Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Dug Down Deep

Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last     -     
        By: Joshua Harris

From the publisher:
Dug Down Deep is a systematic theology like you've never seen it before.  Readable.  Relevant. Powerful.  As best-selling author Joshua Harris shares his own journey from apathetic church-kid to student with a burning passion to truly know God, you'll be challenged to dig deep into the truths of God's Word.
With humor, conviction, and compelling insight, Dug Down Deep cover the basics of faith - God, scripture, Jesus, the Cross, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, and the church.  Don't settle for superficial faith; dig deep.


The author uses an style unusual for most books on doctrines.  Basically, you read a page or two of personal stories and then a page or two of doctrine.  So it is a biographical/theological mix.  The writing style is very easy to read.  The author uses a lot of sentence fragments.  On purpose.  Unfortunately.  I prefer complete sentences.  But, I get that this is an issue of style.

This edition of the book includes a reflection and discussion guide at the end of the book.  This would be a great resource if you were going through this book in discipling a younger person or with a group.  He also includes a recommended reading list to further explore specific doctrines.

My thoughts:

Joshua Harris does a wonderful job of simplifying complex doctrines such as the imminence and transcendence of God, the atonement and the incarnation.  There was at several spots that I marked to share with my children.  For some  doctrines (specifically tongues and healing) he seemed to flip-flop from page to page on what his beliefs really were.  In referring to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit he said, "I'm going to do my best to skirt the controversial issues associated with him."  He tried but it made for confusing reading.

The author is very candid.  He openly shares how he has struggled in his journey to know what he believes and how to live it.  But his candor tended to be coupled with language that was occasionally....(and I've thought long and hard about the word I'm using)....indelicate.  To me it seemed unnecessary and out of place considering his topic - doctrine.  (Ok, in my mind I found myself repeatedly saying, "Seriously, did you have to say it that way?")

Overall, I think that this is a valuable book for basic theology.  And hopefully it would be a springboard for deeper study.  However, I personally wouldn't recommend it to everyone because of the language he sometimes chooses to use.      

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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