Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church

Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church
PDF Sample

Horton, Michael

Free Shipping on orders over $49

$17.99 - 10% Off

List Price: $19.99

We're sorry but this product is currently unavailable.

Listen to an episode of Christ the Center entitled Christless Christianity. (Reformed Forum)


A more important and timely volume could not have been written."
- Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Foreword by William H. Willimon

Publisher's Description

A Prophetic Wake-up Call for the American Church

Is it possible that we have left Christ out of Christianity? Are the faith and practice of American Christians today more American than Christian? Have we allowed the church to be taken captive to the prevailing culture? These are the provocative questions Michael Horton addresses in this thoughtful, insightful book. His analysis should give us pause as we consider the current state of Christianity--even evangelical Christianity—in America.

Invoking Martin Luther's treatise On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Michael Horton fears that the church in America has also been willingly taken captive. The captors are American culture and ideals: consumerism, pragmatism, self-sufficiency, individualism, positive thinking, personal prosperity, and nationalism. Though these are antithetical to the gospel, we have often made them part and parcel with it.

Horton argues that while we haven't yet arrived at Christless Christianity, we are well on our way. Though we invoke the name of Christ, too often Christ and the Christ-centered gospel are pushed aside. The result is a message and a faith that are, in Horton's words, "trivial, sentimental, affirming, and irrelevant." This alternative "gospel" is a message of moralism, personal comfort, self-help, self-improvement, and individualistic religion. It trivializes God, making him a means to our selfish ends. Horton skillfully diagnoses the problem and points to the solution: a return to the unadulterated gospel of salvation. Here is a must-read for anyone concerned about the state and future of Christianity and the church in America.

Author Information: Michael Horton, (PhD, University of Coventry and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) is J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. He hosts The White Horse Inn radio broadcast and is editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine. He is the author/editor of more than fifteen books, including Putting Amazing Back into Grace, Too Good to Be True, Introducing Covenant Theology, and A Better Way.

240 pages
Published October 2008

Book Details

240 Pages
Publisher: Baker Book House
Publication Date: October 2008
ISBN 13: 9780801013188

"Horton confronts modern evangelicalism in terms reminiscent of J. Gresham Machen's challenge to liberalism in the 1920s. Both authors spotlight flaws that do more than distort Christian faith; they reject it. Horton's brush is broad—expect loud lamentation from the evangelical camp—but the picture he paints is largely accurate. His argument is convincing: therapeutic moralism has, in fact, found a home among evangelicals."
- Parker T. Williamson, editor emeritus and senior correspondent, The Presbyterian Layman

"Christless Christianity makes an important contribution in defense of the centrality of Christ to vibrant Christian life and witness. Horton has ably helped us see the train wreck that is so much of popular Christianity. While others are legitimately concerned with errors originating in the academy, errors that excite the intellectual but few average pew sitters are even aware of, Horton turns his sharp mind to exposing the mass production of a kinder, happier legalism that robs the average Christian of the liberating joy of knowing the Jesus whose work is finished and never improved. A more important and timely volume could not have been written."
- Thabiti M. Anyabwile, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

"Christless Christianity establishes Michael Horton as the outstanding protagonist for classical Protestant orthodoxy. His wide-ranging and carefully researched examples show how our churches and megachurches have pandered to the culture with Gnostic, Pelagian, moralistic, and self-help heresies bereft of the saving action of Jesus Christ. He leaves us with a profound trust and a sure confidence in our biblical faith. What could be more important?"
- Episcopal Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison