Book Review: “Dug Down Deep” by Joshua Harris (2001)

A person can only take so much Christian fluff before he either digs deeper into God’s Word or leaves the faith altogether. This is the stance from which Joshua Harris writes his autobiographical intro to theology, Dug Down Deep. Pulling his title from the wise man in Luke 6 (see also Matthew 7) who dug down deep into the earth in order to found his house on a rock, Harris acknowledges that any Christian craving steadfastness in his Christian walk can build his faith on nothing but the sure foundation of God’s Word.

As I devoured this book, I saw myself throughout Harris’ story: raised in a Christian home, satisfied with my Christian title and good reputation, rarely feasting on God’s Word for my own personal benefit, shallow and lifeless. But as Harris moved on through his own life story, I also recognized the changes that took place to draw him closer to God for real, for example when someone recognized the shallowness of his spirituality and his two-facedness. I, too, once stood at that shameful crossroads in my life. But just like Harris, I chose the splendor of a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ grounded in His Word, instead of the stale, me-me-me life to which I had been headed.

Harris uses the opportunity of this book to introduce believers to practical theology. He discusses such topics as Jesus, salvation, sanctification, and the Holy Spirit, and he offers a plethora of suggested authors for further reading: classic authors like Edwards, Calvin, Owen, and Spurgeon; moderns theologians and apologists like Carson, Bridges, Mahaney, Packer, and Zacharias. His simple, now-or-never challenges toward in-depth study have reinvigorated my drive to not only seek wisdom, but to understand and truly appreciate the preaching of Christ crucified (I Corinthians 1:22-23).

The only drawback I saw in Harris’ book is that despite his constant cry to the distracted believer, his seventh chapter on Salvation (“How Jesus saved Gregg Eugene Harris”) seems written to non-believers or Sunday School children. I appreciated his merciless uppercuts and gut shots written for a believer like me, and so this sudden pandering to the one who’s never heard seemed rather out of place.

I strongly recommend this book as a gift for that twenty-something Christian who’s straddling the fence of the world and his faith. If this book doesn’t shock him back into a right relationship with Christ, then perhaps he is already a lost cause.

[Note: I received this book free through the Waterbrook-Multnomah Blogging for Books program]

© 2011 E.T.

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