Michael Horton — The Gospel Commission

29 December 2011 by Wes Bredenhof

I’m not writing a full review of this one.  I just wanted to make a few comments.  The central point of this book is to reconnect church and mission in the thinking and practice of Christians.  That’s laudable and very necessary!  And I think Horton succeeds in making his case.  The discussion of contextualization in chapter 4 was outstanding.  Horton notes how many Christians in other parts of the world “bristle at the suggestions, usually coming from Americans and Europeans, to develop a uniquely ‘African theology,’ ‘Brazilian theology,’ and so forth” (124).  Horton offers insightful critiques of both contemplative spirituality and the emergent movement.  There are a few places where some readers may put question marks:  natural law, two-kingdom thinking (with an appeal to Abraham Kuyper!), rejection of a Christian use of the imprecatory psalms, and so on.  Still, overall, I enjoyed this volume and I think it’s a helpful contribution to the development of Reformed thinking about the missionary task of the church.  Lately I’ve been thinking that many of Horton’s books start to sound the same.  That’s why I put off reading this one for so long.  The Gospel Commission one has some similar themes to previous volumes, but there is a lot that’s new here.  In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that this is one of the best Reformed books dealing with mission (not that there’s a lot to compare it to!).