My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One thing is clear reading Josh Harris's new book - the years have changed and matured him. Since his first book came out when he was twenty-one (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) he has gotten involved in the Reformed movement and this book reflects his deeper thinking about the core doctrines of Christianity. The big difference I see between him and someone like Donald Miller is that Josh Harris is capable of transparency that includes embarrassment. In his chapter on the doctrine of the Christ he says that "we don't want to study Jesus. We want to experience him" and he goes on to explain how he often thinks about Jesus experientially. But then he admits that
"putting all my desired 'Jesus feelings' into words makes me sound like an emotional seventh-grade girl about to leave summer camp. That is not good."His trajectory tracks with my own in some key areas. He thinks back to his time at a charismatic church and says that "over time the continual focus on looking for a fresh move of the Spirit began to wear thin." He said he "couldn't shake the sense that something was missing." I'm well familiar with that sense and also in the deep satisfaction he found in Reformed authors:
"this is what I'd been longing for but had never known how to name. My soul had been craving good, solid, undiluted truth about God and the good news of his Son's life, death, and resurrection. I didn't need to be entertained. I didn't primarily need to fall over at a prayer meeting. And I didn't need lifeless information. I need to know God."These things for him, and for me, were the box-top of the puzzle. A provocation to understand what we were reading in a way that was comprehensive for the first time. It is a thoughtful and well grounded introduction to Christian doctrine.