During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays (mostly). I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.
Today’s interview is with Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Reformation (MR) magazine, and President and host of the The White Horse Inn radio broadcast.
1. Where were you born? Los Angeles, California
2. When did you become a Christian? I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t.
3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? James M. Boice
4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? Kim Riddlebarger
5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? Psalm 23—or, if by then there are no Psalters in the Western world, How Sweet And Awful
6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? Various histories (of technology, the role of hermeticism in the founding of modernity, etc.) and books on secularization theory (pro and con).
7. Other than Calvin’s Institutes, what systematic theology have you found most helpful? It’s a toss-up between Bavinck, Berkhof and Hodge. But since Berkhof’s ST is a summary of Bavinck’s work, I’ll go with Bavinck.
8. What are one or two of your favorite fiction authors or fiction books? John Updike (especially the Rabbit series) and Umberto Eco (especially Foucault’s Pendulum)
9. What is one of your favorite non-Christian biographies? Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.
10. What is one of your favorite books on preaching? Dennis Johnson’s Him We Proclaim. Another colleague, Julius Kim, has just written one for Zondervan that I’m excited about.
12. What is one of your favorite books on apologetics? Michael Polanyi’s Personal Knowledge (not a Christian, much less an apologist, but essential reading for apologetics). Also, Esther Lightcap Meek does a good job of summarizing the book and showing its apologetic significance in Longing to Know.
13. What is one of your favorite books on prayer? John Calvin’s Commentary on the Psalms and the Book of Common Prayer (1662 ed.)
14. What is one of your favorite books on marriage? Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
15. What is one of your favorite books on parenting? Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart
16. What music do you keep coming back to on your iPhone (or CD player, or tape deck, or gramophone)? I deeply resent the gramophone remark. I squandered my youth on 8-tracks. Like everyone, I’m eclectic (with an aversion to Country). Mainly classical and anything in the Mumford and Sons vein.
17. Favorite food? Tandoori. And ice cream, of course.
18. After the Bible, a hymnal, and a shipbuilding guide, what book would you want with you on a desert island? Some book on positive self-talk to manage my self-loathing at having lost control of the ship.