Finding The Right Hills To Die On by Gavin Ortlund is a book that makes a case for Theological Triage, a concept in which Christians should establish a hierarchy of issues ranging from those which can not be disputed, to those that are less important and, therefore, should never lead to separation or doubt of salvation.
A Note: This book came up because I’d listened to Gentle and Lowly, by Dane Ortlund, who turns out to be Gavin’s brother. I was a tad confused for a moment, and wanted to be up front with this information.
This book is for Christians who are either searching or a church home or find themselves at a potential crossroads with a brother or sister in Christ. This is actually a very important issue to me. When I was younger, I was quite frustrated by the division I saw in the Church. I’d heard some churches say others “aren’t true churches,” and the argument simply still hurts my heart. I’m not ignorant to the possibility that some institutions that claim Christianity may not be. False teachers can be in a lot of places. But the struggle for me was truly identifying the line. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis was a source of help.
Gavin (using his first name to distinguish from my previous review of his brother’s work) doesn’t so much as try and affirm which doctrines are truly worth fighting for (1st rank) and doctrines that remain important, but should’t divide a the body of Christ.
While I won’t go too far into Gavin’s book, I will say that the thing I appreciated most is the standard on which Theological Triage should be based: The Gospel. The more directly and critical something is to The Gospel, the more one should defend it. I feel this is an indisputable point on which I can agree.
I will say I don’t necessarily agree with his arrangement or even some of his stances with regard to certain doctrines, but what I can say with joy is that I agree, these different perspectives do not conflict with Gospel Essential Doctrines, nor should the be a point of division. That is the value the idea of this book brings. I’m also happy that Gavin did a fantastic job of explaining his views on various doctrine without being confrontational or overly emphatic. They were simple examples of his views as a point from which to evaluate issues.
I appreciated the reasoned approach. I also appreciate the manner the author provides to establish one doctrine above, alongside, or below another.
This is a book I’d recommend for churches not necessarily to use as a doctrinal stance, but as a way to study how such a doctrinal stance might be established without making some things (as important as they might be) more important than they should be.
Thanks for reading,