Michael Horton endorses Scott Hahn book on Pope Benedict

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johnbugay

Puritan Board Freshman
“Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict’s teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.” Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California.

The only reason that I can think of for his doing this is maybe to earn some "legitimacy" with Catholics when (and if) he decides to engage this work.

I believe that is a dangerous course to follow, given that recent history is ladened with the dead (or zombified) bodies of Protestants who have tried to "dialogue" with Rome, only to find themselves formally and officially addressed as "not real churches":

According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.

Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church

I think it's hugely important for those who want to "dialog" with Rome to understand this posture that they're assuming.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
Well, given all the Reformed documents were responses to Rome (i.e. Pope= antichrist, etc...) and all major theological works interacted with the Roman church (was not just we confess X for the bible says x) as well as other branches of the reformation, Horton is doing what every good systematic theologian has done so far in the Reformed Tradition. benedict is a good schollar with a rigorous mind and is far superior in these ways to Pope John Paul II. His work deserves a honest and critical work and review by Reformed Theologians- as well as other theological traditions- when writting a new systematic theology or dealing with the world of christian schollarship.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
From what you quoted, it seems that Horton is recommending this as an introduction to understanding the current pope--not necessarily as a well of good theology. I could be wrong.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Maybe Dr. Horton is merely positioning himself to be the next J.I. Packer, who puts his name on the back of more books than any other human being in the history of book endorsements. :think: :smug: :lol:

Hahn, as a former evangelical Protestant, is perhaps positioned better than most to write on the pope. I saw the book and almost purchased it to get a better understanding of the pope's views. Ultimately, there are too many great books unread by me to invest in one about the pope.

My guess is that Horton is merely approving of the scholarship and the fairness of the descriptions, not approving the theology. He does not strike me as a big ECT guy.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Maybe Horton thought it was a well-written book and useful book, and gave his honest opinion.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
From what you quoted, it seems that Horton is recommending this as an introduction to understanding the current pope--not necessarily as a well of good theology. I could be wrong.

You are correct. But an endorsement leads to book sales, and there are far more Catholics who will be confirmed in their love of Benedict, Scott Hahn, etc., than will be persuaded by any Reformed response.

-----Added 11/16/2009 at 07:57:18 EST-----

You may find profitable privately contacting Mr. Horton with your concerns.

A book endorsement is a public matter.

Yes, but I believe what Scott was getting at was that the motivation behind Dr. Horton's endorsement of the book are not up for public debate and speculation. To sit around and discuss what may or may not be Horton's motivaiton is simply to engage in gossip. Hence, Scott rightly pointed you to the appropriate place to bring your concerns.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
johnbugay, Horton evidently thought that a discerning reader could gain something from the insights of the Pope. That would be something good, even if a lot of them(the Pope's views) are simply wrong.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
I think it's obvious, Horton is converting to Roman Catholicism.







(/kidding) I think he's right. Ratzinger is an important theologian of our time. He's completely wrong, but he is important.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
This discussion is coming to an end as it is predictably insinuating motive to Michael Horton on the basis of a book endorsement. Everything from a soft ecumenism to treating the Pope as a Brother is being implied in this thread.

Read the rules concerning criticism of ministers in the public arena. If you cannot abide by them then the thread dies.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
For Dr. Horton's own explanation . . .

There’s been some blog chatter about my having endorsed Scott Hahn’s Covenant and Commu nion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI. Since one blogger I read mistook my endorsement of a study of Benedict’s theology for an endorsement of his theology, I thought it would be worthwhile to draw that distinction in black and white.

Here’s my endorsement:

Even when one disagrees with some of his conclusions, Benedict’s insights, as well as his engagement with critical scholarship, offer a wealth of reflection. In this remarkable book, Hahn has drawn out the central themes of Benedict’s teaching in a highly readable summary. An eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.

I’m not sure what part of this aroused this blogger’s ire. I disavowed agreement with some of the pope’s conclusions (I agree with him on the Trinity and other important doctrines, but disagree strongly with other important doctrines). I admired “his engagement with critical scholarship” (he often offers trenchant arguments against higher criticism). I endorsed Hahn’s book because it is “a highly readable summary” and “an eminently useful guide for introducing the thought of an important theologian of our time.” Despite my strong disagreements with his views on a variety of issues, he is certainly “an important theologian of our time.”

In case anyone cares, I am just as committed to Reformed convictions as I was when I was critical of “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” in 1995, endorsed James White’s fine book The Roman Catholic Controversy in 1996, wrote “What Still Keeps Us Apart” (1998), and repeated my objections in a very recent blog post on the latest ECT statement. In two recent books—Covenant & Salvation: Union with Christ and People & Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology, I interact at length with Benedict, defending at every point traditional Reformed teaching.

This pope is a remarkably good conversation partner because he still defends traditional Roman Catholicism (which one expects of the pope) while recognizing the strength of Protestant views (which one hardly ever expects of a pope). He is deeply conversant in biblical studies and theology. Recognizing the strength of a thoughtful and engaging opponent is, I think, a valuable exercise for developing good arguments against real positions rather than extending caricatures. I’ve even used some Benedict quotes in debates with Roman Catholics, though I’m sure that he would not agree with my conclusions.

-Mike Horton

Yes, I know that the thread is closed but obtained permission to offer the fuller statement by Dr. Horton in the interests of fairness.
 
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