Came across two great quotes.
Pastors, teachers and elders are not "life coaches" who help us in our personalized goals for spiritual fitness, but gifts given by the Ascended Lord so that the whole church might become mature and less susceptible to being spiritually duped (Eph. 4:1-16).....not surprisingly, ministers today are regarded more as "life coaches" who facilitate our self-transformation than as ambassadors of Christ, devoted to the Word of God and prayer, so that they can spread a feast on behalf of the King for His people in this world.
-- Michael Horton in Modern Reformation (HT: Crossroads)
I would argue that the reason so many unbelievers can sit comfortably in our churches and even call themselves born-again Christians is that we give them very little to deny. The offensive message of the cross has been replaced with “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” with the cross tucked somewhere underneath it.
-- Michael Horton (HT: Boar's Head Tavern)
I also learned today that Horton has a new book coming out in October called Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. It's gonna be good.
From the publisher's note:
Is it possible that we have left Christ out of Christianity? Is the faith and practice of American Christians today more American than Christian? These are the provocative questions Michael Horton addresses in this thoughtful, insightful book. He argues that while 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.
HT for that news: New City Church