An Outline of Horton’s ST (Part II)

The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way I’m still enjoying Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith very much.  I really appreciate Horton’s trinitarian emphasis – the doctrine of the Trinity is woven throughout each theological topic.  It is solidly trinitarian!  Also, I love how Horton continually points out the errors of Deism and Pantheism by stressing the Creator/creature distinction and the analogical nature of theology.  Furthermore, he is very covenantal in his explanations.  Covenant isn’t really a systematic topic/loci for Horton; instead, it is sort of like the web or glue that holds theology together, so to speak.

Along with the publisher’s formatting, as I mentioned earlier, I do have another critique.  Horton uses Meredith Kline almost exclusively when he discusses creation (see III.12.2.a below) and when he writes about the image of God in man (see III.12.2.c below).  Since I’m not sold on Kline’s explanation of these two doctrines, in my opinion these were two weaker sections of this great book.  I would rather have seen more interaction with older (historical) explanations of these doctrines and interaction with more contemporary theologians than just Kline.  Really, though, this is a minor critique and even perhaps somewhat subjective. 

Now to the objective – here’s the outline up to Part Four (my first outline is HERE).  When I’m finished, I’ll put this all in PDF format somewhere (then it’ll have better formatting than WordPress can do here!).


 Chapter 6: God: The Incommunicable Attributes

1)     Names, Narratives, and Nouns (p. 223)

2)     Incommunicable Attributes

a.      Simplicity

b.      Self-Existence

c.      Immutability

                                          i.     Scriptural Support

                                         ii.     Historical Definition

                                       iii.     Modern Challenges (p. 238)

                                       iv.     Exegetical Questions

d.      Impassibility

                                          i.     Defining Impassibility

                                         ii.     Evaluating the Doctrine of Impassibility

                                       iii.     Recent Criticism of Impassibility

                                       iv.     Navigating Between Scylla and Charybdis

e.      Eternity and Omnipresence

Chapter 7: God: The Communicable Attributes

1)     Omniscience and Omnipotence: God’s Knowledge, Wisdom, and Power (p. 259)

a.      Free Agents and the Infinite-Qualitative Distinction

b.      Sovereignty and Omniscience

c.      Sovereignty and Omnipresence

2)     Goodness, Love, and Mercy

3)     Holiness, Righteousness, and Justice (p. 268)

4)     Jealousy and Wrath

Chapter 8: The Holy Trinity

1)     Biblical-Theological Development of Trinitarian Doctrine (p. 273)

2)     Historical-Theological Formulation

a.      The Emergence of Christian Trinitarianism

                                          i.     The Problems of Plurality in God

                                         ii.     On the Way to Nicea: “One in Essence, Three in Persons”

                                       iii.     East-West Tensions

b.      Reformed Contributions to Trinitarian Reflections (p. 288)

c.      The Trinity in Modern Theology

                                          i.     Privileging the One

                                         ii.     Privileging the Many

3)     One and Many: Systematic-Theological Development

a.      Recognizing that All Definitions are Analogies (p. 299)

b.      Acknowledging the Distinctions of Subsistences with Their Own Attributes

4)     The Filioque


Chapter 9: The Decree: Trinity and Predestination

1)     Drama to Doctrine to Doxology (p. 309)

2)     Historical Interpretation of God’s Decree

3)     The Logical Order of God’s Decree

a.      Traditional Reformed Interpretations

b.      Barth’s Revised Supralapsarianism

Chapter 10: Creation: God’s Time For Us

1)     Creation Ex Nihilo in Biblical Context (p. 324)

2)     The Trinity and Creation

3)     Creative Communication

4)     The Integrity of Creation

5)     Beyond God of the Gaps: Genesis and Scientific Apologetics (p. 337)

a.      The ‘God of the Gaps’ Apologetic

b.      Design and Contingency

6)     “I Am the Alpha and the Omega:” Original, Continual, and New Creation

Chapter 11: Providence: God’s Care For All He Has Made

1)     Cultural Challenges to the Doctrine of Providence (p. 353)

2)     Systematic-Theological Categories for Understanding the Doctrine of Providence

a.      Direct/Indirect Cause: The Doctrine of Concursus

b.      The Revealed/Hidden Distinction (p. 362)

c.      Common Grace/Special Grace

d.      Providence/Miracle

3)     Providence and Natural Revelation: The Meaning of History in Christ

Chapter 12: Being Human

1)     What Makes Us Human? The State of the Debate (p. 373)

a.      Platonism: The Distinguishing Spark

b.      A Lucky Animal: Materialist Anthropologies

c.      Distinctions without Dualism (p. 377)

2)     The Self as Servant: What is the Image of God?

a.      Origins and Eschatology: The Parade of the Creature-Kings

b.      The Convergence of Human Personhood and the Imago: Here I Am

c.      Image and Embassy: The Imago as Gift and Task

                                          i.     Sonship/Royal Dominion

                                         ii.     Representation

                                       iii.     Glory

                                       iv.     Prophetic Witness

3)     Angels (p. 406)

Chapter 13: The Fall of Humanity

1)     The Cosmic Trial (p. 408)

a.      False Witness

b.      False Representative

2)     Verdict and Sentence: Solidarity in Adam

a.      Violation of the Covenant of Creation

                                          i.     Testimony to the Covenant of Creation from Non-Christian Sources

                                         ii.     Testimony to the Covenant of Creation from Christian Sources

                                       iii.     Covenant of Love and Law, not Grace (p. 421)

b.      The Sanctions of the Covenant: Original Sin

c.      Natural and Moral Ability

3)     The Permanence of the Image (p. 434)

4)     Stay of Execution

5) “Israel, My Beloved:” Between the Two Adams

4 thoughts on “An Outline of Horton’s ST (Part II)”

  1. Thanks for doing this Shane. I look forward to the PDF’s. I will definitely print them off and keep them in my copy, whenever it arrives. The estimated delivery date is tomorrow and I can hardly wait.


  2. Thanks for the outline. Maybe it was due to the publishers page limit requirement? Why do publishers give page limit requirements anyway?


    1. I don’t think it was due to publishing liming, because it would only have added 5 pages or so. Actually, as I read through it, I kind of wish it was two volumes – it’s just so big, awkward, and heavy!


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