One of the biggest surprises about this book is its size. When you think of a book titled Humble Orthodoxy, you would think that it would require a couple hundred pages at least to even get warmed up on the topic. Humble Orthodoxy weighs in at 80 pages long, including a study guide. But do not let that fool you. This book is definitely worth your time.
This is now the second book by Joshua Harris I have read, with the first one being Dug Down Deep. It is because I read Dug Down Deep that I was even interested in this book. Josh’s writing has definitely evolved throughout the years from the time he wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye and that should not come as a surprise in that most writers get better as they continue writing and maturing. I do not say that because I believe some of Josh’s earlier books were not right on or anything like that but just to say that reading his stuff now is enjoyable and challenging. He writes with an understanding and grasp on topics which he is then able to put in terms that anyone can understand. His readers do not need to have a graduate degree to understand. Along those lines, Humble Orthodoxy is a short, but not watered down product that could benefit Christians of any age.
Humble Orthodoxy is a challenge to believers to hold the truth of God high and not look down on those who might not understand what we do. It is very easy for those who profess to be Christians to get puffed up in their knowledge and understanding and thus wind up looking down on those who have not attained their knowledge. The Pharisees had this problem throughout the New Testament and they are also the ones who Jesus butted heads with most often. But, it was not necessarily the knowledge itself that is bad, but how we present our knowledge. “Orthodoxy refers to right thinking about God” (p. 1) and this book spends all of its pages presenting the fact that in our thinking about God, right thinking, we need to make sure we are living rightly with our knowledge. “Truth matters…but so does our attitude. This is what I mean by humble orthodoxy: we must care deeply about truth, and we must also defend and share this truth with compassion and humility” (p. 5).
The book is divided into 4 different chapters: Your Attitude Matters, With a Tear in Our Eye, Repentance Starts with Me and Living for God’s Approval. Each of these areas points to humility from a different perspective but helps paint the ultimate picture of how humility should be the main characteristic of our thinking about God. If Jesus Himself did not consider equality with God something to be grasped for, then we as His followers should portray that same humility in our own lives. The only boasting that should come from a Christian is in the cross of Christ. Any other boasting is uncalled for and will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of those who are not followers of Christ. It is extremely difficult for Christians to live as Christ with pride in their lives.
Joshua Harris, in Humble Orthodoxy, does a great job at calling Christians to live humbly and remain humble as they grow in their knowledge of God so our lives can openly and fully portray Christ. With that said, I want to close with a couple quotes from the book:
“If being right becomes more important to us than worshiping God, then our theology is not really about God anymore. It’s about us.”
“That is humble orthodoxy. It’s standing for truth with a tear in our eye.”
“When we know the truth about God – His love, His power, His greatness, His holiness, His mercy – it doesn’t leave us boasting. It leaves us amazed. It leaves us in awe of truth. It leaves us humbled in the presence of grace.”
“We don’t have to be jerks with the truth. We can remember how Jesus showed us mercy when we were His enemies. We can demonstrate a humble orthodoxy, holding on to our identity in the gospel. We are not those who are right; we are those who have been redeemed.”
With that, I will bring this review to a close. It is difficult to write a long review on a shorter book without giving too much away. I hope I have been able to whet your appetite just a bit for this book. As I said, it is a short book but well worth the couple days it will take you to read it. Also, this book would be great for a small group study and even a Sunday school so look into it.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.