Jesus tells a story that many church-goers are familiar with – the Wise and the Foolish Builders. Two men are doing the same thing – building a house. They both hear the same things – the words of Jesus. And they both experience the same circumstances – the rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on each house. The thing that was different was their foundation. One built on the rock and the other built on sand.
Josh Harris’ book Dug Down Deep is written to help people examine on what foundation they are building. He points out that what we believe about God – our theology – has a huge impact on how we build our lives.
On page 10 of his book he writes these words: “Theology isn’t for a certain group of people. In fact, it’s impossible for anyone to escape theology. It’s everywhere. All of us are constantly “doing” theology. In other words, all of us have some idea or opinion about what God is like. Oprah does theology. The person who says, “I can’t believe in a God who send people to hell” is doing theology. We all have some level of knowledge. This knowledge can be much or little, informed or uninformed, true or false, but we all have some concept of God (even if it’s that he doesn’t exist.) And we all base our lives on what we think God is like.
With that thought in mind Harris talks about our theology and what we believe about God. He uses words like doctrine, inerrancy, atonement and justification, yet puts them into a practical context to highlight what they mean and why they are important to our understanding of who God is.
I think he really nailed the value of how we see God on page 39. Harris is explaining the importance of how our view of God affects how we live and how we react to the things that happen in. He writes this: “What makes it difficult for us to see the truth about God, I think, isn’t his overwhelming immensity but our overwhelming self-centeredness…instead of looking through the window of God’s self-revelation and seeing Him, we find it easier to admire our own reflection or to place on Him the constraints of our own existence. We judge Him by our standards of justice, fairness, power and mercy.”
Harris does a good job in his book of explaining these different aspects of God through the use of scripture, other writers thoughts and personal illustrations. In the opening chapters he talks about his own theology growing up and how he needed to grow in his own understanding of God. His book would be a useful tool for individuals to read or for group study.
Harris has released a video curriculum to use with students to study Dug Down Deep.
Read Dug Down Deep to grow in your understanding of who God is and how you look at Him. You can click here to see more information about Dug Down Deep and to read a sample.
(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)