right-minded view, that the enemies own writings are the best place to go to understand his methods and meanings. That is what I believe Horton would say about his own "endorsement," and nothing more.

But I will wait to see what he has to say. He is no slack, so I am sure he is already working to respond to what I think are baseless accusations.

Jennie, it is your prejudice that makes Horton's statement more than it is, and as you have stated you don't know what you're talking about. That would make you a gossip-monger. I would still endorse Beckwith's works on ethics. There are few finer works around. And I would, as Horton has and still does, condemn Beckwith's betrayal of Protestantism.

Here's the blurb: “Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict’s teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.”

Strong Tower said...

What, you don't think he is an important theologian? Or, you don't think it is important to know what he thinks? But you think it improtant that what you think he thinks is, though you don't know what he thinks? You don't know what Horton thinks, either. So, what does that do for your criticism of the pope? Legitimate it? What does it do for your criticism of RC?

Here's what MH wrote in 2005:

"While mainline Protestants demonstrate ambivalence about this new pope, probably in large measure because of their liberal biases in theology and ethics, evangelicals have been practically unanimous in their praise. While doctrinal tensions still exist, Benedict XVI is seen as building on the "culture of life" so admirably defended by John Paul II. As for Norman Geisler, "He's going to hold the line" against liberalism and relativism.

With this background, we now turn to some of the representative statements by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, to obtain a better idea of what we might expect from his pontificate. Hopefully we will see that there is much to appreciate in an age of increasing pressure to conform the church's message to the spirit of the age, while also recognizing the distance that remains between genuinely evangelical churches and the Bishop of Rome."

If you have time, if you care, go read the article. I see nothing in the blurb that betrays the trust that Horton has with "genuinely evangelical churches, compared to this. He recognizes scholarship and that he praises. He distains polemics like that which you have offered. In the debate class he is in there is no room for that. He gives clear and scholarly demonstration of the failings of Roman Catholicism while at the same time giving credit where credit is due, namely to the scholarship that both Hahn and the pontif demonstrate in their writings.

It goes far over the edge to take this blurb and make it an endorsement, that is an allegiance to, their teachings, carte blanc. It is not. It is an endorsement of scholarship. Scholarship does not dictate that the outcome of the interpretation of it will be correct and nowhere do I find Horton making the false claims of the RCC legitimate.

Let's test if you would endorse Ratzinger: "From here, Ratzinger insists that we must "restore a place to original sin," a doctrine to which he hopes to devote an entire volume (78)."

Would you endorse that? A return to the doctrine of original sin?

Hahn's book, Horton infers, does a good job of condensing and analyzing Ratzinger. If you have time to read the article I am quoting from you will notice that Horton has only noted what he has said on occasion. However, Ratzinger is a prolific writer and so the endorsement of Hahn's treatment of him makes sense if one were directing others to a condensed overview that is a fair and scholarly look at another theologian's views whether he agrees with him or not. I mean, MH graciously mentions Norman G., who's notoriously unequipped as an exegete, or at least appears so. NG is good at pointing out the failings of non-Christian cults, yet MH would never endorse NG's pathetic Aminian apologetics.

I say, "Right on, Michael. Thanks for doing the work for us in pointing out another who has done what most of us would not do for ourselves."

Strong Tower said...

Sorry bout that TF ;(

Lockheed said...

Horton is endorsing a RC book AND calling Benedict an important theologian

Yes, because apparently Hahn's book IS a good insight into Benedict's theology, and Benedict is an important theologian. Neither of those indicate that Horton agrees with Benedict's theology.

Horton's problem lies in the fact that he speaks too nicely of people. God forbid.

Strong Tower said...

Sorry, I didn't give a link to the Horton article. Here. And sorry I didn't edit before posting.

Turretinfan said...

"Horton's problem lies in the fact that he speaks too nicely of people. God forbid."

I think the concern is that Horton is getting too friendly with the wrong sort of people.

-TurretinFan

Jennie said...

Lockheed,
Yes, because apparently Hahn's book IS a good insight into Benedict's theology, and Benedict is an important theologian. Neither of those indicate that Horton agrees with Benedict's theology.

Horton's problem lies in the fact that he speaks too nicely of people. God forbid.


I don't suppose a blurb that didn't sound 'too nice' would have been allowed on the book by the publisher; that's why I think Michael Horton made a mistake in doing the blurb at all. It looks like an endorsement not only of the book but of the legitimacy of Hahn and Benedict's 'theology.' And the fact that I know nothing of Michael Horton just proves the point that people will look at that and take it as an endorsement if they don't know that MH is in opposition to RC doctrine.

Jennie said...

Strong Tower,
I take your point about not speaking in ignorance, since I'm not familiar with MH. I don't want to malign him. I should not have used his name in my joke to Lockheed in that way.
In my comment just above to Lockheed I explained my reaction, as someone who doesn't know MH, in seeing it as a positive endorsement and legitimizing of the pope and RC theology. I hope it is not. From what you both say, it seems it is not.
I would like to read the article you linked to by him.
I also think TurretinFan has a legitimate reason to question this and ask MH for an explanation. As I said in the comment above, I think MH made a mistake in doing the blurb, since one has to sound 'nice' to get on the book.

Strong Tower said...

TF, I suppose, will give us a reason why he is "surprised and disappointed."

Curious, he didn't say what he was surprised and disappointed about. Sly fox? Was it the assumed message, or the fact that someone has thrown chum into the waters?

"I love little Michael," to quote a not so good movie line, so I can be a little emotive concerning his character assassins. Honestly, I am not aware of anything that indicates that he has donned his spedo for a swim across the Tiber.

I am interested in what TF might have to say about MH true motives being the brainiac, a near bottomless pit, scratch that, a kosmic intellect with inexhaustable knowledge. Is MH a closet RC... da da dum dummmmmm.

TF- You're friends with a hyper-Calvinist, I hear and that you dance with the devil in the fullmoon light.

mormentl- Word Verification, I kid you not!

Lockheed said...

I HIGHLY recommend that those not aquainted with the folks at White Horse Inn, Modern Reformation and Westminster Seminary (CA) take some time to get to know they people they're commenting about.

Here's some background:

http://www.the-highway.com/Horton_cath.html

http://www.whitehorseinn.org/

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/bio/michaelhorton.html

I highly recommend the White Horse Inn guys for good theology and a general intro to Reformed thinking.

Jennie said...

I couldn't make much sense out of your last comment, Strong Tower. It seemed to have alot of sarcasm in it from the little I could tell; I don't see the point of attacking TurretinFan for expressing concern about this issue. I accepted your criticism of me, but I think you're out of line here.

Jennie said...

Here's a page with the endorsements listed. Horton's is at the bottom, and includes a little more than was quoted here.
http://www.aquinasandmore.com/title/Covenant-and-Communion/SKU/22257

The full quote:
"Biblical theology--that is, the work of tracing major scriptural themes from promise to fulfillment--is essential for the life and health of the Church. Long before his election as pope, Benedict XVI brought his wide-ranging gifts to bear in this field in a Christ-centered exposition. Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict's insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Scott Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict's teaching in a highly readable summary that includes not only the pope's published works but also his less-accessible homilies and addresses. This is an eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time."

Strong Tower said...

TF- no tone problem, a light hearted reaction. I have the highest respect for you and what you write here. You are the brainiac, -that was a compliment- with kosmic intellect from the perspective of my pitiful perch. That also was a compliment. It does point out one thing though- mispreception is not the province of those less gifted.

Jennie- It was simple enough.

MH has responded so check out his blog. Perhaps you would like to write him and apologize. I didn't attack TF and I stand by my remarks. MH has answered quite sufficiently in his works even before his current blog piece to this round of attacks on his character. Try making yourself familiar with his work, then comment. TF just hasn't made himself sufficiently aware of it, either, I suppose, or can't see through the thicket. We are all a little jaunticed by our own prejudices and I suspect he is as human as the rest of us. I figured, and I was obviously wrong, that he had availed himself. Even the article he linked vindicated MH. With his last comments I see that he is really at a loss and is not just trying to elicit reaction or setting up the malcontents. I had thought that what he was doing was to make obscure statements to see if any picked up on his vagueness and how that can be misconstrued. Instead, you plog on in ignorance. My mistake. Corem Deo's remarks and yours were completely out of line in besmirching MH. I had hoped that TF would take that to task. Again, my mistake. MH, unlike you, and me, is not a reactionary. His approach is scholary, so don't expect that he would come out and call the Pontiff the devil incarnate who rides the Mother dragon. He would lose all credibility. My own reactions to Catholicism are quite acerbic. Check my blog. There you will find that I charaterize it as the occult, as a pagan religion and bastardization of the faith.

Thanks for your time.

It's been wonderful.

Now that is sarcasm.