The Gospel Coalition

Mike Horton rightly warns against depending on "guidance technology" to put wind in our sails:
Like a sailboat equipped with the most sophisticated guidance technology, our Christian lives are often decked out with the latest principles for living, with spiritual guidance counselors telling us what will make life really work for us and our families. Oftentimes, brand new Christians sail out of the harbor under full sail, eager to follow the guidance system, making use of all the gadgets, enthusiastically listening to every fellow boater who has some advice to offer. Yet as many long-time believers know, eventually the winds die down and we find ourselves dead in the water. Then when storm clouds gather on the horizon, we discover that all of the guidance technology and good advice in the world cannot fill our sails so that we can return safely to the harbor. The equipment can plot our course, tell us that a storm is coming, and indicate our present location, but it cannot move us one inch toward the safety of the harbor. In other words, if we are looking for motivation in the Christian life, it cannot come from motivational principles; only the gospel fills our sails...While God's wise directions are necessary, apart from the ever present word of promise that, despite our failures at sea, God is at the helm piloting us to safety, we will eventually give up on sailing altogether. Purposes, laws, principles, suggestions, and good advice can set our course, but only the gospel promise can fill our sails and restore to us the joy of our salvation.

The Gospel Driven Life, pg. 143-144



October 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM

thank you for recommending " the Death of Death in the Death of Christ". But I am limiting myself to The Intrductory Essay and Analysis of the book by J.I. Packard, I'm not quite settled in the Calvinist camp yet. (that's my excuse for not reading Owen)
By the way have a safe and blessed trip.

Reg Schofield

October 24, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Reading Horton's book and find it so impacting. The fact is the more I trust the gospel message and understand the grace I have received through and in Christ the more at peace I'm.

Don Sartain

October 24, 2011 at 08:24 AM

I love it! Reading Jesus + Nothing = Everything now, absolutely fantastic!

paul st.jean

October 24, 2011 at 05:34 AM

Amour of God, don't leave home without it. Eph 6:10-20 and pray for me too thanks God bless!

paul st.jean

October 24, 2011 at 01:36 PM

How did you get the book early? That's not fair.


October 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM

1st, God did answer your prayer this morning, I don't think it's possible to teach such a message without divine intervention sadly though many won't even make it to there car and there already talking about anything other then what the Holy Spirit just gave us, to them it's just proof in the pudding it was all mechanics, Vanity! Now that you made it possible to view the sermons by the following day I have all week to view and study it as often as I will.(and I do) I hope that many of us here who are afar are doing the same.

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October 23, 2011 at 03:11 PM

good book; Michale Horton does challenge your thinking.


October 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Kelvin Thiessen

October 22, 2011 at 09:18 AM

Best direction comes from Him! Bible GPS as found in Isaiah 30:21

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

His voice keeps us on track and keeps us from becoming discouraged.

Steve Martin

October 22, 2011 at 04:45 PM


That is why so called "3rd use" (the guide for the Christian life) is akin to letting the fox back in the hen house.

Not needed. And dangers lurk therein.


October 22, 2011 at 03:33 PM

Interesting thoughts from Michael Horton. I will have to keep thinking about what he wrote. I am not sure what that looks like in my life. I must admit that I tend to find theology kind of abstract and unconnected to my life, so I gravitate toward tangible, real-life, authentic help, rather than theology. So far, this approach to life has worked really well, but I will try to understand better what Horton is talking about. Thanks for post, Pastor Tullian!

Mike the Mad Theologian

October 22, 2011 at 03:26 PM

It is every easy to rely on our methods and our ability rather than God's power in the gospel. Thanks for the reminder.