I cannot begin to describe how good this book is. And it's not because it's thrilling, or uplifting, or easy to read. On the contrary, it is just the opposite, but that's what makes it good. It's a slow, rich, convicting bundle of TRUTH. Don't let the small size fool you; it may take you a while to get through this one.
Joshua Harris has taken his most-praised chapter from his book “Dug Down Deep”, expanded it and turned it into this gem of a book. The meaning behind the title, “Humble Orthodoxy”, is well explained in the first chapter. The subtitle, “Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down”, is where it gets hard, because it implies the obvious need for application.
In just four chapters, Josh Harris spells out the problem (the arrogant, doctrinally-correct vs. the gracious, no-convictions pushovers), why it's a problem, the solution (you CAN speak the truth in love!), and where the solution should begin (in you).
Most often, new believers or seasoned Christians alike fall prey to pride. New-found knowledge usually leads to pride, and pride is obviously what keeps one from being humble. But if you look around, it seems nearly impossible to be both doctrinally accurate and humble. Are the only options humble heterodoxy, or arrogant orthodoxy? Harris says no. The balance of knowing the truths of Scripture while remaining humble is found in remembering your position in Christ, of staying within the shadow of the cross, of recalling the sacrifice that was made for your sin.
“We must care deeply about truth, and we must also defend and share this truth with compassion and humility.” (pg 13) If we always keep grace in the forefront, we will not be tempted to get puffed up, or pride ourselves on how much theology we know and understand.
“In other words, Christians are humble because their understanding of truth is not based on their own intelligence, their own research, their own acumen. Rather, it is 100% dependent on the grace of God. Christian knowledge is a dependent knowledge. And that leads to humility.” (pg 14, quoting Michael Kruger)
Harris recommends using application as a practical tool against pride. If you're more concerned with how well you live out what you know, rather than what you know, you will be less concerned with how you look or sound before others.
I think the last chapter was my favorite, where he gave a small glimpse of what heaven might be like: Of grace, and humility, and forgiveness, and thankfulness. Where all of truth will be revealed, and the mysteries and perplexities of this life are resolved and forgotten. Of loving hearts, joyful spirits, and pure humility when kneeling before the all-knowing God. Only there in Him will we find the perfect balance of truth and humility.
I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah publishers in exchange for this review. These opinions are my own and I was not compelled to write a favorable review.
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