Michael Horton (theologian)

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Michael S Horton
Born 1964 (age 56–57)
Nationality American
Occupation Professor, theologian
Notable work For Calvinism, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
Spouse(s) Lisa
Theological work
Tradition or movement Calvinism
Main interests Systematic Theology, Apologetics, Historical Theology
Notable ideas Predestination, Sola Fide

Michael Scott Horton (born 1964) is the J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California since 1998,[1] Editor-in-Chief of Modern Reformation (MR) magazine, and President and host of the nationally syndicated radio broadcast, The White Horse Inn.[1] Both Modern Reformation magazine and The White Horse Inn radio broadcast are now entities under the umbrella of White Horse Media, whose offices are located on the campus of Westminster Seminary California.


Horton was raised in an Arminian Baptist church.[2] While in high school in Paradise, CA, Horton adopted Calvinistic beliefs as he read through the Bible, specifically the book of Romans. Horton claims he "threw his bible across the room," as he read through Romans 9 and began to wrestle through the doctrines of election/predestination and the sovereignty of God. He began attending the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, where he met James Montgomery Boice, R.C. Sproul, and J.I. Packer.[2]

Horton received a B.A. degree at Biola University.[1] Since high school, he had always known that he wanted to go to Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.[2] At the time, Westminster Seminary California was just starting in a small storefront in Escondido but many of the men Horton was reading at the time taught there, and this eventually led to his choice to get his M.A. there.[1][2] He learned Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek, and studied under Meredith Kline. He was impressed by the important concepts put forward by Kline, Robert Strimple, Robert Godfrey, and Dennis Johnson.[2]

Horton received his Ph.D. from Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and Coventry University;[1][3] and completed a Research Fellowship at Yale Divinity School.[1]

He was ordained a deacon in the Reformed Episcopal Church. He was formerly the president of Christians United for Reformation (CURE), which later merged to become the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE).[3] From 2001 to 2004 Horton served as the president of ACE, but is now no longer affiliated with that organization. He is also an ordained minister in the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA), has served at two churches in Southern California,[3] and was the Associate Pastor at Christ United Reformed Church in Santee, California, a URCNA member church.[4] Horton taught an Adult Sunday School class on God, suffering, sanctification, Reformed Theology, and the basics of the Heidelberg Catechism. This class is available on audio at the church website.[5] He is now a member of the Escondido United Reformed Church.

In 1996 Christianity Today included him on their list of "Up & Comers: Fifty evangelical leaders 40 and under."[6]

Reason quite properly rejects contradiction, but rationalism abhors mystery, which every heresy attempts in its own way to resolve.

— Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology


Horton lives in Escondido, California, with his wife Lisa and four children (including triplets).[4]

List of works

Horton has written and edited more than fifteen books, including:

  • The Agony of Deceit: What Some TV Preachers Are Really Teaching[7] (1990)
  • Putting Amazing Back Into Grace (1991)
  • Beyond Culture Wars: Is America A Mission Field or Battlefield? (1994)
  • Where In The World Is The Church: Understanding Culture & Your Role In It (1995)
  • Power Religion: The Selling Out of The Evangelical Church, edited with Charles Colson (1997)
  • Made In America: The Shaping of Modern American Evangelicalism (1998)
  • We Believe: Recovering the Essentials of the Apostle's Creed (1998)
  • Covenant and Eschatology (2002)
  • A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship (2003)
  • The Law of Perfect Freedom (2004)
  • Lord and Servant: A Covenant Christology (2005)
  • Covenant & Salvation: Union with Christ (2007)
  • Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (2008)
  • People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology (2008; 2009 Christianity Today Book Award in Theology/Ethics) [8]
  • Too Good to be True: Finding Hope in a World of Hype (2009)
  • God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology (2009)
  • The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World (2009)
  • The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (2011)
  • Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrine for Christian Disciples (2011)
  • For Calvinism, with Maurice England (2011)
  • The Gospel Commission (2012)
  • Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoying God Forever (Theologians on the Christian Life) (2014)

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Michael S. Horton". Westminster Seminary California. Retrieved November 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Horton, Michael (October 5, 2009). "Meet Michael Horton" (Interview). Interviewed by R. Scott Clark. Retrieved November 12, 2012. Unknown parameter |city= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |program= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Monergism Books".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "White Horse Inn:Meet Our Hosts".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Christ United Reformed Church".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Up & Comers, Part 2 | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction". Christianity Today. 1996-11-11. Retrieved 2012-02-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Religion: Heresy on The Airwaves". Richard N. Ostling. Michael P. Harris. Time Magazine. Monday, Mar. 05, 1990.
  8. "2009 Christianity Today Book Awards | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction". Christianity Today. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2012-02-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links