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Publisher's Summary

In theology, just as in battle, some hills are worth dying on. But how do we know which ones? When should doctrine divide, and when should unity prevail? Pastor Gavin Ortlund makes the case that while all doctrines matter, some are more essential than others. 

He considers how and what to prioritize in doctrine and ministry, encouraging humility and grace along the way. Using four basic categories of doctrine in order of importance, this book helps new and seasoned church leaders alike wisely labor both to uphold doctrine and to preserve unity.

©2020 Gavin Ortlund (P)2020 eChristian

What listeners say about Finding the Right Hills to Die On

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Categories in the intro are helpful

The categories Ortlund gives in the beginning of the book are helpful to think through. He references historical theologians who we would all respect who had views that we probably would not approve of today. That was interesting.

I think in this book I was hoping for more of a thoughtful explanation on how to weigh decisions and determine which hills to die on, and how to apply theological wisdom in different practical theological matters.

Instead I felt that the majority of the book focused on Ortlund’s views on which subjects are important and which aren’t. The main subjects he addresses are credo-baptism, cessation, eschatology and women in leadership and creation views. He seems to still be processing his views on these different topics and right now seems to end up as a Presbi-Bapti-Costal.

I would have liked to have read more on how to determine which doctrines and practices need to be primary, secondary....rather than being told which ones the author viewed to be in those categories.

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What a breath of fresh air!

I found this book to be so helpful, so clarifying, so challenging in my understanding of the tiers of doctrinal importance. It is also an incredible book about learning how to be humble, gracious, thoughtful, and open minded in both understanding and communicating your own beliefs. I love the idea of finding the right hill to die on and I have found myself dying on some hills that I never should have in my Christian journey. This book is giving me much more charity towards those who I disagree with. I so heartily endorse this book.

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Excellent book! Challenges galore - especially to our (my) pride!

The theological road by Dr. Ortlund at the onset illustrated the “how to live” theme to which he often addresses: honesty, humility, and careful biblical study of many issues. Like any skilled biblical teacher, I am left both convicted of personal sin and simultaneously encouraged. [“the duty of any preacher is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”] This book will be purchased by me for gifts to many fellow believers. Highly recommended to any sinful soul (anyone)!

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A kind explanation of when to fight vs listen

The term used by the author is Theological Triage. It’s simply a way to determine if a matter is worthy of dispute on a Biblical basis or if it is simply a difference of opinions that, while it may be grounds for disagreement, are not matters that should divide a church or even be grounds for the question of one’s salvation.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the authors assertions or ranking of certain doctrine, I fully agree that there are matters of importance (those pertaining directly to the gospel) and those of lesser (NOT NON EXISTENT) importance.

This book is directed to church members, so it’s not necessarily designed to spread the gospel. Instead, it’s designed to help churches identify their theological priorities from a Biblical perspective.

I appreciated the reasoned approach. I also appreciate the manner the author provides to establish one doctrine above, alongside, or below another.

A full review to appear on my blog in time.

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Extraordinary. A wise and practical book, no matter one’s credo

As a progressive Christian, I did not agree with the author’s stance on several doctrines—but this did not matter. He provides a genuinely unifying, loving, practical method to approaching Christians who disagree with my particular branch of Christianity (Anglican, living in ultra conservative southern MO). A book filled with much wisdom. I will reread repeatedly.

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Outstanding!

I could not recommend this book more. One may not agree with all of the conclusions, but the wisdom and the generosity is much needed. This book is fantastic both for the local church and for denominational life.

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  • Ayay Akol
  • 12-05-21

Necessary book for our time

Really helpful book on the pursuit of Christian unity in these divided times. The author calls us not only do find the right hills to die on but also humility in our pursuit of doctrinal faithfulness. Highly recommended for Christians of all denominations