White Horse Inn Blog

Know what you believe and why you believe it

We need your help!

Will you stand with us for a modern Reformation?

For twenty years, the White Horse Inn has been helping Christians know what they believe and why they believe it. And our efforts are having a significant effect in the pulpits and pews of many churches across America and around the world.

We’re in the final weeks of our spring fundraising efforts and we need your financial support, linking arms with us in the pursuit of a modern Reformation.

For your gift of any amount, I’ll send you a link for a free download of our brand-new Galatians Study Guide. This guide is based on our recent study of Galatians on White Horse Inn. It includes the entire White Horse Inn series, relevant Modern Reformation articles, study questions, a leader’s guide, and short audio clips for use in a group study.

Thanks for considering our need. If you can help, please send in a gift in the next two weeks to help us meet our June 30 goal.

For more information, click here.

To donate, click here or call 800-890-7556.

Modern Reformation Digital Issues now available as PDF downloads!

May/June 2011 MR

At the end of 2010 we began launching digital versions of Modern Reformation issues. This allows subscribers (both our print and on-line subscribers) the option of reading the magazine in its fully formatted form across a number of devices. However, we had heard from many subscribers that would like the option of downloading the issues in PDF form so they can read the digital issues of MR when they were not connected to the internet or on other e-reading devices (i.e. Kindle, Nook, etc. that can read imported PDFs). Now that option is available! In the menu bar of the digital issue there is a PDF icon that allows you to download select pages or the entire issue of Modern Reformation.

In order to access all of our digital issues (and now download PDFs), as well as access our entire on-line archive, you must be a current subscriber (print or on-line) to Modern Reformation or a partner of White Horse Inn. (If you currently are a subscriber or partner, but don’t think you have access to our MR site please contact the webmaster.)

Subscribe to Modern Reformation

Become a partner of White Horse Inn.

For a free digital preview edition of our current May/June 2011 issue click on the “mini-flip” version below (or click here if Flash is not enabled)

Please note: These PDFs are not to be made publicly available and to do so violates our Terms of Use.

WHI-1053 | Him We Proclaim

Though many churches claim to be Christ-centered, most Christian sermons continue to present Jesus as a divine therapist, a motivating coach or as a political activist. So how does one faithfully read and study the Bible with Christ at the center? What does it mean to preach the Christ from all the Scriptures? That’s the focus of this edition of the White Horse Inn as Michael Horton talks with Dennis Johnson, author of Him We Proclaim, Preaching Christ in All the Scriptures (originally broadcast July 1, 2007).

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Him We Proclaim
Dennis Johnson
According to Plan
Graeme Goldsworthy
Preaching Christ in All of Scripture
Edmund Clowney

PROGRAM AUDIO

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MUSIC SELECTION

Doug Powell

Mike on Office Hours

Mike Horton discusses his latest book The Gospel Commission on the latest edition of Office Hours from Westminster Seminary California. To listen to the episode click here.

Purchase The Gospel Commission from the White Horse Inn Store

Is Love Winning?

Dr. Horton was recently invited to speak about Rob Bell’s book Love Wins at the Richmond Center for Christian Study in Richmond, VA. His lecture and a time of Questions & Answers are available for free download on the Center’s website.

WHI-1052 | Dealing with Objections to the Resurrection

When telling others about the message of the gospel, objections of various kinds inevitably arise. So how are we to answer the person who claims that Jesus never really died on the cross, or that the miracle stories associated with Christ are complete fabrications? The hosts discuss these questions and more as they interact with some of the claims made by skeptic Michael Shermer in his recent WHI interview. Joining the panel for this discussion is Craig Parton, author of Religion on Trial and The Defense Never Rests.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Religion on Trial
Craig Parton
Holman QuickSource Guide to Apologetics
Doug Powell
Resurrection iWitness iPad App
Doug Powell

PROGRAM AUDIO

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Matthew Smith

Remember those who are in prison

We often tell subscribers that the price of their subscription helps us to circulate nearly twice as many magazines as we have subscribers. Many of the magazines that we give away go to prisoners across the US. Today, we received a letter (and a money order to pay for his own subscription) from a prisoner in the West. I wanted to share just a brief segment of the letter with you for your encouragement:

I am a prisoner in _______ with a life sentence and I can’t tell you how much of an impact your unashamed proclamation of the sovereign grace of our God has had on my theological understanding and consequently my everyday life. Thank you for your stand on the solas and the Reformed tradition as well. I am 28 years old and grew up in the _______ ______ church family. As well intentioned as most mainline Christianity is, young men like myself need guys like you to be the unpopular voice from the past that calls the church back to the doctrines of St. Paul, the apostle of Christ.

This prisoner was introduced to Modern Reformation through the back issues that another prisoner had kept and passed along. Your gifts to Modern Reformation and White Horse Inn do more than just keep the lights on, they help change people’s lives…sometimes in the most unexpected places.

We’re in the final stretch of our mid-year appeal and your gifts make a significant difference. If you haven’t already, would you please call us at 800-890-7556 and make a donation over the phone or you can give online or by mail (White Horse Inn, 1725 Bear Valley Pkwy., Escondido CA 92027). Thank you for your support of Modern Reformation, White Horse Inn, and prisoners like this young man.

Déjà Vu All Over Again? Confessions and the Modern Spirit

John WitherspoonAfter declining several invitations, John Witherspoon (1723-94) finally accepted a call as the first pastor of Nassau Presbyterian Church and president of Princeton College. At Princeton he also taught theology, history, and philosophy to many of the new nation’s leaders, including James Madison, Aaron Burr, and a host of supreme court justices and members of Congress. Besides being the only clergyman (and college president) to sign the Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon also drafted the Articles of Confederation and gave input on the U.S. Constitution. However, his lesser-known ministry in the Church of Scotland was just as active and controversial. Before emigrating, Witherspoon wrote a Ecclesiastical Maxims, a collection of maxims that employed satire as a way of illustrating the feeble sentiments of the Kirk’s “Moderate” wing. This one is too relevant to our own day to overlook. The views he targets here are often repeated in our day and this satire reminds us that in spite of the “postmodern” advertisements, anti-confessional arguments have varied little from their “modern” script:

John Witherspoon (Ecclesiastical Characteristics, Maxim III):

“It is a necessary part of the character of a moderate man, never to speak of the Confession of Faith but with a sneer; to give sly hints, that he does not thoroughly believe it; and to make the word orthodoxy a term of contempt and reproach.

“The Confession of Faith, which we are now all laid under a disagreeable necessity to subscribe, was framed in times of hot religious zeal; and therefore it can hardly be supposed to contain any thing agreeable to our sentiments in these cool and refreshing days of moderation. So true is this, that I do not remember to have heard any moderate man speak well of it, or recommend it, in a sermon, or private discourse, in my time, And, indeed, nothing can be more ridiculous, than to make a fixed standard for opinions, which change just as the fashions of clothes and dress. No complete system can be settled for all ages, except the maxims I am now compiling and illustrating, and their great perfection lies in their being ambulatory, so that they may be applied differently, with the change of times.

“…There is one very strong particular reason why moderate men cannot love the Confession of Faith; moderation evidently implies a large share of charity, and consequently a good and favorable opinion of those that differ from our church; but a rigid adherence to the Confession of Faith, and high esteem of it, nearly borders upon, or gives great suspicion of harsh opinions of those that differ from us: and does not experience rise up and ratify this observation? Who are the narrow-minded, bigotted, uncharitable persons among us? Who are the severe censurers of those that differ in judgment? Who are the damners of the adorable Heathens, Socrates, Plato, Marcus Antonius, &c.? In fine, who are the persecutors of the inimitable heretics among ourselves? Who but the admirers of this antiquated composition, who pin their faith to other men’s sleeves, and will not endure one jot less or different belief from what their fathers had before them! It is therefore plain, that the moderate man, who desires to inclose all intelligent beings in one benevolent embrace, must have an utter abhorrence at that vile hedge of distinction, the Confession of Faith…”

WHI-1051 | The Implications of Skepticism

On this edition of the White Horse Inn, Michael Horton talks with Greg Koukl from Stand To Reason and author of Faith is Not Wishing about the implications of the arguments put forth by skeptic Michael Shermer in last week’s broadcast. Is Christianity based on mythology; are multi-verses the best explanation for the fine-tuning that we observe in the universe; is it possible to believe in objective good and evil without believing in God? Mike and Greg will discuss these questions and more on this edition of the White Horse Inn.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Faith Is Not Wishing
Greg Koukl
Tactics
Greg Koukl
The Reason for God
Tim Keller

PROGRAM AUDIO

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Updated Cruise Schedule

This is the last weekend for the “early bird” rates for the first ever White Horse Inn conference at sea, “Conversations for a Modern Reformation.” Many of you have already registered or indicated that you planned to attend. In a few weeks we’ll begin sending advance packets to those who have registered to help them get ready for the conversations that we hope will help lead to the transformation of the church.

Some of you have asked for more detail about the cruise schedule. So, here’s an updated schedule with a few more details about the time that we’ll spend together:

Sunday, January 29th
If you arrived on Saturday, be sure to worship in one of the local churches. Our good friend, Tullian Tchividjian, is the pastor of Coral Ridge PCA in Ft. Lauderdale. And, of course, Ken Jones (co-host of the WHI) is just down the road at Glendale Missionary Baptist Church in Miami.

After a day spent in worship and rest, we’ll gather back at the hotel for a special White Horse Inn taping to help kick things off.

Monday, January 30th
Let’s do breakfast before we head off to the port together. This will be a great opportunity to get to know some of the folks with whom you’ll spend the next week. The WHI hosts and staff will also introduce themselves.

We’ll leave together in buses arranged for transportation to the ship. We’ll be some of the first guests on the ship. Get settled into your rooms, head to the pool, or stop off at one of the restaurants for lunch. The ship gets underway at 4:00 p.m. Be sure to stand at a railing and wave goodbye!

We’ll eat dinner together around 6:00 p.m. and then gather together for a formal welcome reception.

Tuesday, January 31st
This is a full day at sea, nothing but ocean for miles around. It will also be our first full day together, engaged in that conversation that we  hope will make a difference in our lives and in our churches. We’ll kick things off with a White Horse Inn live taping, a model of the kinds of conversations that we hope to have through the rest of the week.

Then, you’ll become a cohost of a WHI conversation! We’ll break up into groups to begin our discussion that will lead to theses for a modern reformation. You and several other conference guests will break away from other members of the group for a time of guided discussion that will help us identify the areas where we need to see reformation take place.

We’ll have a working lunch with our group members and then go right back to a time of discussion: After having identified some of the big ideas, we’ll begin breaking them down into workable theses that we’ll consider together as a large group later on in the week.

We are on a cruise ship, however, so after an early afternoon spent at work, we’ll spend the rest of the day enjoying the amenities of the cruise ship. About every ten minutes you’ll need to remind yourself that it is January!

After dinner with one of the WHI hosts, we’ll gather together one more time that night for a special presentation from Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, “What Drove Luther’s Hammer?” We’ll also have time for questions and answers, so don’t rush off to bed!

Wednesday, February 1st
Today is a “port day,” so enjoy the time in Falmouth and we’ll see you back in time for dinner and our evening presentation: Dr. Kim Riddlebarger on “A Reformation Pilgrimage.”

Thursday, February 2nd
Another port day. Enjoy Labadee and then gather together again for dinner and a presentation that night from the Rev. Ken Jones, “Reforming a Local Church: A Case Study.”

Friday, February 3rd
We’ll spend most of today together since we’ll be at sea on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale. First up is another live taping of the White Horse Inn. The hosts will be interacting with the work you’ve already done on theses for a modern Reformation.

Then, we’ll reconvene our small groups to get ready for an afternoon presentation on our theses. We don’t want our time to be spent in wishful thinking. We want to consider together what might really happen if the theses that we are considering together was actually adopted by a church: what would change? why would it matter? These are the questions that we’ll consider after lunch.

Again, we’ll break early enough that we can enjoy our last full day on the ship. After dinner together, Dr. Mike Horton will wrap things up with the evening presentation, “For a Modern Reformation.” Stick around for our farewell reception. Enjoy a few last moments on deck with the new friends you’ve made.

Saturday, February 4th
We’re back to Ft. Lauderdale today. We’ll disembark and head home. Our prayer is that the time we spent together will be refreshing and invigorating as you pursue and spread reformation in your lives and your circles of influence.

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