Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: A High Goal to Aim For

WaterBrook Multnomah recently provided a complimentary copy of Joshua Harris' book, Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth Without Putting People Down, in exchange for an honest review.
    Many people outside the church are turned off by the very people on the inside. Even if they hold to true orthodoxy holding right belief, all too often they come across as arrogant know-it-alls who turn their noses up at those that are lost. Which frankly, is ironic, considering they have lost all humility forgetting they too are sinners. On the other hand, there are those that water down the Gospel in order to appeal to the masses and throw truth out the window. That in turn doesn't serve any of God's purposes to build His Kingdom. So, what does one do? How can believers share the Good News without frightening others away?
     In Humble Orthodoxy Harris calls for believers to remember their roots and know that we are still sinners who need God's grace every day. We share in humility, holding onto truth firmly, but lovingly. We share the message with others out of love, the love we have been given and the love we have in abundance. When we incur hard hearts, we persevere with gentleness and the knowledge we are loved beyond measure. What greater motivator is there to extend His love than that very love itself? And above all, we must allow that love to shape our own attitudes to those around us even when they are unlovable, just as Christ loves us.
     I don't think this book could have come at a better time. We all struggle with the news of today, yet Christians know there is a greater hope for the future in Him. It is commonplace and all too easy to just blame the people of an ungodly society than pray for their souls. It is easier to the shut the church doors behind us than open our hearts and mouths to proclaim the truth in love. It is disheartening to hear people who are intimidated to go to church for fear of hypocrisy. Who can blame them? Not I, for I am a sinner and will gladly tell you so.
     Overall, Humble Orthodoxy is a rather small book with crazy-large repercussions. It is compact and concise, humbling and very thought-provoking. Which leads me to this: humble orthodoxy is a goal to aim high for, but is not attainable fully. If I say I am right, my beliefs are definitive truth, than that leads me to arrogance, not humility. If I say I am humble, that seems arrogant. Of course, the fact is not one person is completely right, so no one can claim they adhere to orthodoxy perfectly. We all should be humble enough to say though, we just don't know it all for we are finite beings and cannot possibly contain God's infinite wisdom.
      Joshua Harris has presented a small volume that will illuminate our own hearts. I pray that Humble Orthodoxy reaches the hands of all in the church. May right thinking be coupled with good behavior, but for the love of our Creator and not for the love of ourselves.

Joshua Harris
Joshua Harris is senior pastor of Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is the best-selling author of Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last and several books on relationships, including the run-away bestseller, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children. Find out more at

No comments:

Post a Comment