Matthew Miller, the academic blogger at Christianbook.com, recently interviewed Mike Horton about The Christian Faith. Below are some highlights from the interview:

UPDATE: part two of the CBD interview with Michael Horton is also now available online.

Matthew: Predestination is, of course, always a hot button topic for Christians of every tradition. You ground your doctrine in the Trinity (following Barth?). What major implication does your grounding of the doctrine in divine ontology have for Christian theology?

Horton: Hmmm. A lot of comparisons to Barth! However, here as well I’d have to say that it’s the older Reformed theologians who most influence my thinking on this point. The covenant (federal) tradition of Reformed theology begins with the covenant of redemption, made between the Father, Son, and Spirit, before creation. In fact, I point out Barth’s rejection of this motif on the basis of what I take to be an inadequate appreciation for a robust view of the persons of the Trinity as distinct persons.

Calvin emphasizes that predestination can never be discussed safely unless we seek our election in Christ and not in ourselves or in God’s secret councils. Unfortunately, many have heard defenses of predestination that don’t follow this advice and the result is a doctrine that is indistinguishable from Islam. Happily, that does not characterize the confessional theologies of the Reformed tradition, but it circulates in popular presentations—by friend and foe alike.