Friday, October 21, 2011

Dug Down Deep – Joshua Harris

© 2010, 2011 Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs

Joshua Harris is probably still best known for his ground-breaking relationship book IKissed Dating Goodbye. Now, several years and a mountain of growth later, he’s no longer in the conference-speaker circuit, but is senior pastor of Covenant LifeChurch in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Even so, he is still writing books, and today we can be glad of this fact.

In Dug Down Deep, Harris deals with some very heavy issues with a very delicate hand. Systematic Theology. Just the thought, the mere mention, of the study causes eyelids to droop and even the most spiritual among us to stifle yawns. Harris takes the ho-hum out of theology. He makes the study of doctrine, theology (the study of God), soterriology, ecclessiology, and all the other big –ology words that throw Christians for a loop, accessible.

The author doesn’t neglect the big words that make us cringe, but he defines them and helps the reader to better understand them. Overall, I’d say that he treats all the big issues—the Trinity, the Deity and Humanity of Christ, the background and reason for the church, among others—rather well. Certainly he’s not as thorough as Grudem and Erickson, but that’s his point. He’s not writing for the seminary student but for the Christian who wants to learn more about faith—to dig deeper. He addresses subjects such as God, Christ, the Bible, Salvation, and the Church. Mid-book he gets bogged down with the topic of grace which requires the reader to read a little of the mind of the writer, or already have a handle on what that topic means. Other than that the book is solid and helpful for the Christian in the pew. It’s also a great read for seminary-types like me.
The newly released paperback version includes not only the notes and suggested further reading, but discussion guide questions to help the reader to think more deeply about what he has read (whether used in individual study or in a group). Four out of five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter, October 21, 2011

[Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.]

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