Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dug Down Deep—A Review

As you might notice from the title, this book has no illusions of literary style.  In fact, I found the author’s style sloppy.  However, I had agreed to read the book, so I plowed ahead.  The author of Dug Down Deep is Joshua Harris who also authored the book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.  Joshua Harris describes Dug Down Deep as follows:

These pages hold the journal entries of my own spiritual journey—a journey that lead to the realization that sound doctrine is at the center of loving Jesus with passion and authenticity.

I would characterize Dug Deep Down as an overview of theology that is designed to awaken the reader to the basic theological beliefs and understandings one must have in order to be called, “Christian.”  But primarily, it stood out to me as a self-indulgent memoir structured around precepts of theology. 

The language is of the sort a youth pastor might use to identify with teenagers.  When I was a teenager, there was no youth pastor.  Instead I sat under a man who had more knowledge of scripture than I may ever possess.  Although difficult for a teenager to understand, his high level explications probably impacted me in ways I do not fully comprehend and helped shape a life of inquiry.

On the other hand, Dug Deep Down assumes that the reader is unwilling to dig and will be satisfied with a superficial explanation of doctrine. The author both underestimates and proves a disservice to all true followers of Jesus.  

This book is at its best when it quotes or references other authors such as J.I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Sally Lloyd-Jones, C.S. Lewis, John Frame, Mark Dever,  Timothy Keller, and the Bible.  In fact, this could have been two smaller books:  the memoir and a summary of the books listed below. 

Unless you are enamored with Joshua Harris, skip Dug Deep Down and begin reading any one of the books below.  In fact, my advice is to bury Dug Deep Down and read everything written by the authors below.  You will soon be challenged to develop a theology that molds you and makes you into a follower of Christ who will be able to withstand the ravages of time, culture, and self. 

   J.I. Packer

God Has Spoken: Revelation and the Bible


Wayne Grudem

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know
Bible Doctrine

John Piper

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

Sally Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition

C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis Signature Classics)

John Frame

Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology

J.I Packer and Mark Dever

In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of Atonement

Timothy Keller

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism


I received this book free from the publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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