Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

What will you build your life on?

With startling transparency, Joshua Harris shares how we can rediscover the relevance and power of Christian truth. This is book shows a young man who rose quickly to success in the Christian evangelical world before he realized his spirituality lacked a foundation—it rested more on tradition and morality than on an informed knowledge of God.

For the indifferent or spiritually numb, Harris's humorous and engaging reflections on Christian beliefs show that orthodoxy isn't just for scholars—it is for anyone who longs to know the living Jesus Christ. As Harris writes, "I've come to learn that theology matters. It matters not because we want to impress people, but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. Theology matters because if we get it wrong then our whole life will be wrong."

Whether you are just exploring Christianity or you are a veteran believer finding yourself overly familiar and cold-hearted, Dug Down Deep will help you rediscover the timeless truths of Scripture. As Harris challenges you to root your faith and feelings about God in the person, work, and words of Jesus, he answers questions such as:

What is God like and how does he speak to me?What difference does it make that Jesus was both human and divine?How does Jesus's death on the cross pay for my sins?Who is the Holy Spirit and how does he work in my life?

With grace and wisdom, Harris will inspire you to revel in the truth that has captured his own mind and heart. He will ask you to dig deep into a faith so solid you can build your life on it. He will point you to something to believe in again.

Joshua Harris is senior pastor of Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which belongs to the Sovereign Grace network of local churches. A passionate speaker with a gift for making theological truth easy to understand, Joshua is perhaps best known for his runaway bestseller, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which he wrote at the age of twenty-one. His later books include Boy Meets Girl, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is), and Stop Dating the Church. The founder of the NEXT conferences for young adults, Joshua is committed to seeing the gospel transferred to a new generation of Christians. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children.

As is often the case for me, I'm having a bit of a problem reading this non-fiction book.  I'm slowly, but surely, working my way through it, but I need to balance it out with reading other things as well!

One thing that I am really enjoying about this book is Josh's transparency.  He holds nothing back and speaks the truth about his walk with the Lord - even the times when that walk was very one-sided (on God's part). 

I was especially touched by the first chapter, where he talks about his youth group.  Having just come out of a situation where we were very involved in working with the youth, but stepped away due to some disagreements with the way the program should be run, I was glad to read that someone else agrees with me.  Josh says: "Our youth group was geared to being loud, fast paced, and fun. It was modeled on the massive and influential, seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Community Church . . . The goal was simple: put on a show, get kids in the building, and let them see that Christians are cool, thus Jesus is cool . . . Maybe I wouldn't have been interested in youth group if it hadn't been packaged in fun and games and a good band. But I still wish someone had expected more of me - of all of us.  Would I have listened? I can't know. But I do know that a clear vision of God and the power of his Word and the purpose of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection were lost on me in the midst of all the flash and fun."  This passage reminds me much of Josh's brothers' book, Do Hard Things.  (For the record, I was working through this book with the youth when the new youth leader told me that he didn't feel that the book was worthwhile.  Ugh!

Dug Down Deep - a great book for new Christians who are looking for a starting point, or for veteran Christians who need some help in learning how to more effectively study the Scriptures.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah, and can be purchased directly from the publisher.

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