My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this book right after reading RC Sproul’s Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, and while I liked that book for its encyclopedic approach to the tenets of the religion, I loved Horton’s approach to basically the same idea, presenting the basics of Christianity in an accessible way.
Horton approaches the explanation of the core of Christianity using the model of the Four Ds: Drama (the actual story running through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation), Doctrine (the tenets derived from the drama of the story), Doxology (a fancy word meaning liturgical praise, like prayers and songs), and Discipleship (the way to live as informed by the previous three Ds). It’s a formula, but it works, and it gives Horton a great scaffolding where to hang his exploration of the Bible, Christianity, and the tenets of the faith. Horton style is conversational, and the book reads as a laid-back chat. It nevertheless packs quite a few punches in how Horton explains elements of Christian doctrine with great ease. For me in particular, Chapter 8: Jesus Is Lord was an eye-opener that had me reading over paragraphs a couple times to get the depth of meaning that Horton had laid out in a few simple sentences.
Horton wants the reader, us, to realize that we aren’t bringing God into our life story, but instead we are joining God’s ongoing story of creation. In making this shift in our perception, by putting God at the center of the story, we can then live a life that is pleasing to Him, one that is informed by the drama, follows the doctrines, rejoices in the doxology, and is ready and eager for discipleship. A great book for new Christians (like me).