4 comments on “Horton, Wingren, and Luther on Working for Your Neighbor

  1. One wonders how this: “We are no longer debtors to God in any respect โ€” not even to his grace, but are grateful heirs” fits with Horton’s confessional tradition of law-reading, mercy-groveling, absolution-granting services.

    Are we not ever debtors to grace? For what else do we give thanks? Seems to be redeemed is to be necessarily in debt to Christ forever.

    In glory it sounds like folks are praising Christ for his work; doesn’t it imply debt? Rev 5:9f ~ And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

    And this: “For this first time, we can render obedience that comes from the heart of sons rather than slaves,” seems a false dichotomy.

    As his slaves (Paul’s favorite term, re-popularized this month by John MacArthur), do we not owe (as in debt) gratitude and service to our King?

    Though he be no less our Friend and Brother and Counselor and Husband, He is ever our Lord and Savior and… you get the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t think the redeemed will ever stop affirming Psalm 116:1 ~ “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.”


  2. Totally agree Hugh. However, the quotes above are from an essay that focuses on Christ’s satisfaction of the demands of the Law on the behalf of believers. I think that this is the sense that Horton is using the word “debt.” After all, Horton does say that we are “grateful heirs.”

    I will say that Horton’s language gets more and more flowery as the essay goes on. I can only abide flowery language so long ๐Ÿ™‚ After finishing the book, I began reading Gordon Clark’s “Essays on Ethics and Politics,” and Clark’s clear, concise style was like a breath of fresh air.


  3. A rational Clark massage again helping undo undue VanTillite kinks!*

    Horton could no doubt chalk it up to ‘paradox,’ that we’re grateful heirs not in debt to our Benefactor!

    Is not the illegitimate child indebted to the adopting Parent?
    The cur not indebted to the merciful dog-Catcher (& Transformer!)?
    The convict not indebted to the pardoning Judge?
    The whore not indebted to the forgiving Bridegroom?

    * For fresh horrid poesy, see http://dogmadoxa.blogspot.com/2011/01/whats-message-of-bible-in-one-sentence.html, particularly Ortlund’s & Wilson’s answers.


  4. Pingback: Living as Easter People (2) | internetmonk.com

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