Doctrine may as well be a four letter word, for as much as Christians sometimes seem to despise its mention. In Dug Down Deep, Joshua Harris tells us not only why we feel that way, but why it's wrong to ignore doctrine and theology as part of our faith - indeed he says they are the bedrock on which our faith is built.
Joshua's book reveals his journey to understand a solid theology. He talks about his discovery of what theology means, and how it is relevant to every Christian. As he describes the basics about God, the Word, Jesus, salvation, justification, the Holy Spirit and the church, he logically and thoroughly gives a picture of a doctrinal position that is Biblical and honest, without being overly technical or difficult to understand.
Using Luke 6:47-48 as a scriptural basis for why doctrine is important, Joshua Harris gives the reader a definitive picture of its relevance, and then describes what doctrine is critical and common to every believer. Doctrine can feel like a difficult and potentially unneeded understanding - after all, if I'm saved, all I need is Jesus, right? But Harris argues that understanding doctrine is not only necessary but important to being certain of your faith. The knowledge of the basic tenets of doctrine support the long haul nature of a believer's journey - knowing who God is, the ways he acts in the world, and what to expect from him make it possible to trust him fully.
This book offers a succinct doctrinal summary without being arbitrary or condescending. It has a great study guide with questions that help the reader dig deeper. Grounded in the Word, and clear about the essentials, this is a good book that will stretch any Christian's understanding of the intricacies of their faith.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
Joshua Harris does an excellent job in his book Dug Down Deep of presenting doctrine and orthodoxy in a new and fresh way. He takes the timeless truths of scripture and relates them to today's reader in a way that encourages you to spend more time in study on these topics. I went through two highlighters as I read this book. As a youth pastor, it is one of those books that I would love to get into the hands of every student and find a way to make them read it.
The entire book was a pleasure to read, but my favorite chapter was the one entitled "Changed, Changing, To Be Changed," which dealt with the doctrine of sanctification. It was very thought provoking in its points and pointed me to several deeper understandings that I had previously held. Of course, maybe I just liked this chapter the most because it had pictures.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to better understand the truths of Scripture or who likes to be reminded of things they already know, but in a new and fresh way.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
I am one of the Christians that Josh describes in his book who 'knew a lot about the Christian religion, and so little about God'. The emphasis in my early Christian lfe was on developing a friendship with Jesus and embracing all of the 'good feelings' associated with following him.
I missed so much. I missed the opportunity to truly know him - through grounded and unapologetic doctrine. I was afraid of it, that in some way, absorbing all of the theology would diminish my love for Jesus. This book reminded me and encouraged me, that it is the theology that will actually move me towards knowing and loving him more.
I am so thankful for this book and for the simple and tender way with which it is written. Josh speaks through personal experience and careful observation that guides the reader through the process of embracing the need to dig deep!
Joshua Harris is the senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Portland Oregon, and was a student of C.J. Mahaney who had helped to found that same church. Josh is also the author of several books including I kissed Dating Goodbye and Stop Dating the church.
His latest book is actually a reprint that now comes with a study guide and a fancy cover. I got this book as a "freebie" to review, but I am so glad I picked this one up.
Joshua's book is sort of a beginner's guide to doctrine. Through each chapter, Josh takes the reader alongside his own personal journey all the while expressing deep theological truths. Dug Down Deep covers the nature of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, atonement, sin, the sovereignty of God, propitiation and regeneration. That to say, it's not some thin drop in the bucket either - this is a real book - it has weight and substance (and hand drawn monster pictures).
While I was reading it, I was thinking, "I am going to buy this book for everyone who becomes a believer at my church." I think this would make a great Ã¢â¬Ëguide' for people new to the faith, because it covers all the bases and would get new Christians off on solid footing.
Josh writes, "The doctrine of Scripture teaches us about the authority of God's Word. Scripture must be the final rule of faith and practice for our lives. Not our feelings or emotions. Not signs or prophetic words or hunches."
The book reads easy as much of it are stories from Josh's life, but at the same time the author gives a very orthodox outline of the basic Christian faith. I loved this book - highly recommended.
Recently I signed up to review books for WaterBrook Multnomah and I am so glad I did. My first selection for my complimentary copy was the book "Dug Down Deep" (Building Your Life on Truths That Last) by Joshua Harris. Before I read this book, all I knew about Joshua Harris was that he was the guy "that kissed dating goodbye" :) I didn't realize that he is currently serving as the senior pastor of a church in Maryland, and that he is an amazing author with a gift for writing.
If I had to rate this book I would give it a 5 star rating out of a possible 5 stars. It was that good. Actually I was a little nervous to read this book because it is a book about theology. Words like orthodoxy and doctrine are discussed and better yet explained in this book. I always felt that only theologians could understand doctrine, but Joshua Harris helped me to understand what doctrine is and how I could actually live out the truths that are in God's Word.
Harris breaks down the basics of faith-God, scripture, Jesus, the Cross, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, and the church (taken from back cover of book). I have been a Christian for over 25 years and I still did not have a knowledge or understanding about some of the things that Joshua Harris explained to me in his book. After reading this book, I actually feel that my faith in God has been strengthened because I now understand key verses in scripture that I had not really understood before. As the title of the book states Joshua Harris wants his readers to "dig deep".
"Dug Down Deep" will be a book that I keep and refer to in the future as I study my Bible. This book is also a great book for Small Group studies because there is a discussion guide with probing questions in the back of the book for every chapter. I would actually love to go through this book as a study with a group of my peers. This book also contains a heavy amount of scripture in it which I think is a must if you were going to use it as a Bible study book in a Small Group.
In closing I think this book will appeal to all readers, not just professing Christians. I say this because Joshua Harris gives his personal testimony about how he began his spiritual journey as an "apathetic church kid" but as a young student developed a burning passion to truly know God. Joshua Harris also is very candid and shares some of his own personal struggles which helps him relate to his readers in an authentic way. I think those people who do not have a faith would find Joshua Harris refreshing. If not refreshing, at least honest and real.
Thank you WaterBrook Multonomah for this wonderful book.
(In exchange for the complimentary copy of this book, I had to write and post a review)