Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris
Contrary to the oft-heard sentiment among Christians that they “just want to love Jesus” and dispense with the wrestling with the challenges of theology, Pastor Joshua Harris says that “we can’t know him and relate to him in the right way without doctrine.” We know the redeemer, but through the study of doctrine we come to fully understand the contours of how God is working in His world. The study of doctrine enables us to understand “what he’s done and why he’s done it”.
Dug Down Deep is an unexpected joy. Having read and studied many of the lengthy, challenging theological treatises that he references throughout the book, Harris has produced a systematic theology that doesn’t read like the typical volume of this type. Dug Down Deep approaches the key doctrines of Christianity in the pastoral voice of your friend Josh. He swaddles the theological truth with personal accounts, showing over and over how different points of doctrine have a direct application to day to day life.
While Harris has gone to great lengths to make the book approachable for Christians who locate themselves nearly anywhere along the continuum of spiritual maturity, it has a depth that will make it a useful book to return to again and again throughout life. The reader can take away as much as their maturity enables them to understand within each chapter without getting overwhelmed. Repeated reads through the chapters will give new insights and scriptures to meditate upon enough for many years of fruitful study. This book belongs an many shelves where no doctrinal guides exist now.
Pastor Harris’ conversational approach would make this book especially useful for youth and young Christian study groups. He has a pastoral heart for people to know their Lord better and each topic is designed to invite you in and to understand Him on a deeper level. More mature Christians will find the quotes by Packer, Sproul, Stott and others and will gain the confidence to approach some their more challenging theologies.
I’m grateful to Multnomah Books who provided this book for review.