I have to admit that I was looking forward to reading this book so much. I really enjoy apologetics; especially when I can understand it easily! So when I read the subtitle of this book, “Unearthing What I believe and Why It Matters” it sounded like a tall order to me.
I admit that I haven’t read anything else by Joshua Harris so I was unsure of his writing style; but, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to read and how well he related the topics to things that I could relate to.
On the back cover, the author states: “I know from experience that it’s possible to be a Christian but live life on the surface.” He goes on to say, “The irony of my story is that the very things I needed, even longed for in my relationship with God, were wrapped up in the very things I was so sure could do me no good. I didn’t understand that seemingly worn-out words like theology, doctrine, and orthodoxy were the pathway to the mysterious, awe-filled experience of truly knowing the living Jesus Christ.”
Honestly, that frightened me a little. I could relate to what he was saying, but he threw in three pretty big words that are a little daunting to the average non-seminary student. I admire people who can read and understand the meaty books that explain the whys and wherefores of the faith. I really do. But I have four young daughters and can’t sit for hours on end deciphering every sentence that I have just read.
So, it was with a little trepidation that I started this book. Much to my surprise the first chapter was entitled ‘My Rumspringa’. I’m not Amish, but I have heard of this and had always wondered about it. I was intrigued as to how it would relate to my life. Surprisingly, it resonated deeply.
Chapter two is entitled “In Which I Learn to Dig” and it hit me squarely between the eyes. Mr. Harris uses the parable of the two houses that have been built and one is on the sand and one is on the rocks. He states, “I’ve read this story about the two builders countless times. I’ve read it so many times that I almost don’t read it anymore when I come across it in the Gospels. I skim it. I gulp down three sentences at a time because I already know what they say.” Ugh Has he been sitting and reading over my shoulder? I was convicted before I read any further. He goes on to discuss the passage further and draws out Truth that was waiting there to be discovered by the careful reader. He calls that digging down deep; into the Rock. Amazing! No, it’s not that I hadn’t heard that before, it is just a new perspective given at just the right time in my life.
The rest of the chapters have catchy titles that make you want to read them just to figure out what he’s talking about. I also enjoy the definitions the author gives for those three daunting words he used on the back cover. They are broken down and made understandable in my life; right now, right where I’m at. They are made attainable and understandable. Mr. Harris cites many theologians and authors that I admire greatly, such as Spurgeon, J.J. Packer, R.C. Sproul, and others as well as giving us some history lessons along the way. I highly recommend this book and will keep it around for my daughters to deepen their faith and their understanding of that faith.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.