Wednesday, May 25, 2011

[Book Review] "Dug Down Deep" by Joshua Harris

When I was around 21 years old, there was popular book out which I and nearly every guy I knew hated, though most of us had not read it. Nearly every girl we knew had read it and dating on Christian colleges ground to a halt. The book was I Kissed Dating Goodbye and the author was Joshua Harris. Needless to say, I still have not read the book, but I'm sure my views on the whole thing have changed since then, being married with three children and all. The review of Joshua Harris' latest book, Dug Down Deep, follows.

Joshua Harris is the senior pastor at Covenant Life Fellowship in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As I mentioned before, he wrote the book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, a book that turned Christian dating on it's head, advocating courtship over dating. Since then, he has become a pastor and written several books on the church. In Dug Down Deep, Harris takes on the pragmatism of most Christians when it comes to doctrine. It's sort of a toned down version of J. I. Packer's Knowing God for today's Christian.

Many Christians tend to eschew doctrine just for "following Jesus," whatever that means to people. Harris wants to correct that and have people focus on knowing what they believe and why they believe it. He talks about the person of Jesus, who He was, and why He died. He gives his own story of coming to faith as a homeschooled church kid. He tells his dad's story of coming to faith.  He recognizes all that he has done wrong and how having right doctrine helps in pursuing faith.

This book is written from the heart of a pastor wanting Christians to pursue God and grow in their faith. There should not be stagnant Christians. Doctrine does matter and Harris' point is for Christians to see that. This being my first Joshua Harris book, I really like his writing style. He writes how he speaks. It's in a down to earth style with terms understandable for the average person. In other words, this is a layman's primer for understanding basic Biblical doctrine. In the final chapter, Harris writes about humble orthodoxy, which is based on a sermon he preached. In it, he encourages Christians to be humble about what they believe, as they focus on the God who saved them. The more we see the glory of God, the more humble that should make us. It should not make us proud, but humble. This edition includes a discussion guide for each chapter of the book. Even as a book on basic doctrine, the most seasoned Christian will learn from it and be encouraged in their faith.

Note: this book was provided by for a review.