Dug Down Deep
Dug Down Deep, Joshua Harris. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah Books, 2010, 2011. 271 pages. Reviewed by Russell A. Whitfield.
Joshua Harris has brought fresh insights to the table concerning practical issues that every Christian deals with. In his past writings, as well as Dug Down Deep Harris has again done a thorough job of applying God’s truth to life situations. The book, Dug Down Deep, is a collection of chapters that covers the basics of Christian faith in a relevant, readable, and practical way. The thirteen chapters of Harris’ book are written to provide the reader with the materials needed to deal with the question posed at the beginning. Harris personalizes the parable found in Luke 6:47-48 by asking the question, What are you building your life on? as a way to introduce the basic truths that are crucial for every Christian to build upon. The first two chapters deal with his spiritual journey that led to his understanding the need to know God. He introduces terms such as: theology, orthodoxy, and doctrine, and how they matter to every believer. His next eight chapters focus on the basic truths of the Christian faith such as: God, Scripture, the person of Jesus Christ, the Cross, salvation, justification, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, and the Church with the last chapter titled Humble Orthodoxy.
As senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland of Sovereign Grace network, Harris has interwoven his personal experiences from being the average church kid to the person he is now who aims to truly know God with the basic truths of Orthodox Christianity. Harris recognizes that his focus in his own youth group experiences was not leading him to the clear vision of God and His awesome Word. The experiences of Harris’ younger ages have been used in his life to help him understand that everyone who thinks of God is a theologian, but not necessarily a good theologian.
Dug Down Deep aligns life experiences of the author’s path to spiritual maturity with the basic tenets of the Christian faith. The first two chapters talk about his spiritual journey from just being a church kid to realizing his need to truly know God. In the first chapter, Harris says, We are all theologians and theology matters. He shares about a time in his youth group when he was asked to do a Michael Jackson impersonation to illustrate the point that no matter what we are doing, we are all theologians good or bad. His experiences as a teenager have confirmed in him the importance of orthodox theology because if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong. Next in chapter two, Harris reminds the reader that the wise builder was motivated to set his foundation deep on the rock. The motivation of the wiser builder, according to Harris, is set to remind every believer that pursuing orthodoxy and sound doctrine has to begin with a heart drawing close to Jesus(the ROCK)–not to a theological system, denomination, or book. The next eight chapters deal with the basic tenets of Christianity individually along with Harris’ personal experiences carefully woven into the pages for better understanding. These basic tenets of the Christian faith are: God, the person of Jesus Christ, the Cross, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, and the Church. The last chapter titled, Humble Orthodoxy, focuses on what he saw as important for every believer who is either new to the study of theology or been studying theology for awhile. According to Harris, each believer must ask the question: what will we do with the knowledge of God that we have? He has written this chapter with the understanding that Christians must approach the theological knowledge they have with the attitude of living it out.
Dug Down Deep, in my opinion, is a Christian theology book written in the most practical way for every believer young or old to understand. Harris has thoroughly crafted a work that informs its reader of the basic tenets of the Christian faith, as well as challenges them to become individual theologians. The humor and personal experiences expressed in each chapter has strengthen the believability and relevance of each doctrine discussed.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers of their Blogger Review Program. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”