This book is the story of how I learned to dig deep into truth and build my life on a real knowledge of God. I want to share how I learned that orthodoxy isn’t just for old men but for anyone who longs to behold a God who is bigger and more real and glorious than the human mind can imagine.
On one hand, we really shouldn’t need this book. We already have lots of clearly written books on basic theology like Basic Christianity by John Stott. Even Grudem’s Systematic Theology isn’t that hard to read. Youth groups are studying it these days.
But we desperately need this book, and ones like it. I’m shocked on a fairly regular basis by the theological ignorance of people who really should know better. Many simply don’t know much about the basic doctrines of Christianity, and don’t seem to care that they don’t know. J.I. Packer reminds us that the solution to the ills in the church is to “teach, teach, teach”. So this could be a very timely book.
Harris reminds us that we are all theologians, although some of us are very bad ones. He does a good job of covering basic areas of theology, like the doctrine of God, the doctrine of Scripture, salvation, and the church. He’s very readable, and some of the chapters are simply outstanding.
He manages to do all of this without coming across as a know-it-all. His chapter on humble orthodoxy reminds us that good theology should make us humble. “The solution to arrogant orthodoxy is not less orthodoxy,” he writes. “It’s more. If we truly know and embrace orthodoxy, it should humble us.”
Harris also manages to address some common issues today in the topics he covers. You can tell he’s in tune with common questions and objections when he covers a topic, which is the beauty of a recently written book. It’s also fresh. No generation should invent theology, but every generation has to rediscover it. Harris does a good job of helping the reader do this.
My only real criticism is that I wish it had another chapter on the future (eschatology or end times). Harris addresses this in an interview with Tim Challies, and I guess I can live with his answer, although I still miss the chapter.
The best endorsement I can give this book is to say that I plan on buying it to give away to some others. My favorite books are those that are theologically rich, and that apply that theology to life in a clear and winsome way. Dug Down Deep fits the bill. I recommend it.
This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.