How can we be arrogant about a truth that is completely outside of anything we’ve done?
JOSHUA HARRIS, Humble Orthodoxy
And so this short book by Joshua Harris—Humble Orthodoxy—talks us down from our arrogance.
Originally written as the closing chapter in Dug Down Deep, it’s been expanded because it’s something Christ followers need. Despite being saved by grace, we’re still too conceited about our own knowledge, our own works, our own goodness. Yuck. No wonder we’re often seen as unattractive to the world.
Need proof? As Harris points out,
If anyone thinks arrogant orthodoxy doesn’t exist, he’s never read the comments section of a Christian blog.
One of the mistakes Christians often make is that we learn to rebuke like Jesus but not love like Jesus. Sometimes it seems that almost everyone who cares about doctrine is harsh and angry.
And sometimes it seems the more we know, the haughtier we get (despite Paul’s warning about this in 1 Corinthians 8:1).
But it doesn’t need to be that way. Harris says, “Truth matters, but so does our attitude. We have to live and speak and interact with others in a spirit of humility.”
The more we come to know the essential doctrine of grace, the more we should grow in humility.
We don’t have to be jerks with the truth.
We can remember how Jesus showed us mercy when we were his enemies. We can demonstrate a humble orthodoxy, holding on to our identity in the gospel.
We are not those who are right; we are those who have been redeemed.
I know I haven’t arrived. Sometimes the closer I get to grace, the more intolerant I am of detractors from grace. How can I espouse something that I don’t embody?
Repentance has to start with me—“Shouldn’t individuals and churches that hold most faithfully to orthodoxy and biblical truth be the most frequently filled with godly repentance? …We all have good cause to tear our robes.”
So I’d recommend this little book as another tool in our arsenal of killing our pride and lifting up our Savior. Harris doesn’t always hit it spot-on (in my opinion) but he’s at least pointing us in the right direction and awakening us to our wrong attitudes about being right.
Because when all is said and done and we look back on what we once believed, we’ll realize we all had many things wrong.
We’ll realize to our shame that to differing degrees we trusted in our intellect, our morality, the rightness of our doctrine, and our religious performance when all along it was completely grace.
Grace. Complete grace. That’s humble orthodoxy. That’s Jesus.
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THANKS TO WATERBROOK MULTNOMAH
FOR THE REVIEW COPY OF THIS BOOK