Monday, January 18, 2010

I Dig Dug Down Deep

Josh Harris' new book is worth reading: Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why it Matters.

I received an advance copy from the publisher, Multnomah. You can purchase the book beginning January 19 from their website.

Honestly, I was a little skeptical of this book at first. The title really doesn't strike me as helpful. And, there is a one line blurb by Donald Miller on the top of the dust jacket. I don't know much about Donald Miller and I've never read any of his books. The few things I've heard about him wouldn't make his recommendation very valuable to me at all. I was pleased to see Piper, Dever, and Packer (Yes, Packer) endorsed the book. I was surprised there was not a recommendation by Mahaney.

Enough about that. This is an excellent book. Very fun to read. Humorous and meaty.

Basically, Dug Down Deep is a defense of theology. Harris argues that the knowledge of God and His Word is essential to growing in the Christian life. He says, "We're either building our lives on the reality of what God is truly like and what he's about, or we're basing our lives on our own imagination and misconceptions" (p. 11).

Harris shows that if you want to feel deeply about the things of God, you have to think deeply (p. 86). "Messed-up theology leads to messed-up living" (p. 12). "Sound doctrine is at the center of loving Jesus with passion and authenticity" (p. 16).

Josh does a great job in this book of pressing this important question on his readers: "What are you building your life on?"

After the first few chapters of passionate call for right thinking about God, Harris spends the majority of the book actually diving into some of the most important theological issues that we must embrace and know. Here are some of the topics/truths Josh helpfully addresses:
  • God's passion for His own glory
  • The authority and necessity of Scripture
  • The deity and humanity of Jesus
  • The atonement (chapter 6 is a fantastic and refreshing summary of the gospel)
  • The doctrine of salvation (chapter 7 is helpful in explaining that salvation is God's work and not our work)
  • Sanctification (chapter 8 has pictures!)
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Church

Josh ends with a chapter about the fact that right theology must make us more humble and loving people. The doctrines of the Bible are meant to impact our lives. We must live what we believe.

Here are a few random thoughts:

  • This is going to be my "go-to" book for discipleship of new and baby Christians. So helpful.
  • I couldn't help but think that Dug Down Deep is basically a modern and simplified version of Knowing God. Anybody else with me on this one?
  • This book is filled with personal stories and examples that make it so fun to read.
  • In chapter 7, Josh tells the story of how his dad was converted. My heart was so full of joy and confidence in God as I read this chapter. Seriously, its worth the price of the book.
  • This is going to be my "go-to" book for challenging any influenced by the emergent church movement. Josh is edgy and cool and relevant and everything else this generation wants to be. But, he is also faithful, Biblical, and gospel-drenched.
  • I'm confident this book will make my top 15 books published in 2010.
  • It's time to start thinking about which books will be given away at T4G 10. My guess is that this one will certainly be among them.


Anonymous said...

What is the emergent church movement? I've heard that terminology but am unsure what it means.

Randy said...

I honestly have no idea why Donald Miller gets a certain reputation in conservative theological circles, unless it has something to do with some of his left wing political views. I read Blue Like Jazz and thought it was an excellent narrative of an ordinary person living the gospel and talking about his own spiritual journey as well as the spiritual journeys of his friends from conversion to discipleship and spiritual growth.

Additionally, Miller and Harris are pretty close friends. Harris is originally from Oregon, which is where Miller now lives, so it makes a lot of sense that he would endorse it. I think his endorsement is important because Miller is well liked by the emergent folks (despite never denying any orthodox doctrine). If that leads some in emerging church movement to check out Dug Down Deep it's definitely a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Just echoing a previous comment: what is the emergent church movement and where do I get more info on it?

pastor justin said...

It is very hard to define what the emergent church movement is.

This is a helpful "primer":,,PTID314526_CHID598014_CIID2249226,00.html

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could do a post on what you believe the emergent church movement is. I couldn't open up the link you put in your comment.