My first experience with Joshua Harris came a long, long time ago when I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye, roughly about the time I was getting into college and the rough years that lay before me. His books sucked me in and introduced me to a world I had not experienced previously. I was an arrogant Arminianist and certainly did not have a humble orthodoxy. In fact I wouldn’t have even known what that meant back in the day. Ten years later and after many hours of study I can say, humbly, that God is shaping my theology based on the truth revealed in his word and not on what I think the Bible should say. Joshua Harris has been a great help to me, both in sermon and print. In fact, I “founded” Dug Deep Ministries in 2009-2010 after reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. It brought me into a deep and clear understanding of how a Christian should deal with theology. Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down was the call to action that came in the form of the final chapter of Dug Down Deep. Though Humble Orthodoxy stands as its own work, I can’t separate it from Dug Down Deep.
Joshua Harris has quoted a cartoon that I find hilarious. It’s a picture of a man standing in front of Peter at the gate of heaven and Peter tells the man, “You were a believer, yes. But you skipped the not-being-a-jerk-about-it part.” That’s a very good summary of this new book. It’s a very short read but it’s packed with very relevant and applicable truths. It’s a call to action that many will be outed by and yet it’s a necessary read for many in the church, including myself. If I was going to recommend this book it would be for me first then for those whom I love and care for. This book is that important. We can’t afford to pass it up .
Harris has noticed the arrogance that can be found across the landscape of American Evangelicalism and has written a prescription to reverse the arrogant orthodoxy running rampant in our churches. He makes the call a personal one when he reaches out to his readers and says, “Friend, the truth is not about us. It’s not self-determined. It’s not an accessory. It is about God… In eternity we’ll see the silliness of self-righteousness and quarreling over the non-essentials.” Harris reminds us again and again in this small volume to not be arrogant about the truth that has been revealed to us, as though we were the sole heirs and holders of this precious truth. We are urged not to stand beside the cross of Christ and shake our heads at the sinners who don’t get it but we are to be on our faces before the cross and telling others, “there’s more room here”.
When this book came in the mail I was very disappointed at the size of it. I was hoping to have an exegetical volume on orthodoxy but what I got instead was a humble call to defend the truth without being a jerk about it. I got a kick in the pants, an eye opener in the span of the hour or two it took me to read it. It’s definitely one I will continue to fall on to keep me grounded in humble orthodoxy. I am highly grateful for Harris for calling the church back to orthodoxy that isn’t brash or hateful. I commend this book to anyone who loves God but hates the church. I know, being in the reformed camp, many of us can be quick to point out others errors in how they handle certain texts, even coming out blatantly against them, though they are brothers. Read this book and fall on your face before the holder of all truth.
Pick up your copies of these fine books from Christianbook.com
By Joshua Harris / Multnomah Books
By Joshua Harris / Random House, Inc
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