The very title of this book, Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris and Eric Stanford, made me think I needed to read it.
The subtitle, Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down convinced me, because this strikes at the heart of every Christian.
In our day, this is one of the Church's greatest needs. We need Humble Orthodoxy.
Have you ever met the doctrinally sound man who manages to be repellent and unkind even when he is presenting the beauties of the Gospel? This is the attitude Joshua Harris calls "Arrogant Orthodoxy."
How about the very friendly, understanding man who listens well and speaks about God's acceptance, yet never makes anyone uncomfortable by checking their beliefs against Scripture?This is the attitude Joshua Harris calls "Humble Heterodoxy."
I know these extremes well, as do all of us probably.
Timothy and Paul did too. That is why Paul wrote the letter of 2 Timothy, full of instruction on doctrine as well as the Christ-like attitude the orthodox must hold. We need to first understand that it isn't about us, about being right. It isn't our Truth we are defending. It is about the Truth God has given us, and the Redemption He gives.
Timothy's legacy is our legacy: handling the word of God rightly.
In short, Doctrine is Truth God has given us to defend, and we have to do so in a manner worthy of Him.
If you only remember one thing from this book, it perhaps should be this line: It is possible to defend the Truth of Christ in a way that drives people from Him.
If that doesn't make you repent and mend your ways, what will?
Of course, just knowing that is not enough.
We must know that the same Gospel we are defending provides us with the ability to wage war to save souls, not destroy perceived enemies.
Then, by the power of Christ, we can be Humbly Orthodox.
Thank you to the authors and to Waterbrook's Blogging for Books program for sending me this book!