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Finding the Right Hills to Die On

The Case for Theological Triage

Gavin Ortlund



Finding the Right Hills to Die On

The Case for Theological Triage

Gavin Ortlund



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In theology, just as in battle, some hills are worth dying on and others are not. But how do we know which ones? When should doctrine divide, and when should unity prevail? Just as a medic on a battlefield treats the severely wounded first and then moves on to the less serious injuries, we must prioritize doctrine in order of importance. Pastor Gavin Ortlund implores us to cultivate humility as we prioritize doctrine into four ranks—essential, urgent, important, and unimportant—so that we will be as effective as possible at advancing the gospel in our time.

  • Title

    Finding the Right Hills to Die On

  • Author(s)

    Gavin Ortlund

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  • Audience

    Adults, Church Leaders

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Gavin Ortlund

Gavin Ortlund

Gavin Ortlund (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Ojai in Ojai, California.

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Overall rating

5.0 based on 1 review

Something every believer needs to consider

As my theological knowledge grows, so does my need for discernment and grace. Does it matter if someone has a different view to me on baptism? Why do some churches not talk about spiritual gifts? Do I have to love all my brethren even when I think they're wrong? Ortlund honestly and wisely deals with all of these questions and more, as he breaks down primary doctrines (hills that are worth dying on and issues we should be willing to die for), secondary doctrines (issues that have an impact on our church membership) and tertiary doctrines (issue that barely deserve our time and consideration). I found this book challenging because it exposed a lot of my sinful attitudes towards those around me who have also been bought with the blood of Christ. The church can so easily get caught up in minute details that distract us from the work we really must be doing. If we all considered which hills to die on, I am sure we would be more effective in doing what we ought. There were 2 particular things that I found helpful from this book on a personal level: one is that Christ died for the unity of the church. If we allow secondary and tertiary issues to divide us, we are working against that which was achieved on the cross for us. And secondly, that as God sanctifies us, He does so with every aspect of us. This means that God is also sanctifying our theology. Whilst it does matter what we believe and we must seek to grow in our knowledge and understanding, this is not something we do in our own strength, but something we constantly rely on the Lord for.

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