Monday, January 25, 2010

Dug Down Deep

A friend of mine, enthusing over a speaker at a meeting recently, said something along these lines to me: "Theology is good and all, but this guy got powerlah!" (In other words, this guy had great rhetoric). I, unfortunately, couldn't think of what to say in response during that time. But it showed something that seems embedded in the thinking of many Christians here, that somehow doctrine and experience are to be separated. We wouldn't go so far as to say doctrine doesn't matter, but it's the other stuff that really gets us pumping as Christians. Which dismays me, because the opposite is true. What we really believe really does matter, because it drives all other areas of our life. There's a reason Scripture exhorts us to watch our doctrine closely. In fact, I would say the aforementioned speaker was the least powerful where his theology was weakest.

Which is why I'm pleased to hear of Josh Harris' latest book, Dug Down Deep, and why I'm choosing to feature the book here. This is a book about doctrine, told through the lens of Josh's personal experience. Josh speaks of his hopes for the book: "I hope the book will be accessible to people who might not normally read theological books. That includes Christians who are turned-off by doctrinally faithful but arrogant believers as well as people who are skeptical of the usefulness of Christian doctrine. I also hope that it will be given to friends outside the faith who have never really understood basic Christian beliefs."

Furthermore, Josh Harris, because he is known as the guy who wrote that dating book, reaches a wider constituency than other Christian writers who fall in his camp. His style is also deliberately very simple, which I think is a plus. We need Josh Harrises alongside the Don Carsons.

I've come to realise that because Malaysians don't read in general, so just recommending or giving a good Christian book isn't a very good strategy to help each other mature in Christ, the goal of every Christian. It either doesn't get read or just read superficially. But the reading of good Christian books can still be useful in the larger context of a relationship, of ongoing teaching and discipling. And I hope that Dug Down Deep might still prove useful in this regard.

Challies and DashHouse have fuller reviews if you want to know more about the book. You can find out more about the book and preview Chapter 1 here.

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Blogger 1023 said...

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today..........................

2:08 am  
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2:42 am  

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