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Thursday, January 24, 2013

DNA (D. A. Horton)

TITLE: DNA: Foundations of the Faith
AUTHOR: Damon A. Horton
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2013, (128 pages).

This is a book of systematic theology for the layman. The title itself expresses the conviction of the author, that the Christian faith is based on foundations of God, the Bible, and lived out through life in Jesus, and outreach to the world with the gospel of Christ. Horton goes through a primer with regards to:

  1. The Bible
  2. God
  3. Sin
  4. Salvation
  5. Church
  6. Angels and Demons
  7. End times
  8. Personal Evangelism
  9. Living It the Christian Life
On the Bible, Horton briefly describes the word 'Bible,' what it means, how the Bible came to be, God's revelation, the inerrancy of the Bible, how to study the Bible, and many more.

On God, the emphasis is on Theology, Christology, and Pneumatology, which is essentially the study of God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit respectively. On Salvation, The chapter on sin gives an overview of the creation and the fall of mankind, how sin enters the world, the consequences, and the three types of sin, namely, the inherited, the imputed, and the personal sins. It ends with a call to believers, encouraging them to say no to sin. The study of salvation touches on G.R.A.C.E, faith, assurance, justification, sanctification, and glorification. On Church, or Ecclesiology, Horton explains the definition of the Church, her mission, leadership, and ordinances like the Baptism and the Lord's supper. The chapter on angels and demons unpacks who they are, how they relate to humans, who Satan is and the topic of demonic possession. Chapter 7 is about the end times, what Revelation says, on death, and how the judgment will look like.  There is also a useful summary of all the different interpretations of the Millenial times. There is a short chapter on evangelism, the Great Commission, and how to share the gospel. The last chapter challenges believers to engage the world, the culture, to live the spiritual disciplines, to understand and to connect our theology with everyday living. 

My Thoughts

It's amazing how one can pack so much into a little book for a mini-Systematic Theology survey. All the basics are covered, from God the Trinity, Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Soteriology, Hamartiology, and many more, the purpose of the book is to give laypeople a quick and concise overview of basic foundations of faith. It makes theology enjoyable to learn. Horton is clear about making sure he explains any theological terms and concepts. With ample spaces and questions to prompt readers, it is a self-guided tour for individuals who like to know a little more about theology in general. It is also designed for group study, so that people can be reminded of the basic tenets of the faith. Easy to read, it is also practice oriented, with many tips for readers to apply, like evangelism, spiritual disciplines, and how to read the Bible. In summary, this is a light-weight overview of Systematic Theology. While those of us trained in theology will find it too basic, it is important to know that there are many others who are too busy or unable to pursue a theological education for various reasons. This book whets the appetite and gives laypersons an opportunity to learn.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Moody Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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