About 8 years ago I did everything I could to avoid Joshua Harris. I thought he was just an American Kid who was obsessed with girls and relationships. His book, I Kissed dating goodbye, was spreading like wild fire around the CU’s and causing a number of pastoral problems.
However, 5 years ago I came across a little, hard back book called: Stop dating the church. I was intrigued, read it, and LOVED it. It was an amazingly wise, helpful and challenging book. So, I started following him on the internet and learnt that he was now the Pastor who had taken over from CJ Mahaney, was preaching amazing messages, and ran a great conference called New Attitude (now called NEXT).
So it was with great anticipation that I waited for his latest book to be released: Dug Down Deep, unearthing what I believe and why it really matters.
DDD (Dug Down Deep) is the story of Joshua’s life and spiritual journey. It is both an honest autobiography and a simple, but beautiful, explanation of some major Biblical truths. I loved reading about Joshua’s background and seeing how he has gone through quite a few phases (crazy youth work with a Michael Jackson dance, and extreme Pentecostal ism) yet has come out the other end. Encouragingly he has come out all the more gracious and loving. Indeed, I posted this quote last week:
I estimate that somewhere near the first ten thousand years of heaven will be taken up with the redeemed people of God apologizing to each other for all the ways we judged each other, jostled for position, were proud and divisive and arrogant toward each other. (Of course this is just an estimate, it could be the first twenty thousand years.)
Isn’t that a great attitude?
I guess this is what Joshua would call Humble Orthodoxy. This is his belief that the more orthodox (believing the right things about the revealed God) you are, the more humble you will become. However, Joshua notes that we often see ‘orthodoxy’ producing ‘jerks’ (his word!). It was so refreshing to read about humble orthodoxy.
Within the book you get a basic introduction to why theology is important and vibrant; why the Bible is alive; Jesus; the Holy Spirit; and the church. These chapters are simple, short and addictive. Indeed, in his chapter on Sanctification he shows us some of his cartoon drawings.
So, who should read this book?
1. Those who have never read a ‘doctrine book’ or ‘systematic theology’. If you want a basic introduction to what the Bible teaches and who God is: This is the book for you.
2. ‘Jerks’. That is, if you are a Christian who has read loads of doctrine, but have found yourself becoming harsh and dry…get this book! Let the humble orthodoxy that Joshua demonstrate challenge and encourage you.
3. Someone going on holiday. If you fancy a light read that is both funny and forming, this is the book for you.