Thursday, April 18, 2013

Humble Orthodoxy: A Book Review

Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth High without Putting People Down. By Joshua Harris (with Eric Stanford). Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah Books. pp. 96. 2013. (List Price $9.99 Paperback | $9.99 Kindle)

4 out of 5 stars
In today’s world there is a growing market for short, simple, low-cost books on specific topics. Humble Orthodoxy is one of these. At 96 pages and about five inches long, the book could easily fit in your pocket. As a hardcover, its likely that the publisher thought its readers would be carrying the book around in a backpack or purse.

Joshua Harris, who I first encountered in the early 2000s via I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, is now a pastor. In that role he’s very aware of the importance of caring for truth and caring for people. In an age and culture where certainty and conviction about the truth the the Bible and the exclusivity of salvation through faith in Christ are rejected as self-righteous and arrogant, Harris points out that uncertainty and a lack of conviction where the Bible is clear proves to be the more arrogant position.

If we’re truly humble, we’ll acknowledge that we need truth from God. We won’t think that we can invent or create our own ideas about who God is. Humility will lead us to accept God’s words and his explanation for the world and our need for salvation.

More than just confronting a lack of conviction on biblical truth under the guise of humility, what he calls “humble heterodoxy,” Harris’ real target is on “arrogant orthodoxy.” As Paul warned his readers in 1 Corinthians, “knowledge puffs up.” Humble Orthodoxy seeks to take the focus off of everyone else and put it squarely on ourselves. Do I measure up to the truth that I proclaim? If not, am I confronting my sin and placing my trust in Christ? While there is a need to confront error, Harris reminds his readers that there is a reason the Bible emphasizes holding on to truth with love.

In all, Harris’ book is a welcome one. It wasn’t too shocking or surprising, but it was a good reminder about the importance of being both humble and orthodox in our teaching and actions. I hope to see the message of humble orthodoxy getting more air time on Christian blogs and in conversations, that we might embody the truths we proclaim.

I received this book for the purposes of writing a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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