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Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths…

Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last (2011)

by Joshua Harris

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Joshua Harris is a pastor and author, a father and husband, and a disciple of Christ. His book Dug Down Deep shares his journey to becoming a Christian.

The book title refers to the need to build your faith upon a solid foundation. And the author attempts to contribute to your solid foundation, first sharing with you his story of growth and enlightenment. He begins with what he terms his "rumspringa", which is based on the Amish tradition of allowing teenagers to run wild and explore the world before they make their choice on whether or not to stay in the Amish world. He says that his rumspringa couldn't compare-- he never got drunk or did drugs, but just displayed some mild rebellion-- but he was somewhat apathetic about God and his faith when he was younger. He grew his faith over time.

He then explains about the meaning of common terms like "doctrine" and "orthodoxy", and other common Christian building blocks, like the Trinity, Jesus, his crucifixion and resurrection. And his final chapter touches on how humility is needed when following and spreading God's Word. It is about recognizing how flawed we all are, and coming to God in humility and repentance.

The author is very "readable" and relatable. He doesn't talk down to you or over-complicate things. He uses a lot of personal stories (both his own and of others) as examples. And he is humble. ( )
  nfmgirl2 | Jul 6, 2014 |
Dug Down Deep : Building Your Life on Truths That Last

Joshua Harris

From the Publisher: What are you going to build your life on? Dug Down Deep is 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 covers 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.

Review: This was a good, easily read systematic theology book. I found the author’s journey to be very interesting and blended well with his theology. He is able to explain his understanding of theology to be transparent and well developed. I agree with much of his theology and am encouraged that younger people are holding to a Biblical theology by using the whole Bible and not parts of it. He has a fantastic story of mentorship and friendship with CJ Mahaney which is encouraging. Too often today people are coming up with Theology that is ‘new’ and this man has embraced the historical doctrine from the Bible.
I would like to thank Above the Trees and Multnomah for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. ( )
  Robin661 | Mar 19, 2013 |
I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6:47-48, NIV)

In Dug Down Deep, Joshua Harris (senior pastor of Covenant Life Church) shares his journey of discovering the rich, importance of doctrine and theology. Doctrine and theology – no matter how they are viewed today – are vastly important and inescapable.

Theology matters, because if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong… We’re all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true. (11)

And with that, the book takes off on the course of a systematic theology, though you’ll find no dry, dusty doctrine here. This is more of a street-level systematic, where Harris leads the reader through doctrines such as theology proper, the authority of Scripture, Christology, atonement, salvation, sanctification, pnuematology, and ecclesiology.

Those unaccustomed with doctrinal study will find this to be a welcome primer. This is a great resource from which to discover the beauty, breadth, and wonder of doctrine. However, students of the Scriptures will find Harris’s skimming of the surface a little frustrating.

The author is content to write on topics that only go as deep as the general consensus is willing to go, and shares very little that go well beyond the surface. He hints at issues beyond the surface (speaking in tongues and charismatic gifts being the most obvious), but chooses not to engage them directly. J. Gresham Machen once wrote, “the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight” (Christianity and Liberalism, p. 2).

While I would contend that the issues avoided by Harris don’t do any disservice to the work as a whole, it prevents any robust dialogue from taking place on these topics. One is simply left hungering for more.

Perhaps that is, after all, the author’s intent – to give the reader enough of a taste of doctrine that they go searching for more. If that is the case, then for this reader, it accomplishes that goal.

The final chapter turned out to be my personal favorite. In that chapter (titled Humble Orthodoxy), the author gives great encouragement to approach orthodoxy and doctrine and theology with humility.

Christians need to have a strong commitment to sound doctrine. We need to be courageous in our stand for biblical truth. But we also need to be gracious in our words and interaction with other people. (223)

In fact, Harris writes that the primary means by which we keep our orthodoxy humble is to seek to live out our beliefs.

Don’t spend all your time theorizing about it, debating about it, or blogging about it. Spend more energy living the truth you know than worrying about what the next guy does or does not know. Don’t measure yourself by what you know. Measure yourself by your practice of what you know. (226)

This book is a welcome resource for anyone ready to take the first step in learning doctrine, and a helpful reminder for those who have studied it more in depth.
  David_Norman | Mar 8, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What a great primer on Systematic Theology!

I finally finished Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. Pastor Harris is the author who is probably best known in evangelical circles as the guy who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye. But Josh is so much more than just that first book. He has written on courtship and marriage, purity issues and the importance of a vibrant connection to a local church as well.

Dug Down Deep was one of those books that once I finally read it, I regretted having let it sit on my shelves for almost two years. It is an excellent resource and one I would especially recommend to those who have never read any systematic theology like Wayne Grudem's Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Josh intersperses stories and illustrations throughout this book to help bring out both the importance of knowing God through the systematic study of doctrine as well as the application of these truths to every day life.

I especially enjoyed the last chapter where Harris asks and answers the question, 'What should studying truth do to us?" This section alone should be read by every young man entering Bible college or seminary as it addresses the struggle between being passionate about the new truths you are learning and being compassionate with others that may disagree or be a bit behind you on their journey.

I found myself laughing at times, wanting to cry sometimes but mostly wanting to shout these things from the rooftop as I read through this book. I will definitely be giving a copy to your youth pastor and recommending he consider using it to teach the teens in our church. Pick up a copy of this book and make your way through it. You will not be disappointed.

*I was provided a free copy of this book by LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program exchange for an unbiased free review. Provided by LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program. ( )
  R.I.F. | Nov 13, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Josh Harris has written an accessible guide to foundational theology. Using illustrations drawn from the world and his own life story, Harris writes about God, scripture, Jesus, the cross, salvation, sanctification, the Holy Spirit and the church. He writes with grace, calling us to dig deeper into the Christian faith and be strongly committed to our theology, in humility. Dug Down Deep tackles complex issues in a clear and simple way; its a great book to read along with somebody else to discuss together. ( )
1 vote bulldog | Aug 30, 2012 |
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To Emma Grace, Joshua Quinn, and Mary Kate

Your father loves you very much. One day when you're older, I hope you'll read this book and realize that I wrote it for you. I have no greater hope for each of you than to see you build your life on Jesus.
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Dug Down Deep is 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 covers 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.
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This 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

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