In this final volume of a four-volume series, Michael Horton explores the origin, mission, and destiny of the church through the lens of covenantal theology. Arguing that the history of Israel and the covenant of grace provide the proper context for New Testament ecclesiology, Horton then shows how the church is constituted through the ascension of Christ, the Pentecost, and the Parousia and how it continues to live by the Word and sacraments. Horton’s goal is to demonstrate the potential of a covenantal model for integrating the themes of the church as people and as place, with an urgent concern for contemporary practice.
“The Spirit is the mediator of, not the surrogate for, Christ’s person and work. The redeeming work of Christ lies behind us, but the perlocutionary effect of that Word is at work in ‘these last days.’” (Page 18)
“the point of intersection in Christology, eschatology, and ecclesiology” (Page 3)
“To put it somewhat crudely, the church is what it eats. The point at issue is covenantal identification: with which Lord and under which constitution and therefore to which communion does one belong? The sacred meal in which one shares not only reflects but also constitutes the kind of society of which one is a member.” (Page 123)
“The epicletic interim between Christ’s advents is not an era of writing new chapters in the history of redemption.49 Rather, it is a period in which the Spirit equips us for the mission between Acts and the Apocalypse—right in the mid-era of the ordinary ministry, with its new-covenant canon.” (Page 235)
“The person and work of Christ then and there, completed once and for all, is in no way extended or completed by the church; nevertheless, the Spirit’s work here and now is just as crucial if there is to be an actual union with Christ and his benefits.” (Page 187)
Michael Horton has taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California since 1998. In addition to his work at the Seminary, he is the president of White Horse Media, for which he co-hosts the White Horse Inn, a nationally syndicated, weekly radio talk-show exploring issues of Reformation theology in American Christianity. He is also the editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. Before coming to WSC, Dr. Horton completed a Research Fellowship at Yale University Divinity School.
A member of various societies, including the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Horton is the author/editor of 20 books, including a series of studies in Reformed dogmatics, whose final volume (People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology) was published in 2008. In addition to the popular Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, Dr. Horton’s latest books are Covenant and Salvation: Union with Christ, Lord and Servant: A Covenant Christology, and A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship. He has written articles for Modern Reformation, Pro Ecclesia, Christianity Today, The International Journal of Systematic Theology, Touchstone, and Books and Culture. Dr. Horton is a minister in the United Reformed Churches in North America. He has served two churches in Southern California. He resides in Escondido, California, with his wife, Lisa, and their four children.