Solid theology, just not AS GREAT as older Reformers

Haido Takarai

4.5 Stars

January 4, 2012

4.5 Stars for Dug Down Deep

5 star = It was great! 4 star = It was good 3 star = It's okay 2 star = It was bad! 1 star = It was terrible!

This book was very good because it is an easy read, relevant to all Christians, biblical and theologically sound. Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris is a book that challenges readers to learn the truth about God. It is also a light version of systematic theology, as it attempts to in layman¿s terms, explain the who, what, whys of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the reliability of the Bible and how salvation and sanctification work. Harris explains his path from a being bored rebellious youth with no interest in God, to developing into a God-loving on-fire student and lover of theology. He tells us how he grew under the readings of famous Reformed theologians, pastors and authors like C.J. Mahaney, John Piper, J.I. Packer, Sinclair Ferguson, John Stott, D.A. Carson, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Watson, Charles Spurgeon and John Calvin.

Harris¿ story is inspirational and gives readers the feeling that ¿I can do this too!¿ and ¿Real Deep Christianity is not that hard¿ as they attempt to follow in Harris¿ footsteps. Read the Reformers and seek God. Somewhere along the way, we¿ll realize that we are developing a relationship with God.

I found Harris¿ theology to be a light version of that of the other older, more well-seasoned and more famous Reformers. By ¿light version¿, I mean as in ¿not as deep¿, ¿sometimes not as clear¿ and ¿sometimes easier to grasp¿. By the end of the book, if I could only give away only one book, I would still hands-down rather give a friend a John Piper book than this Joshua Harris book. It¿s just that Piper gets right to the point, is clear as a bell, has more fire and enthusiasm in his writing style, and really teaches solid theology very clearly and well-defined. Harris¿ writing is fairly theologically sound, but not as clear cut and his writing style makes him seem less sure of what he is teaching. I feel like Harris could be you or me attempting to teach theology. We aren¿t very well seasoned and we could definitely use some polishing. This book is not bad. It¿s just not AS great! So, I would recommend it to others, but I would recommend it AFTER my friends have finished reading Piper, RC Sproul, Michael Horton, etc.

CRITICISMS Harris reveals that he rejected Christianity as a youth and ended up joining a charismatic church for several years. Although he ended up leaving the charismatic church, you can easily see his warmth towards the movement. Compared to very theologically sound Christian leaders, Harris' writing does come across like a baby just starting to feel things out. You can detect the charismatic emotional-attraction in his personality and writings. Harris slips up 3 times throughout the book by leaning towards a human-focus, like when he writes "God gave his son for God's glory and man benefitted as well." They would have written the book a bit more God-centered and less man-centered. However, I noticed Harris only wrote man-centered-ish views 3 times, so not bad for a learner. Otherwise, his theology is very clear and sound.

INSTEAD OF THIS BOOK... I would recommend a book from John Piper, RC Sproul, Michael Horton, Wayne Grudem or other seasoned Reformers.

This book review was done for Thomas Nelson publisher in exchange for the book.