Theology Matters: “Humble Orthodoxy” (Ch. 11)

‘Theology Matters’ is a blog series on the Asian American Christian Fellowship at UCLA’s book study of “Dug Down Deep” by Joshua Harris. In this series I will be posting updates, reminders, thoughts, and study questions all about the book.

Chapter 11: This chapter was by far the most important chapter for me. After going through ten chapters of theological questions and doctrine heavy narratives, it was easy to assume that knowledge was the end goal of it all. So the question arises, What will we do with the knowledge of God that we have?

I appreciated that Harris first defines “orthodoxy” for all of us who have given it a stuck-up-nose-to-the-sky image. He writes that, “orthodoxy means right thinking about God. It’s teaching and belief based on established, proven, cherished truths of the faith.” He then uses the letter of 2 Timothy to humble us and emphasize Paul’s driving concern for the preservation of the gospel. Most of all, he writes that “if being right becomes more important to us than God, then our theology is not really about God anymore; it’s about us.” We need to use this knowledge to see how great God is and how small we really are.

Indeed, trying to live according to all the theological truths that we’ve learned about is a difficult task. Instead of showing off your theological knowledge, try to live it out, try to apply it to your life, and you’ll really understand what humble orthodoxy is. It’s a realization that everything about sin and total depravity applies to you, that you’re the person who exemplifies all those doctrinal truths the most. It’s understanding something well enough to allow that knowledge soak into your life and permeate your every action. This is what theology has been and should always be about—not debating with your friends or proving that others don’t know certain things—no, we’re supposed to know our God so we can love our God more. That is Humble Orthodoxy.

Study Questions:

1.  Does seeking a humble orthodoxy mean that we should accept all teachings?  What does the Bible say about this? (If you’re game, the Bible’s commentary on this subject is not limited to the references in this chapter)
2.  Why is more orthodoxy important to being humble?
3.  How else can we be humble theologians?  Think about heart issues, intellectual understandings, and practical situations.

Here’s some questions to ponder now that you’ve finished the book:
1.  Why is theology important?
2.  Think about the things you read in this book and compare them to your thoughts on God and life before you read it.  What were some beliefs you didn’t realize were theology, and how did they effect the way you lived?
3.  Now, do what Harris suggests in the second full paragraph of p. 227 and answer the questions he poses.
THE END. (Or is it just the beginning?) My hope is that this book study has given you a taste of the importance and relevance of theology in your daily life—how everyone is a theologian and everyone should continue to learn more about our Lord. I pray that this would not be the end of your theological study, but the beginning of a lifetime’s worth of seeking and knowing our God more and more. Don’t settle for what others tell you about our God, or what secondary sources reveal about Him—learn about God yourself through a loyal devotion to the Word and the Spirits’ revelation.
It’s been real everyone,
bc
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