Thursday 28th of January 2010 | Posted by Dave Taylor New Book From Joshua Harris
Over the years, Josh Harris has proven that he’s a fantexcellent (see ‘fantastic’ + ‘excellent’) writer and teacher. His first book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye was a conversation-shaping book within many churches, and basically set the parameters for the dating/courting/dorting issue.
I like reading Josh’s books. They’re always well written, insightful, and challenging. Dug Down Deep, which releases on 01/19/2010, is no different in that respect.
This book, however, is a little different than Josh’s previous books. It’s very conversational and autobiographical. It’s like you and Josh are hanging out, talking about the Bible and knocking back lattes at Starbucks. And I think the conversational element of the book is part of what makes it so good.
You see, this book is about doctrine. People tend to react in two ways when they hear the word ‘doctrine’. One group gets a wicked grin across their face that says, I can’t wait to beat someone into submission with this doctrine! The other group shudders in a way that says, Doctrine is cold, boring, divides churches, and is only enjoyed by boring people. But Josh won’t let you fall into either category.
Josh makes it clear that everybody is a theologian. Theology is simply what we believe about God, and we all believe stuff about God. The question is, are you a good theologian or a bad one? He also makes it clear that theology really matters. I mean really matters. He says:Theology matters, because if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong.
But theology isn’t supposed to be boring. On the contrary, good, biblical theology is at the heart of a vibrant, loving relationship with God. Josh comments:I write in hope that you’ll catch a glimpse of how good and beautiful the old paths of orthodoxy are, how firm and trustworthy the solid rock of sound doctrine can be for your life.
Because doctrine is so important, Josh then spends eight chapters talking about essential Christian doctrines. He dives into the doctrines of God, scripture, the incarnation, the atonement, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, and the church.
Don’t misunderstand though. This isn’t a systematic theology. Josh certainly explains each doctrine from scripture, but he doesn’t stop there. He also revels, marvels, and rejoices in each doctrine. It’s obvious that he’s on an all-out mission to show the reader why these doctrines matter and why they’re so glorious. For example, when talking about the atonement, he says:Do you see how essential the atonement is to the Christian faith? Apart from the cross of Jesus Christ, our lives dead-end in hopelessness and terror.
In the final chapter of the book, Josh argues for what he calls ‘humble orthodoxy’. It’s not enough to simply know the truth. Our attitude matters as well. Doctrine isn’t a weapon for us to use in theological fistfights. Rather, a true understanding of God should bring us to our knees before God. True thoughts of God always lead to humility.
If the thought of studying about God seems boring, you need to read this book. You can’t read this book without being persuaded that theology matters. A whole lot.
If you don’t know much about God, you need to read this book.
And if you’re a theology buff who has a dog named ‘Propitiate’, you should also read this book. It may give you fresh perspective on glorious truths you’ve known for many years.Dug Down Deep, reviewed by Stephen AltroggeSend Comment | Share on Facebook