The New Puritanism Part 2: Michael S. Horton: Holy War With Unholy Weapons -- By: Zane C. Hodges

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 06:2 (Autumn 1993)
Article: The New Puritanism Part 2: Michael S. Horton: Holy War With Unholy Weapons
Author: Zane C. Hodges

The New Puritanism
Part 2:
Michael S. Horton: Holy War With Unholy Weapons

Zane C. Hodges

Associate Editor
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Mesquite, Texas

Introduction to the Series

[Over the last year or so a growing number of books and articles has appeared which have targeted the Free Grace movement for critique and rebuttal. These publications mention the Grace Evangelical Society and its literature. This is a positive development. GES definitely wishes to have its views seriously discussed in the marketplace of ideas.

It might be possible to describe these writings as presenting what is known as “Lordship Salvation.” But this designation, though widely used, does not indicate the true historical antecedents of the movement in its present form. The term could be used with equal ease to describe many who are Arminian in theology. Yet the major “lordship” writers of today are not Arminian, however much they tend toward conclusions similar to those of Arminians (e.g., on assurance). Instead, these writers describe themselves as Calvinists. But John Calvin himself, were he alive today, would probably disown them because they more closely resemble the scholastic theology that resisted the Reformation than Calvin’s own theology.1

In deference, therefore, to the many Calvinists who hold a biblical theology of grace (e.g., R. T. Kendall, M. Charles Bell, Charles C. Ryrie), we refuse to describe the writers we are talking about as Calvinists. Instead, it would be better to identify them with the theology that became predominant in Puritan thought and which was, in significant

respects, a rejection of certain basic concepts of Reformation theology. Hence my series title is “The New (i.e., contemporary) Puritanism.”

In this series we will consider some of the more significant recent literature produced from this particular theological perspective. In the process we will seek to determine how fairly, and how effectively, these writers have confronted the Free Grace movement.]

I. Introduction

Michael S. Horton is the president of an organization known as Christians United for Reformation (CURE), with headquarters in Anaheim, California. As its journalistic arm, CURE publishes a magazine called modernReformation [sic], which promotes CURE’s point of view. On the masthead of this magazine CURE is identified as “a non-profit educational foundation committed to communicating the insights of the 16th century Reformation to the 20th century Church.”

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