White Horse Inn Blog

Know what you believe and why you believe it

Mike Horton on Rob Bell with Tony Jones

On Sunday afternoon, Mike Horton was a special guest on the Doug Pagitt Radio program in Minneapolis on AM950. The show’s guest host that day was Tony Jones, who works with Doug at Solomon’s Porch, an emergent church. Mike had referenced a book by Tony in a March WHI blog post on the internet and the church. That sparked a few blog comments and offline conversation between Mike and Tony, culminating in Tony’s invitation to Mike to participate in the show.

It was a great dialogue and it models how those who disagree can speak honestly about their disagreements without being flippant or dismissive. If you haven’t yet tired of the whole Rob Bell/Love Wins/hell and universalism dialogue, you should spend some time listening to the show from Sunday. In fact, even if you are tired of it all, you should listen to the show to get a better understanding of what we mean when we say that theological conversation is at the heart of what we do here at White Horse Inn. After all, if we only talk with those with whom we agree, the conversation will grow dull and we will be ingrown and inattentive to what people are saying outside our circles. But by honestly engaging those outside our circles, we are able to better articulate what we believe and why it matters.

We’re grateful to Tony Jones and the Doug Pagitt Radio show for the opportunity to join an important conversation. You can read Tony’s thoughts on the conversation here.

WHI-1044 | Words of Life

In Acts chapter 5 we read that the apostles were arrested and imprisoned for speaking about Jesus, and that an angel set them free and spoke to them about their mission. So what was it that the angel said? Did he mention anything about working for social justice? Was there anything about “being the gospel.” No, the angel simply told the apostles to go and “speak to the people all the words of this life.” And so they went back to teaching and preaching. On this edition of White Horse Inn, the hosts continue their series through the book of Acts as they unpack the implications of the Great Commission.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Gospel Commission
Michael Horton
The Message of Acts
John Stott
Why Johnny Can’t Preach
T. David Gordon

PROGRAM AUDIO

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Dave Hlebo

WHI-1043 | Faith in Christ Alone

What was the basic message of the world’s earliest Christian missionaries? Did they focus on psychological or emotional wellness, having your best life now, or moral or political agendas? Is the essence of Christianity living life Jesus’ way? On this program the hosts continue to unpack the radical message of the Great Commission as it’s unpacked throughout the book of Acts. Focusing on chapters 3 and 4, they discuss the early emphasis on Christ’s death and resurrection, and the fact that there is “no other name under heaven…by which we must be saved.”

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Gospel Commission
Michael Horton
Christ Alone
Rod Rosenbladt
Let’s Study Acts
Dennis Johnson

PROGRAM AUDIO

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Doug Powell

Horton on Biblical Theology

The good folks over at The Resurgence asked Mike Horton to write up a short piece on biblical theology. Here’s his conclusion:

Biblical theology is essential if we’re going to feel the Bible’s own pulse and follow its unfolding plot. Without it, systematic theology can easily succumb to a deductivist scheme. Going back to the street-map analogy, it’s easy to deduce where roads must go because of the map even if they don’t! Yet it can never be used as a rival of systematic theology. Christ was not only crucified and raised; he was “crucified for our sins and was raised for our justification.” Doctrine arises from the drama, indicating the significance of God’s acts in creation, redemption, and consummation.

Read the whole thing.

Live at The Gospel Coalition

Our friends at The Gospel Coalition have invited us to record a live taping of the White Horse Inn in the Skyline Ballroom at the McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday, April 12th at 5:30 p.m. All four hosts will be in Chicago to discuss the important relationship between the Great Commission and the Great Commandment:

The Great Commission (making disciples through the gospel) and the Great Commandment (serving our neighbors through loving works) can neither be separated or confused. What is the relationship between the church’s divine mission and the Christian’s high calling? What is the relationship between our worship and our vocations? The hosts of the White Horse Inn want to equip Christians to know what they believe and why they believe it!

If you were at the Desiring God conference last September, you got to see first hand how much fun a live recording is. We’re very grateful to the folks at The Gospel Coalition for this opportunity. We have one or two other live tapings planned at other national conferences this year and next. We’ll post more information on that as plans are finalized.

We’ll be recording during the dinner break, but you’ll have time to grab something to eat before or after the recording.

Last Week for “Kick Off” Rate on WHI Cruise

This is the last week to get the “Kick Off” rate for our January 2011 cruise. As I mentioned in the last blog post, the “Kick Off” rates for this cruise are as low as you can find at other websites that specialize in finding budget deals on cruises. So, you’re not just getting a great cruise filled with great content and opportunities for interaction with the White Horse Inn hosts, you’re getting it as cheap as you can probably find it anywhere!

Last week we were at the Ligonier National Conference in Orlando, Florida and got to speak to many of you who are considering coming with us on the cruise. After explaining what we hoped to do while out at sea to one lady, she looked at her husband and said, “we have GOT to be on that boat!” I hope that you share her enthusiasm! Let me share just a little bit more about our plans.

In a day and age like ours when too much inter-personal communication is decidedly NOT personal, we have to make the effort to have face to face interactions. That’s especially true for the work that we do here at White Horse Inn. We love producing a radio program and a magazine, but the interpersonal communication that takes place at events or through notes and phone calls that we receive from you is what really motivates us to continue our work. That’s the great value of this cruise: we’re building lots of opportunities for real interaction to take place while we’re on board the ship.

We want to hear from you, and not just about the impact that White Horse Inn has had on your Reformation pilgrimage. We want to hear from you and partner with you in creating 95 Theses for a Modern Reformation. That’s why the theme for the cruise is “Conversations for a Modern Reformation.” For 20 years we’ve been proud to host that conversation on the airwaves and in the pages of our magazine. Now, we want you to join that conversation: to put pen to paper, to pull up a chair, to think out loud with us about the future of the church.

Some of you have already registered to come with us. Thank you! In a few weeks we’ll be sending some information and materials to you to help prepare you for our time together. If you haven’t yet registered, be sure to take advantage of this last week of low fares. Starting April 1, the fares go up a little bit.

We only have about 150 cabins and when they’re gone, we won’t be able to welcome any more of you onboard. So, please make your decision as soon as possible! You can register here. We’re looking forward to seeing you in January.

WHI-1042 | Word & Sacrament

Many Christians today are preoccupied with the extraordinary over the ordinary. They see God at work only in the big events such as revival meetings or stadium sized worship events. But in the second chapter of Acts we find the apostles engaged in the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments. Is this merely “church-ianity” or is this the apostolic fulfillment of the Great Commission? That’s our topic for this week as the hosts continue their study of Acts chapter 2.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Gospel Commission
Michael Horton
The Preached God: Proclamation in Word & Sacrament
Gerhard Forde
A Better Way
Michael Horton

PROGRAM AUDIO

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Zack Hicks

White Horse Inn Cruise

I’m so excited to share this news with you: on January 30, 2012, the White Horse Inn is setting sail on our very first conference at sea! This Caribbean cruise will be unlike anything you have ever experienced and now is your chance to join us for what we’re calling “Conversations for a Modern Reformation.”

On October 15, 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany, and started the Protestant Reformation. As we look forward to the 500th anniversary of that great event, we want to present the world with 95 Theses for a Modern Reformation. Will you help us write them?

The cruise will be part vacation and part conference with equal time given to receiving and participating: live White Horse Inn tapings and teaching sessions from our hosts will be paired with some exciting group activities designed to help us think more deeply about the issues facing our churches.

There’s so much to share that we’ve created a special webpage with all the details.  I hope that you’ll make plans to join us in January 2012. There’s a special “kick off rate” that is as low a fare as I have seen for this cruise (even on the discount cruise websites). We’d love to have you come along…in fact, we need to have you join this conversation.

Special Online Only Article

Frequent Modern Reformation contributor, Dr. Korey Maas (assistant professor of theology and church history at Concordia University in Irvine, California) has given us permission to post an article he wrote entitled Natural Law, Lutheranism, and the Public Good.

In this article he explains the important connection between natural law and God’s revealed will. Too often in contemporary discussions of the place of natural law, some opponents to natural law assume that natural law is somehow opposed to God’s revealed will. Dr. Maas shows how they are connected.

“Where [Moses] gives the commandments, we are not to follow him except so far as he agrees with the natural law.”~ Martin Luther (AE 35:173)

Martin Luther’s penchant for provocative exclamations is well known. It may nevertheless seem especially shocking that the great champion of “Scripture alone” could appear so blatantly to qualify the authority of the biblical commandments. Perhaps equally puzzling, though, is his qualification’s appeal to “natural law,” a phrase likely unfamiliar to many readers because it has all but disappeared from contemporary Lutheran discourse.

That it is so infrequently discussed, or even mentioned, might give the impression that there is something inherently un-Lutheran about this concept. As even the above quotation suggests, however, neither an acknowledgment of nor appeals to natural law are foreign to Lutheranism. Moreover, the case for embracing natural law, especially in civic life, may be stronger today than it has been throughout the history of Lutheranism, or even most of the history of Christianity.

What, though, is this natural law? While details differ among its theorists—diversely represented not only by two millennia of Christian theologians, but even by pre-Christian pagans and modern agnostics—certain commonalities emerge. The natural law consists of an objective and universal moral code, the fundamental precepts of which are embedded in human nature, and which are discernible by the natural reason common to humanity.

Read the rest.


WHI-1041 | Christ Centered Proclamation

In the second chapter of Acts we find the apostles gathered together at the Feast of Pentecost, receiving the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. But what did the Spirit enable them to do? What was the result of this supernatural outpouring? The result was a sermon. Peter, a man who had recently denied even knowing Jesus, began to proclaim Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Testament with boldness and conviction. The hosts are continuing their series through the Book of Acts on this edition of White Horse Inn.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

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

PROGRAM AUDIO

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Andrew Osenga

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