Horton’s new one, People and Place, is not just about word, sacraments, and church. It is has many implications for homiletics, for preachers of the gospel.
“In our day, the market promises to give us all the resources necessary for… self transformation, yet, far from autonomy, this only makes us slaves of the choices that the market gives us. To the extent that the Bible facilitates these transformations, it is God’s Word, according to a view of inspiration that is essentially Romantic in character. Where modern atheism from Fueuerbach to Freud argued that religion is essentially a projection of the self and its felt needs, much of contemporary church practice actually seems implicitly to embrace this perspective instead of recognizing it as a devastating critique.”
“It is precisely the aim of the sacramental Word to pull us out of ourselves – our pious experience, works, history, solemn pronouncements, hopes and fears – and to fasten our hearing gaze (the mixed metaphor is intentional) on the Savior who is outside of us (Heb. 12.2). Since the essence of sin is being curved in on ourselves, turning to the familiar ‘god within,’ even in the name of pious introspection or spirituality, can only finally lead to the discovery of the God of wrath, not the God of grace.”
What does this “drawing outside of ourselves” mean? “First, we are drawn out of ourselves to God and his grace in Christ. Second, we are drawn out of our isolated experience to the covenant community; and finally, we are liberated from spiritual, moral, and emotional narcissism to love and serve our neighbor in the world” (89-91).