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Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down Hardcover – April 2, 2013
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Praise for Humble Orthodoxy
“I suppose the opposite of humble orthodoxy is arrogant orthodoxy—a rather ugly pairing of words since ‘orthodoxy’ takes us to King Jesus, who is ‘gentle and humble in heart.’ Defending orthodoxy, a perennially urgent responsibility, so easily degenerates into our defending ourselves and our opinions, a perennially deceptive form of idolatry. May this short book by Joshua Harris encourage many to love and articulate the truth with the same tears of compassion that Jesus shed over the city.”
—D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL, and author of The Intolerance of Tolerance
“When many years ago I first heard my good friend Josh Harris talk about the need for ‘humble orthodoxy,’ the phrase resonated with me immediately. Because, as Calvin said, the heart is an idol-making factory, we often take a good thing and make it an ultimate thing. We take something that is meant to help people, and we use it in hurtful ways. Sadly, many thinking Christians do this with doctrine. We argue for the glory of God in an unglorious manner. Josh knows this and is on a mission to change the tone of our theological conversations and put doctrine in its rightful place—as a servant to all but a master to none. He understands that if we dot all our doctrinal i’s and cross all our doctrinal t’s but have not love, we will be nothing more than ‘a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.’ Thanks for this, Josh. A much-needed message for our time.”
—Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and author of Jesus + Nothing = Everything
“When I think of the words ‘humble orthodoxy,’ I think immediately of Josh Harris. In this book you will find not merely an expert calling us to an abstract idea. You will find the heart of a man who demonstrates humility and conviction, mostly in ways that he doesn’t see himself (or he wouldn’t be qualified to write this book). Humble Orthodoxy will show you, with authenticity and vulnerability, what it means to realize that, left to ourselves, we are all arrogant heretics. But the Spirit of God can crucify our pride and our unfaithfulness. I heartily commend this good, practical book.”
—Russell D. Moore, dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, and author of Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
“I love the message of Humble Orthodoxy. It further fueled the fire within me for a passionate commitment to truth that would put me on my knees instead of puffing me up. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. I pray that God will use the message of this book to topple tall towers of pride that are so out of place in the church of Jesus Christ. May pure worship flow from humble orthodoxy!”
—Jason Meyer, pastor of preaching and vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
About the Author
Joshua Harris is a bestselling author and the lead pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children.
Top customer reviews
By popular demand, Harris has finally expanded and expounded the contents of that great chapter into its own book, and I'm so glad he did! Humility is sadly lacking in modern discourse, particularly in the realm of theological convictions. While the abundance of attention being given by evangelical authors to getting our doctrine right is a good thing, far less attention has been given to how we ought to contend for the faith.
Does God care about the attitude with which we stand for truth? Of course he does! Yet, as Harris points out, "orthodoxy has gotten a bad reputation." We Christians are not exactly known for our compassion and humility when it comes to defending our beliefs.
Something has to give. As Harris argues, that something is our pride. We need to stop seeking the approval of men, and start living for the only approval that matters---God's. When we understand that our deeds merit nothing but damnation, and that God's approval is based solely on the obedience of Christ, we cannot be arrogant. This is the heart of true orthodoxy, and it can only be realized in true humility.
We don't have to choose between humility and orthodoxy. We need both, and, in fact, each leads to the other. Humble orthodoxy changes the way we relate to others. Instead of puffing ourselves up through comparisons with those we see as more sinful, we should see God's grace as something to be extended to others. Harris writes, "Instead of looking down on the unorthodox, how can we NOT want to humbly lead them toward the same life-giving truth that has changed our lives?"
This book is tiny---its 61 pages weighing in at under five ounces---but exhibits an incredible economy of words. Nearly every sentence is worthy of highlighting... no filler material here! Throughout its four chapters, Harris gives examples from Scripture of men who exhibited humble orthodoxy, and shows readers how to develop this godly character in our own lives.
There is quite a bit of overlap with the last chapter of Dug Down Deep, but there is easily enough new material to make this book stand on its own merits, even if you have read the "Humble Orthodoxy" chapter that led to it. Its small size and easy readability means this book lends itself to many repeat readings, something I'll be certain to take advantage of whenever I need a good dose of conviction about my pride (which is often!).
This is also a perfect little book to give away to young Christians and new theologians, whose "newfound zeal for truth often makes them dangerous," as Harris points out. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open down the road for deals on bulk purchases of this book to go in the giveaway box in my office. It's important to note, though, that as this book is primarily concerned with exhorting readers toward humility rather than establishing orthodoxy, this book alone would not be sufficient to help a new believer achieve humble orthodoxy. To get a good grasp on what orthodoxy is, they will need to consult other resources. For this purpose, Harris' earlier book remains one of my top recommendations.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Humble Orthodoxy. Reference it frequently. You won't regret it!
So why only 4 stars? Well I was just so excited about pre-ordering this book, I didn't look at the length. So like many others, I wish I could demand a longer book! Hopefully Joshua Harris will realize the importance of this subject and maybe do a sequel!
I definitely recommend this book though, and as I've said in other reviews I've done, a sign of a good book (for me) is how much it is underlined. This one definitely has many lines underlined.
Still thankful for Harris's effort here.
Most recent customer reviews
Having a correct understanding of doctrine does not entitle us to be jerks with our knowledge.Read more