Too often, theological discussion generates more heat than light. Even doctrinal battles in churches that are theologically conservative rage, causing division and a general lack of unity. Such a concern led Gavin Ortlund to write Finding the Right Hills to Die On. The author is not only concerned with a lack of unity in the body of Christ; he is zealous to show Christians who disagree on how to live in peace with one another.
The author contrasts doctrinal sectarianism with doctrinal minimalism and demonstrates how these extremes are not only damaging the church; they invite the watching world to look upon the bride of Christ with disdain. Ortlund writes, “When we notice the unhealthy symptoms of doctrinal sectarianism in our hearts, we need to return our deepest level of emotional loyalty to Jesus himself.” Such is the wisdom that is found in the pages of Ortlund’s book.
The writer’s approach helps level the playing field and shows how followers of Christ who disagree can live in harmony despite their differences. Finding the Right Hills to Die On is an invitation to unity and an admonition to live in a way that serves Christians and glorifies God in a simultaneous manner.
The great strength of Gavin Ortlund’s work is the promotion of humility. Readers familiar with Ortlund will confess that he is a theologically robust man who is intent on glorifying God in all things. The author adds, “The great impediment to theological triage is not a lack of theological skill or savvy but a lack of humility.” This is a man who has strong convictions about theology and is unashamed to proclaim it. Yet, at the same time, he is eager to encourage Christians to pursue humility. This sentiment is found throughout the book and should be etched onto the hearts and minds of every reader.
Finding the Right Hills to Die On forges a gospel-centered path between commitment to the truth and concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ. It strikes the biblical balance between truth and grace. It is a book that was deeply meaningful to me, personally. I trust it will have the same effect on many other people.