I love books. I suppose I’m sometimes prone to think that a particular book I’ve read recently is one of the most important books and that everyone needs to read it.
But I’m not exaggerating when I say that about The Thrill of Orthodoxy by Trevin Wax. It really is one of the most important books written in the past couple of years.
We live in an atheological age. Many think that theology is boring, irrelevant, and divisive. I’ve heard church leaders say we need to pay less attention to what we believe and more attention to how we behave — a false dichotomy if I’ve ever heard one.
Many argue for a lowest-common-denominator version of Christianity in which we de-emphasize doctrine and agree to disagree. Even worse, sometimes we get bored with doctrines that really matter.
Wax’s new book makes the case for the beauty and necessity of orthodoxy. “The adventure of life is a fight for astonishment, a determination to resist growing bored in a world of wonders,” he writes. Or, as he states later in the book: “…the key to renewal is to return to the only truth that is reliable and sturdy when so much in the world seems fleeting and faddish: the gospel of God delivered once for all to the saints.”
Wax isn’t arguing for a heady fascination with dusty doctrines. He’s arguing that we recover the wonder of the amazing truths that God has entrusted to us. He wants us to reject pragmatism, heresy, and — perhaps just as dangerous — dullness to the truth that God’s revealed.
In other words, Wax is addressing one of the besetting sins of the church in our age. It’s why I think that his new book really matters. I’d like to see every church leader read it and think about how to apply this book within the church.
One of our greatest needs today, as the world gets darker, is to strengthen our grip on truths that will sustain us and that should amaze us. We’re not just meant to believe them. We’re also meant to be changed by them, to find unity around them. They’re meant to inoculate us against the many false teachings circulating around us that threaten to kill us. As we strengthen our grip on the doctrine that Christians have always held, we’ll be better equipped to obey and carry this message into the world. We need to recover the thrill of orthodoxy.
My Interview with Trevin Wax
I was privileged to interview Wax about his book on the Gospel for Life podcast.
If you’re interested in listening to the interview, subscribe using your favorite podcast platform, or listen to the interview below.
You can also download a transcript of the interview: