Harris, Joshua. Humble Orthodoxy. Colorado Springs, CO.: Multnomah Books, 2013. 83 + xi pp. $9.99.
In December of 2011, I reviewed Joshua Harris’s Dug Down Deep. In that review, I wrote, “The final chapter turned out to be my personal favorite. In that chapter (titled “Humble Orthodoxy”), the author gives great encouragement to approach orthodoxy and doctrine and theology with humility.”
It would appear that others shared my appreciation for this particular chapter, and the publisher opted to publish it separately under the name of the original chapter, Humble Orthodoxy.
In this small book, Harris makes the observation that, “it seems like a lot of the people who care about orthodoxy are jerks” (3). They seem to have taken the instruction in Jude to “contend for the faith,” and have interpreted it to mean, “Be contentious for the faith.” For Harris, this is simply unacceptable for the believer.
Harris opines that far too often, Christians struggle with either remaining orthodox or remaining humble. This, however, is not a choice we get to make. We are called to be both – humble and orthodox. In what I believe to be the key paragraph from the book, he writes,
“Genuine orthodoxy – the heart of which is the death of God’s Son for undeserving sinners – is the most humbling, human-pride-smashing message in the world. And if we truly know the gospel of grace, it will create in us a heart of humility and grace toward others” (30).
This does not mean that we refuse to stand for biblical truth when the situation warrants we do so. Rather, this means that we need to exercise wisdom and “avoid controversy that distracts from the gospel” (53). In doing so, we reveal a critical mind without a critical spirit, and are more likely to gain an audience when, in fact, we do speak up.
Humble Orthodoxy was a book I needed to read. It will be a book I need to read again and again. I humbly recommend that you do so as well.
Joshua Harris, Humble Orthodoxy
I received this book free from the publisher through Multnomah Books’ Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.