Humble Orthodoxy – Book Review

February 25, 2014
Claire Bechard

Review Author: Josh Parsons, Pastor of Worship and College and Career Ministries at the Barrington Campus
Book Author: Joshua Harris

AH-Josh Parsons

Humble Orthodoxy focuses on what it looks like to hold truth correctly once we’ve received it. Harris rightly begins this book by defining what he means by orthodoxy, that is, those truths taught in Scripture and affirmed throughout historic Christianity. It is, in his words, “right thinking about God” (p. 9). Harris argues that we are to stand “for truth with a tear in our eye” (p. 28).

Humble Orthodoxy

Harris draws the bulk of his work from 2 Timothy, where the Apostle Paul charges young Timothy to have “love-infused courage” (p. 11) in guarding “the good deposit” of the Gospel which was being entrusted to him. All Scripture, Harris argues, calls the Christian to avoid the extremes of arrogant orthodoxy (right in our doctrine but self-righteous and unloving) and humble heterodoxy (wrong in doctrine but quite nice and inclusive), and instead embrace the best of both: humble orthodoxy.

At just over 60 pages, Humble Orthodoxy is a quick read. It is, however, full of encouragement (I underlined something on almost every page!). The single downside, however, is the lack of application. Harris tells us what is right, but rarely strays into the realm of how to put into practice what we’ve just learned is right. However…

…Included in this book is a study/discussion guide on each of the four chapters. Here Eric Stanford (the co-author) drives the reader to application. I was also glad to see that each chapter’s guide included a section devoted to poring over some section of Scripture.

Humble Orthodoxy is a wonderful reminder of our precious responsibility as Christ-followers to wield the Word of God while “holding the truth high without putting people down.”

One thought on “Humble Orthodoxy – Book Review

  1. Ruthie Archer says:

    Thank you for the book recommendation, Josh. I was challenged me to be more intentional about the way I interact with others about my faith. Pg. 61 gave me pause: “We’re going to be opposed as we preach substitutionary atonement and the truth of God’s wrath towards sin. We’re going to look unloving and unkind as we teach God’s plan for marriage being one man and one woman. We’re not going to look cool. We’re going to look ridiculous and backward and intolerant and politically incorrect to the world.” This is a scary concept to me. I mourn about what it reveals about my sinful desire to be loved by the world. But I press on.

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