Faith Bible Blog

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Book of the Month:The Hole In Our Holiness

When someone says you have a hole in your logic, they mean that you are missing something. Our book of the month author, Kevin DeYoung, says that we have a hole in our holiness: something is missing. And he tells you very quickly what it is that is missing. We don’t care about holiness. It’s that simple. But is that true about you? Reading the Hole in Our Holiness will help you figure out what holiness is all about. DeYoung wants us “to take seriously one of the great aims of our redemption and one of the required evidences for eternal life-our holiness.”

In the first chapter, it is established that many churches are missing something today. That is not to say that there are necessarily a lot of things wrong. In fact, the author says there are a lot of things that are good. But with all these good things, holiness doesn’t seem to be high on the list, if it is on the list at all. Here is what the author says about what is missing:

But we don’t have to pretend everything else is wrong to recognize we don’t have everything right. There is a gap between our love for the gospel and our love for godliness. This must change. It’s not pietism, legalism, or fundamentalism to take holiness seriously. It’s the way of all those who have been called to a holy calling by a holy God (p. 21).

After showing that one major purpose of our salvation is our holiness (Ephesians 1:3-4), DeYoung describes holiness in two ways. First, he shows what holiness does not look like (such as mere rule-keeping and imitating those from the past). Second he shows what holiness does look like (God’s image restored, life of virtue not vice, clean conscience, obedience and Christlikeness). While this description is rather general, there are many specific examples provided, as well as the rest of the book that will bring it all together for you.

It is suggested in the book that one reason we do not pursue holiness as Christians is because we think that it is impossible to achieve, so one chapter is spent to show that it is indeed possible. Maybe not perfect holiness, but a holiness that pleases God. “But God does not expect our good works to be flawless in order for them to be good. If God only accepted perfect obedience from his children, the Bible would have nothing good to say about Job or David or Elizabeth or anyone else except for Jesus” (p.67). Just remember that we are not trying to gain our salvation with perfect holiness. We are trying to please God.

This is a book that balances the work of the gospel, the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of the believer to produce holiness in our life. “When it comes to sanctification, we don’t just look to the Lord. We don’t just get gripped by the gospel. We also work hard to be holy” (p. 89).

There is so much more to be said about this book. It will challenge you. It will inform you. Sometimes, it may even shock you (warning: a chapter titled “Saints and Sexual Immorality”). And it will make you think. But you will come away with the desire to get rid of that “hole” and pursue holiness in your life. God desires it. God requires it. So we need to pursue it.

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