Tag Archives: Thinking

Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris

 

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.

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Thinking. Loving. Doing.

Matthew 22:37 states that the Great Commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Christians, and even non-Christians today, have lost the ability to truly unleash their mind. Colleges try to teach people how to have an open mind but in essence they want their students to believe what they believe, feel what they feel, etc. If they teach that there are no absolutes, they want their students to absolutely believe it. We want young people to use their minds but we do not teach them how to. In the church, we have done even a greater disservice in this area. David Mathis makes the point that “Healthy Christianity clearly appreciates the life of the mind.” (p. 15)

True Christianity encompasses all of the emotions. Thinking. Loving. Doing. Is a book that truly challenges how we use our mind. It challenges us to even question whether or not we are even using our mind. As I sometimes do in my reviews, here is what the back of the book has to say:

“Here is a call to holistic Christianity. A challenge to be thinkers, engaged and serious about knowing God. And to be feelers, pulsing with passion for Jesus and His gospel. And to be doers, endeavoring great acts of love for others. Our Savior himself shows us that holistic Christianity is comprised of mind, heart and hands. And he shows us that the Christian life is multidimensional – irreducibly and inseparably thinking, loving and doing.”

I use the back many times because the way they word the description or purpose of the book is the best way to put it. This book is all about challenging Christians to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to do that, we must be engaged in all of our emotions. That is how Jesus set the example, He loved, He felt and He did so why should we be expected to do any less as His followers. With the great commandment being to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, why do we think that is an option? The best way to live the Christian life, and the only way to live the Christian life, is with all of our being; anything less than that subconsciously says that we do not have to obey the greatest commandment.

This book began as actual messages spoken at the Desiring God Conference from 2010 and has contributions from Rick Warren, Francis Chan, R.C. Sproul, R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Thabiti Anyabwile. Each of the contributors adds their own unique ability to communicate to the book which makes this book a great read and challenge for anyone desiring to truly walk with the Lord.

Rick Warren begins the book with speaking of the battle of the mind. We face a war for our minds each and every day. There is so much trying to grab our attention and get us thinking about it that for us to truly begin thinking in a Christian way, it will take effort on our part. Albert Mohler follows with speaking on the way the world thinks and how the natural mind is at work within all of us because of the fall of man. R.C. Sproul then moves us on to thinking about the Bible because it is what actually gives answers to life’s biggest questions. Thabiti Anyabwile speaks on Islam and Muslims and how our thinking has affected our reaction or thoughts towards these people. Francis Chan then gives a great challenge to think about whether or not we truly love God and love others. John Piper concludes the book with a challenge on how thinking is what will actually help lead us more fully into experiencing true and lasting joy.

Over all, this book is a great read for any Christian who wants to be challenged. And yet what this book will lead you to is actually begin thinking, and even thinking about thinking. That is what it did to me. After reading many portions of this book, I would find myself sitting and actually just thinking. Our minds are powerful things and as one famous quote states, a “horrible thing to waste.” For the Christian, this is extremely important because the greatest commandment says we are to love with ALL. If we are to love with ALL our mind, it must cause us to think and to think deeply. Not to become more knowledgeable and prideful because of our knowledge, but to think because thinking leads to loving which leads to doing; and that is what the Christian life is all about. So go ahead and pick this book up and read it. You will find yourself challenged and glad that you did pick it up.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review.