Book Review – Dug Down Deep

What are we basing our lives upon?  Does our own Christian faith have a solid foundation?  Are we “religious” simply because that’s what we’ve been taught?  Why do we believe what we believe?  Do we even know what we believe?

These are the types of questions that Joshua Harris challenges us with in Dug Down Deep. In simple conversational tones, Harris takes the reader through his own journey of faith, uncovering what he believes and how he got there.  He uses the parable of the wise man and foolish man (Luke 6:46-49) who built their houses on different foundations.  The wise man “dug down deep” to a solid rock foundation while the foolish man did not.  In the same way, Harris is encouraging Christians to do the same — make sure we know what we believe and why in order to have our faith on a solid foundation.  Writing part autobiography, part systematic theology, he discusses a few of the foundational doctrines of Christianity such as:

  • God, focusing on his “imminent yet transcendent” nature
  • Scripture
  • Jesus (“God with a belly button”)
  • Salvation
  • Sanctification
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Church

Throughout the book, Harris focuses on the importance of doctrine/orthodoxy.  He says, “I’ve come to learn that theology matters.  And it matters not because we want a good grade on a test but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live.” (p.10)

The final chapter (“Humble Orthodoxy”) was the best one and most convicting for me as it addressed the need not to simply know doctrine but to live it.  As Harris puts it, “Do you want to keep your orthodoxy humble?  Try to live it.  Don’t spend all your time theorizing about it, debating about it or blogging about it.  Spend more energy living the truth you know than worrying about what the next guy does or doesn’t know.  Don’t measure yourself by what you know.  Measure yourself by your practice of what you know.”  (p.214)

The book is in no way academic nor is it meant to be.  There are other and better books for studying the many facets of theology.  Harris’ aim is to stir up a desire to study these facets more, allowing them to permeate our lives and change the way we live.  Once again, I’ll let Harris himself explain the book: “Dug Down Deep is my reveling in theology in my own simple way—not too polished, sometimes awkward, less than scholarly, hopefully gracious and faithful.  Even though these are deep truths, I don’t pretend to be swimming in the deep end of the pool.  I’m splashing in the shallow end.  But if my splashing can inspire you to dive in, I will have succeeded.” (p.33) Much of the theology Harris writes about will perhaps be obvious to many readers.  But sometimes, we need to be reminded of the obvious in a simple, personal way in order for us to make it personal in our lives.

(Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah for providing a review copy of this book.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: